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Cleaning Your Wood Stove Before Winter Sets In

Cleaning Your Wood Stove Before Winter Sets In

by anonymous on August 16, 2018

Nothing provides warmth and ambiance like a freestanding wood stove or stove insert. You’re probably looking forward to another winter of clean, high-efficiency heating and a rustic, cozy atmosphere in your living room. If you neglected to clean out your wood stove after its final use last spring, give it a good cleaning now so it’s ready to go once winter sets in.

Scoop Ashes from the Firebox and Ash Box

Lay newspaper on the floor in front of the stove to catch any falling debris. Next, open the air dampener so any ash stuck inside will fall into the firebox. Then, open the glass door, set an ash bucket in front of the stove and scoop ashes out with a metal fireplace shovel. If your wood stove has a slide-out drawer under the firebox that catches overflow ashes – known as the ash box – empty this as well.

After ensuring there are no live coals in the ash, empty the bucket (either into the trash or on top of the soil in your garden) and throw away the newspaper you spread on the floor.

Take Apart the Indoor Chimney

Once a year, disassemble the indoor chimney and clean out any creosote buildup with a wire brush. Ignoring this buildup could make the chimney a fire hazard. Carefully reassemble the chimney when you’re done.

Clean the Glass and Stove Exterior

A shiny stove door ensures you enjoy an unobstructed view of the crackling fire. You can use multiple products to clean the glass, from commercial fireplace glass cleaner to apple cider vinegar to a mixture of white vinegar, water and soap. Try out various options to see what works best for you.

To clean the rest of the stove exterior, start by scraping off rust with a wire brush. Use sandpaper to remove any remaining rust. Then, wipe down the entire exterior surface with a solution made of two parts water, one part white vinegar and a squirt of dish soap (which you can also use to clean the glass).

Sweep the Outdoor Chimney

Climb a sturdy ladder onto the roof. Remove the chimney cap and scrape away creosote, ash and soot with a stiff-bristled chimney brush. Then, slide the brush into the chimney to break up creosote deposits as far down as possible.

Clean the Spark Box Vent

Before you climb down from the roof, assess the spark box, if you have one. This catches sparks that fly up the chimney so they don’t land on the roof and start a fire. To clean the spark box, rub the outside vents with a chimney brush and break up any debris clogging the holes.

A tidy stove is important for safe, effective home heating. Remember to clean your wood stove regularly throughout the season with these tips. If you need help, turn to Home Fire Stove for stove cleaning and inspection services. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with our service department, please call our Salem store at 503-364-6339.


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