How To Clean A Woodstove

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Learning how to clean a woodstove was one of the first things I had to do when we purchased our home.  While we have an oil fired furnace, we heat primarily with wood because it does a better job heating our home.  We have a chimney sweep come in every other year to clean the chimney but learning how to clean a woodstove is something I had to take care of. After a winter of use, our woodstove is generally covered with ashes.  Not only is this messy, it’s not the best for our allergies.

How to clean a woodstove

How To Clean A Woodstove

  • Always start from the top and work your way down.  If you have carpet around your woodstove, you will want to cover it with a drop cloth.
  • Make sure that your woodstove is completely cold to the touch and not in use when you clean it.

How to clean a woodstove

  • Remove all the ashes from inside the woodstove using a woodstove shovel and ash bucket.

How to clean a woodstove

  • If your woodstove has a tray under it to catch the ashes, empty that as well.
  • Move the woodstove accessories from away from the woodstove. You will need to wipe down and clean each of these as well.
  • If you have a fireplace vacuum, you will want to use that to vacuum up any stray ashes before you begin wiping down the woodstove. Do NOT use a regular vacuum for this purpose. You will make a giant mess and ruin your vacuum.
  • Using a barely damp cloth or damp paper towel, carefully wipe off the ashes beginning at the top of your woodstove. You do not want the cloth or paper towel to be wet.  You only want it barely damp. This will prevent the ashes from flying everywhere but not leave your woodstove wet so it rusts.  For our woodstove, I start at the top of the stovepipe.
  • If you have a heat protective covering on the wall behind your woodstove, begin cleaning this from the top down as well.
  • As a note, if you have NOT yet purchased your woodstove, ornate decorations on the front and sides of your woodstove may be very attractive but they are a huge pain to clean.
  • Continue working your way down until you have wiped away all of the loose ash and dust from the woodstove, pipes, and heat protective layer.

How to clean a woodstove

  • Using a combination of vinegar and water, clean the glass in the front of your woodstove.  Do NOT use chemical cleaners that are flammable anywhere near your woodstove. It takes me two or three times to get the glass clear and remove all the soot.

How to clean a woodstove

  • As you are cleaning the glass, examine the gasket that goes around the window of your woodstove.  It is made of a fireproof, fiberglass material. If it has come loose, carefully press it back in place so there are no gaps. If you cannot get it back in place, call your chimney sweep to replace it. There are kits you can buy to replace it yourself if you feel comfortable doing that.
  • If you want your stove to look black and shiny, you will need to use stove polish. Consult your woodstove’s manual for the proper type and the application method recommended by your woodstove manufacturer. I don’t care if mine looks shiny and new. I just want it to be clean so I do not bother with polish.

How to clean a woodstove

Now that you know how to clean a woodstove, make sure that you do it once a year when your heating season is done. Have you ever cleaned your own woodsdtove?

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Comments

  1. Anna@stuffedveggies says
    Very nice article. I grew up with a woodstove- they're great to have! One year my (then) teenaged sister made our family's entire Thanksgiving dinner on the woodstove. I just wanted to add: Wood ashes can start fires even when they're cold. It is very important to put the ashes in a non-flammable container, then put the container in a place that is non-flammable - with a lid, away from wind. I have known two very tragic fires which were started by someone taking "cold" ashes and putting them in a flammable container (like cardboard, or a paper bag) and putting them on a wooden porch. Since this article might draw people who have less woodstove experience, I thought I'd share this info for their sakes.
  2. Lianda Ludwig says
    Now that I've left the colder climate of the East Coast, and have been in warm weather for almost 20 years, there is an actual appeal to the smell of a wood stove on a winter day. But for me, that appeal would last about 5 days, and then I'm hightailing back to the South West!  But your clean stove looks beautiful!
  3. AMummysLife says
    I wish I had come across this post last year when we still lived in a place with one!
  4. good advice! Maintenance is very important to prevent accidental fires!
  5. I love the looks of it, but I seriously don't see myself cleaning it that. Cleaning service!!!!
  6. i have one more way to clean woodstove glass. take damp paper towel and dip it in the ashes. rub the glass with it. repeat it if it's needed. afer that you can clean theglass with window cleaning spray for the shine.

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