If you have wood stove glass on your stove at home, then you probably already know that it looks absolutely gorgeous when the glass is clean. You’ve also probably learned that it looks pretty bad when the glass gets coated with soot. Unfortunately, this can happen fast. Owners of wood stoves with glass doors report having to use wood stove glass cleaner once a week at minimum to make it possible to see the fire inside their woodstove. If you burn softwood or set the draft too tight, you can easily smoke up the glass within hours after you clean it, which can be frustrating to say the least.
Here are some tips for cleaning wood stove glass:
*Practice good burning technique to minimize soot buildup on your wood stove glass. Avoid burning softwoods like pine and birch, because they not only put soot on the glass, but they build up creosote in your chimney, which increases the risk of a chimney fire. Poplar seems safer as long as it’s properly seasoned and burned hot. Avoid burning wet or freshly cut firewood of any type for the same reason. Also give your fire plenty of air when you first add a log to the firebox. Let it burn at full draft until the fresh log is on fire and burning by itself. Only then should you choke down the draft to slow the fire down.
*Try using wet ashes to scrub your glass wood stove doors. Wood stove owners report that this works like a charm. They’re cheap and there’s no lack of supply. Use a dampened newspaper as a scrubber so you can just throw it away afterward.
*A glass cleaner with a silicone additive will help you go longer between cleaning your wood stove glass doors. Users also report that it makes cleanup faster and easier.
*Although some users report good results with ammonia-based window cleaners, others report that it leaves a rainbow sheen on the glass that’s difficult if not impossible to remove. If you try this technique, test the cleaner in a non-conspicuous area of your woodstove glass before you do the whole thing.
*Other stove owners have had good results scraping the wood stove glass gently with a single edge razor blade. This can indeed leave scratches on the glass, so proceed with caution.
*The safest cleaning medium for wood stove glass is the one recommended by the manufacturer: good old dish soap and water with white vinegar added.
*Jotul wood stoves have a built-in airflow glass cleaner that minimizes the need for cleaning. If you don’t mind paying for a top of the line stove, this is probably the best solution to the problem.