A cosy, flickering fire in your wood-burning stove is one of the highlights of winter. But, oh! The frustration of blackened panes, blocking your view of the flames and glowing logs! Happily, we have great tips for easily removing that black soot from your wood-burning stove, and avoiding soot in the first place.
Why does the stove window blacken?
The main reasons why the stove panes get sooted up are if you burn damp, unseasoned firewood of if your wood stove is not getting enough air. Remember to leave the air damper wide open and the door ajar in the fire lighting phase. Also, make sure you’re burning correctly to match your fireplace or stove – if you have a large fireplace, it’s built to take a big fire. The optimal fire lighting and fire tending techniques are described in the user manual for the product. It’s also a good idea to get the chimney sweeps to check that your chimney is up to standard the next time the sweeps are on their rounds.
If you use dry, seasoned firewood and light the fire so your wood stove reaches its operating temperature rapidly, you’ll get minimal soot, which in turn means less cleaning and maintenance.
Morten Seljeskog, Researcher at SINTEF Energi AS
The stove’s Air Wash system keeps the glass clean
The Scan fireplaces have a built-in Air-Wash system, which helps to keep the panes clean while your fires are lit. If the glass does blacken, you should only need to get a good fire going for a short while. This raises the temperature enough to burn away any soot on the glass.
But even if with the correct fire lighting and fire tending technique, it’s natural enough for the glass to blacken a bit over a long burning season. That gives you all the more reason to give your woodburner’s window a regular clean throughout the burning season.
You don’t need special cleaning products or equipment to remove soot from your wood stove. Wood ash and water combine to make a type of lye, which in former times was actually one of the ingredients in soap making.
All you need is 4 standard household items.
Rubber gloves to protect your hands (we used dishwashing gloves)
The ash and water mixture is very alkaline, and therefore corrosive, so protecting your hands is a must.
Kitchen roll paper or newspaper
Small amount of water in a bowl
Metal pan for disposing of waste from the cleaning
How to wash stove panes:
This method is cheap, effective and eco-friendly. Remember! The fireplace must be completely cooled before you start!
Moisten the paper kitchen towel in a bit of water and dab carefully in the wood ash inside the stove.
Now, with the ash side of the paper facing the stove glass, give it a good rub. If the glass is very dirty, you may need to change the paper a few times to remove all the soot.
To finish, wipe with clean paper moistened with water only, and admire your clean, shiny glass.
Video tutorial showing how to clean soot off your wood burner pane:
This video tutorial gives you a step-by-step guide to cleaning the soot off your stove glass.
Cleaning the exterior of your fireplace
To clean the outside of your fireplace, do not use water, scouring cream, spirits or any other cleaning agents. Use a dry cloth or dust brush, remembering that your fireplace must only be cleaned when completely cooled.
With shiny clean stove glass, the flames will be wonderfully presented, and you can curl up on the couch to enjoy the heat with a clean conscience too.