Awesome! We use the hose on the vacuum cleaner with ours. Actually gets it pretty clean.
I used the shovel thing to get as much loose soot as possible and just put it in a paper bag. Then (and I am sure there are more efficient ideas) I just got a couple of old towels and dampened them (so the soot would stick) and started wiping it out. Walls, floor, everything. I had to wash those by themselves (although you are probably an expert of washing sooty clothes!) but it all came out. I would never recommend spray painting the inside of your fireplace black, though. The particles went EVERYWHERE and the room needed a lot of cleaning afterwards. Roll on paint, all the way!
You have to admit, that it's funny. Where did you leave for the few seconds it took for them to get there? Any way you can find some kind of gate/lock to keep them out of it? I guess my fun is coming soon... We've been on the the brink of crawling for weeks... I kind of wish they'd take off already but then I'll really get my exercise!
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