Log Burning Stoves Cleaning Tips

Don’t waste money buying fancy cleaning products to clean the inside of your stove.  Wood burners are fabulous for heating your house but it is only fair and common sense to say, that although they are not as dirty as traditional coal fires are, especially if the wind is in the wrong direction – many a time I had been sat in my grandparents front room and been smoked out, they do need a bit more maintenance and cleaning.  So here are a few tips.

Wood burning stoves need an inch or so of ash to encourage the fire to light and burn well.  However too much ash can smother the fire and block the lower air vent.
If you have, as we do, a slate hearth, it is however advisable to buy proper slate dressing – slate is porous and can therefore absorb other materials and this can affect the lustre and condition of the slate over time.  The slate dressing both cleans and protects the slate.
The slate dressing is applied using a dry cloth and simply rubbed into the slate, then polished off.  This is recommended every month or so.

It is also recommended that once or twice a year that you should clean and polish the stove itself with the recommended stove polish – I tend to do this once we finish using the stove regularly over the winter months.
It is also worth mentioning that as a wood burner is obviously a little dirtier than a gas or electric fire,  ash residue tends rest on the hearth and surrounding structures.  I gently wipe both the stove and hearth, as well as the walls surrounding the stove, one a week with a damp cloth to remove ash residue.

The best way to clean the glass in the door is to generously dampen (but not so it is dripping wet), a piece a newspaper, dip it into the ash in the stove and gently rub the glass – you will be, as I was, very surprised how easily the creosote comes off the glass.  Then wipe with a damp cloth – repeat until all residue is removed.  Again I tend to do this once a week when the stove is in regular use. Again it may sound like common sense but don’t use your best cloths for this and keep a cloth just for cleaning the glass as it does get rather dirty and never comes completely clean again.

Emptying the ash is also very easy.  A companion set is also I feel, an essential purchase with a wood burner as the small shovel is ideal for shovelling out the ash.  Again we didn’t spend ££££’s on a proper ash bucket/tray, we used an old cylindrical, metal bread bin with a lid, which was previously kept at our caravan to store bird seed.  The container needs to be metal – plastic and ash do not mix well!!!  I have found that with regular use this needs to be done every 3-4 weeks.
This is then kept outside our back door.  Ash is also a very good natural fertiliser – so if you are keen gardener, this is another bonus!!!!




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