A Guide on How to Clean a Log-Burning Stove

A guide on how to clean a log-burning stove

Cleaning the glass of a log-burning stove is crucial for maintaining both the efficiency and aesthetics of your wood-burning experience. The glass of a log-burning stove plays a vital role in ensuring a clean combustion process and maximising the heat distribution in your home. When the glass is clean, it allows for a clear view of the flames, enhancing the ambience of your living space. Regular cleaning of the glass is essential to prevent the buildup of soot, which can not only obstruct your view of the fire but also impact the efficiency of the stove. 

By keeping the glass clean, you ensure that the heat generated by the fire is efficiently radiated into your home, maximising the warmth and comfort it provides. Additionally, clean glass contributes to the safety of your log-burning stove, reducing the risk of fire hazards associated with accumulated soot. In essence, maintaining a clean log-burning stove glass not only enhances your aesthetics; but it is also a fundamental aspect of ensuring optimal performance, safety, and enjoyment of your log-burning stove.

What do you need to clean a log-burning stove?

  • Seasoned, non-resinous hardwoods for burning
  • Wet rag or paper towel
  • Damp crumpled newspaper dipped in ash
  • Wood stove glass cleaner
  • Vinegar and water solution
  • Glass cleaner
  • Soft dry cloth
  • Soft brush

Steps to Clean a Log-Burning Stove:

  1. Preparing the Stove

Before beginning the cleaning process, it’s essential to prepare the stove. Start by lighting a small fire inside the stove. This helps to loosen any accumulated soot and makes it easier to clean. Remember to wear protective gear, such as gloves to protect yourself from potential irritants. 

  1. Interior Cleaning

Once the fire has burned out and the stove has cooled down, it’s time to tackle the interior cleaning. Use a metal scoop or spade, along with a fire brush, to clear out any ash and debris from the firebox. Take care to remove all loose particles to ensure a clean surface for the next burn. Wipe down the interior surfaces with damp rags to remove any remaining soot buildup, then dry thoroughly with paper towels.

  1. Checking the Flue Pipe

Regularly inspecting and cleaning the flue pipe is crucial to prevent blockages and ensure proper venting of fumes. If the flue pipe becomes clogged with deposits, it can hinder the stove’s performance and pose a safety hazard. Make it a point to clean the flue pipe regularly, especially if the stove is used frequently.

  1. Glass Door Cleaning

The glass door of the stove requires special attention to maintain clarity and visibility of the flames. Apply a paste made from ash or a specialised wood stove glass cleaner to the inside of the glass door. Use a damp rag to scrub off any stubborn stains, ensuring a clear view of the fire. For added shine and clarity, polish the glass with a solution of vinegar and water.

  1. Exterior Cleaning

Don’t forget to clean the exterior metal surfaces of the stove to maintain its appearance and prolong its lifespan. Use warm water and a suitable stove polish to clean the exterior, removing any dirt or grime that may have accumulated. Apply a thin layer of polish and rub it in with a rag to restore the exterior’s shine and protect it from future damage.

  1. Final Touches

To complete the cleaning process, buff the glass door with a dry cloth to remove any remaining residue and ensure a clear finish. Finally, light a small fire in the stove to help seal the polish on the metal surfaces and complete the cleaning process. Following these steps will help maintain a clean, efficient, and visually appealing log-burning stove for optimal performance and enjoyment.

Frequency of cleaning a Log-Burning Stove

Daily Maintenance:

  • Manage ash levels.
  • Regularly clean the glass.
  • Check glass for damage.

Make sure there is not too much ash in the fire box, whilst it is important to have some ash, about 2.5cm, in the stove should be the right amount. Some stoves will have an ash pan included, which means it can be taken out and emptied however a small shovel can work too. Don’t forget, wood ash can be put on flower beds or on the compost! 

Keep the glass clean; a good quality stove will have an air wash system that helps to prevent the glass from blackening but the quality and dryness of your logs and the temperature you burn your stove at will make a big difference. A wipe over with a damp cloth will remove small soot deposits but if it is in bad condition you can get specialist glass cleaners.

The last thing to do is check your glass is not cracked. If it is, you will need to get this replaced. 

Weekly Maintenance:

  • Monitor ash accumulation.
  • Wipe the exterior with a damp cloth.
  • Inspect firebricks.

By burning quality logs the ash pan will normally hold a week or two’s worth of ash. If there is too much in here, you will need to remove as above. 

Each week, wipe the outside of your stove over with a damp cloth, please make sure the stove is cold.

The last check is with the firebricks to make sure they are in good order and not cracked.

Annual Maintenance:

  • Clean out ash at the end of the season.
  • Schedule a chimney sweep.
  • Check door seals for damage.

At the end of the log burning season, when you are sure you won’t be using the stove, clean out all the ash and give the inside a good vacuum. Then, get the chimney swept, but make sure you use a qualified sweep to make sure your stove lasts. 

Check the door seals, visually check that the seal has not come loose or is fraying and check that it is sealing onto the stove body. The best way to do this is to fold a piece of paper in half and shut it in the door, you should be able to pull it out but with some resistance. Check several places around the door. If your stove has a separate ash pan door check this as well.

If the seal needs replacing you can head to a local showroom such as ourselves to give you some help. If you are not sure what size you need, bring some of the old rope with you, even better bring the door as well. For a small extra charge we can fix your new seal for you.

For a more thorough cleaning session, you can also clean the exterior metal surfaces of the stove. Use warm water and a suitable stove polish to clean the exterior, removing any dirt or grime that may have accumulated. Apply a thin layer of stove polish to the metal surfaces and rub it in with an old rag to restore the exterior’s shine and protect it from future damage. 

Visit Iron and Wood – The log burning stove centre!

Log-burning stoves impeccably add to the aesthetics of your home however maintaining them can be a bit tricky. Maintenance of these beauties becomes easier with quality, and for high-quality log-burning stoves explore our versatile range of products and explore the one that matches your home best. Or you can visit us at our Banbury or Kidlington showrooms, we would be more than happy to help.

Our showrooms will be closed from 1pm on Saturday 25th May re-opening on Tuesday 28th May.