Spring Cleaning Your Wood Stove
A wood burning stove is a cost-effective home heating solution. But with continuous use to keep everyone warm during the cold winter, ash and other by-products build up in the stove’s interiors. It needs to be cleaned regularly to ensure safe and efficient operation. We have provided a comprehensive spring-cleaning guide to help you clean your wood-burning stove.
Items You Will Need
- Ash shovel
- Metal bucket
- Dry, lint-free cloth
- Wire brush
- Glass cleaning products such as ammonia, vinegar or commercial glass cleaner
- Dust mask and gloves to protect yourself.
- A brush with a long handle
Cleaning your wood stove:
- The first and most important step is making sure your stove has completely cooled down before cleaning. To avoid injury, never attempt to clean a hot or warm stove.
- If your stove is equipped with an ash pan, remove it slowly and pour the contents in a metal bucket. If your stove doesn’t have an ash pan, scoop out the ash with an ash shove into a metal bucket. After removing the ash, use a wire brush to gently scrub inside the stove to remove soot and creosote stuck on the interior walls. These are the by-products of combustion and will fall on the firebox’s surface. Scoop them out using the shovel and put them in the metal bucket for proper disposal.
Don’t forget to get rid of excess ash from the door’s seal. You can use either a brush or a vacuum cleaner. And while cleaning the interiors, look for possible signs of damage. This way, necessary repairs can be made before the weather turns cold again.
- Now, let’s clean the exterior of the stove. The exterior surface may attract dust which can detract from its appearance. Wipe the dust from the surface using a dry lint-free cloth or vacuum. For more stubborn stains, you can mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Apply a small amount to a cloth or paper towel and wipe clean. Dry with a cloth.
- Next, it’s time to clean the glass door. Keeping it clean and clear gives a clear view of the fire. There are several ways you can clean the glass door. You can use a commercial glass cleaner or a mixture of water and vinegar or ammonia. If you’ve chosen vinegar/ammonia and water solution, spray it on the glass surface and wipe with a clean cloth or paper towel until it’s clean. If you are using a commercial glass cleaner, follow the instructions on the label.
- Here is where it can get dirty: cleaning the flue pipe. This step is not as easy as the other steps so if you feel uncomfortable in dark, closed spaces, its best to hire a professional chimney sweep. Here, you will need a ladder, screwdriver, and a brush with a long handle. We also recommend having a friend assist in holding the ladder. Climb to your roof using a ladder to access the flue pipe. Using the screwdriver, remove the pipe’s top. Take your long brush, push it inside the pipe and scrub its interior wall. Do this vigorously to remove soot and creosote on the walls.
After checking and ensuring that you’ve scrubbed most of the soot and creosote, replace the pipe’s top, climb down slowly, go to the firebox, and scoop the fallen creosote and soot. Dispose of them in an eco-friendly manner.
Spring cleaning your wood stove and pipe doesn’t replace an annual inspection. Contact Inglenook Energy for an annual stove and chimney inspection. Our certified chimney sweeps will inspect your heating appliance and chimney to ensure it will keep your home and family safe and warm the next time you’re ready to fire it up. Happy heating!