Hello I am Melissa from NorthlineExpress and today I will be talking about how to keep your wood stove clean. I will touch base on the 4 main areas of your stove that you should focus on and how frequently.
I love my wood stove and it works hard for me keeping my home warm and my energy costs down. Over the years I have learned a lot about caring for wood stoves and I would like to share that information you as well.
Main Areas to Clean
The four main areas of your stove that you will want to pay attention to are the exterior, the interior, the flue, and the glass door. I’ll start first by talking about the exterior of the stove how often you’ll need and what you’ll need to clean it. Obviously when you spill something on your wood stove you should clean it up right away, just remember if you are burning your stove it will be hot so use caution when wiping it off.
The Wood Stove Exterior
The exterior of your stove will get dusty from the ash and is easily remedied with a damp cloth or dry microfiber cloth when the stove has cooled. If you notice that your stove is looking tired or worn you can also use stove polish to bring its look back to life. When liquids spill on the stove try not to let that sit there as it could leave behind mineral deposits or lead to rusting. Keeping the exterior of your stove looking clean will be something that you need to do quite frequently when the stove is in use, during the off season you really only will need to keep it dusted.
Another area of the exterior portion of your stove to check frequently when in use is the blower. The blower will collect hair and dust as it runs and keeping this clean will only extend the life of your stove’s blower.
Interior of the Wood Stove
The next area of your stove that you will need to clean frequently is the interior of the stove. You will want to be removing the ashes as they accumulate. If you’re going to re-stoke the wood stove leave some ashes to insulate and ease the fire starting process. If you are not going to be burning then you can completely remove the ashes and dispose of them safely.
The best way to remove the ashes is with your fireplace tool sets shovel and an ash bucket. I also recommend having an ash vacuum so safely suck up cool ashes from your firebox or your hearth area. A tip that I have for you is when placing the ashes into the ash bucket move slow to avoid a plum of ash going into the air and all over your hearth and stove. When you are cleaning out the ashes from your stove use this time to check the fire bricks for cracks as those should be replaced.
The Chimney Flue
The flue of your chimney should also be cleaned. If you are a frequent burner I recommend cleaning the chimney out 1-2 times during the winter. It can be unsafe to get on your roof and clean your chimney from the top down in the winter because of snow on your roof, but there are products like the creo bags that allow you to clean your chimney from the bottom up and catch the mess in a contained bag.
Cleaning your chimney is vital because dangerous creosote buildup in chimneys is the number on cause of chimney fires on the United States and is unavoidable if you are burning wood. You can keep the creosote levels down by using products like ACS creosote remover, or toss in creosote removers while you are burning.
The Glass Door
The final important area of your wood stove to keep clean is the glass door. Not only will this allow you to enjoy the beautiful dancing flames but keeping the glass clean will increase the heat output of your stove. 1/32” of soot build of on glass doors has the equivalent insulating factor of 2” of asbestos insulation.
I use Rutland glass cleaner and it’s very easy and effective. Any time that I see the glass starting to blacken I spray the door down, let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it off. A tip I have is if you have really stubborn build up or hard areas to get to grab a razor blade and use it to scrape that tough build up off. I also use the time I’m cleaning the glass on my door to inspect the wood stove doors gasket and make sure that it is in good condition.
I hope that you have found my tips helpful but if you have questions about cleaning your wood stove or any of the products that I recommended please give us a call at 866-667-8454. At NorthlineExpress, home of the Buy and Try satisfaction guarantee, were always happy to help.