How to Clean Wood Burning Stove Glass?

When was the last time cleaned your wood burning stove glass?

Wood burning stoves spend all winter keeping us warm and cozy, but as the weeks and months go by, you may start to notice the glass get dirtier and cloudier.  

Wood burning stoves are not only a great way to heat your home on cold winter nights, but they are also a beautiful, aesthetic addition to your home. If you want to ensure that they look nice in your home, you need to keep the glass clean.

How to Clean Wood Burning Stove Glass

Why do Wood Burning Stoves go Black?

Before we get into cleaning our wood burning stove glass, we need to acknowledge why wood burning stoves go black in the first place, and how we can prevent them from getting so dirty.

One of the main reasons is because you may be using the wrong fuel or burning your fire inefficiently. Both things can cause excessive smoke that will blacken and dirty your stove glass faster.

To prevent this from happening, you should only burn dry seasoned wood or low sulfur smokeless coal. Burning wet wood produces a significant amount of smoke compared to dry wood, which not only makes your stove glass dirty but is also bad for the environment.

It is recommended that you use a stove thermometer to ensure you are burning at the most efficient temperature. This will help you keep your wood burning stove as clean as possible. If your fire isn’t hot enough, your stove glass will blacken quicker as heavier fumes are created.

When is the Best Time to Clean a Wood Burning Stove?

It is advised that if you use your wood burning stove regularly, you should clean them every 4-6 weeks.

Obviously you should empty your stove (of excess ash and the remains of a previous fire) after every use, but in this case we’re taking specifically about a proper deep clear which includes the glass.

It is always a good idea to give your wood burning stove a clean, but spring may be the perfect time as the stove gets used the most during the cold winter months. Knowing you won’t need to use your stove for a while, offers you the opportunity to give it a proper clean and know it won’t get dirty again straight away. It also probably needs to be cleaned the most at this time, due to how much it was used in the winter.

Secondly, in the spring, the brighter mornings and evenings often bring to light the darker areas of our homes we overlooked in winter. Which means it will be easier to notice how dirty the stove is, inside and out.

Lastly, a lot of people love the idea of doing a big spring clean after the winter months. This offers the perfect opportunity for a fresher, cleaner, and brighter home. Just add the wood burning stove glass to your usual spring-cleaning routine.

How do you Clean Wood Burning Stove Glass?

Before you start to clean your wood burning stove, always make sure your stove glass has cooled down sufficiently.

This may seem like common sense, but some people assume that it will be easier to clean before it has cooled down completely. Do not make this mistake and risk burning yourself. We recommend leaving between 12-24 hours after your last fire.

The next thing you should do is sweep any wood ash from the bottom of your stove. Keep this in a bowl to use later in the cleaning process. After that use a soft brush to remove any loose bits of debris from the glass door and surrounding area.

One of the most tried and tested ways to clean the inside glass of a wood burner is with old newspaper, wood ashes, a cloth, and a bowl of warm soapy water. However, please keep in mind that this method is not advised with coal ashes.

To clean your stove glass follow below:

  1. Using a soft cloth, wipe the inside of the stove glass down with some soapy water
  2. Scrunch the old newspaper up into balls
  3. Take your newspaper ball and dip it into the water then the bowl of old wood ashes
  4. Gently scrub the stove glass in circular motions
  5. Repeat until the glass is completely clear, discarding used newspaper for new newspaper when required
  6. Lastly, wipe away the residue with a clean cloth

Alternative ways to Clean your Wood Burning Stove Glass:

If you’re unsure about the above method, you could also follow below:

  • Bicarbonate of soda and water
  • Use oven cleaner or other household cleaning sprays. (Please note, check that the chemicals you are using are suitable to clean glass, and be careful around parts of your wood burning stove that can be damaged with chemicals, such as cast iron parts or the door seal.)
  • Stove glass cleaning spray

How do I know if my wood stove chimney needs cleaning?

We won’t specifically focus on chimney cleaning today, but as it’s a common question alongside glass cleaning, some of the most common indicators will include:

  • Your fireplace smells like a campfire
  • Fires burn oddly
  • Fireplace walls have oily marks
  • The fireplace damper is black
  • It takes more effort to get a fire going and keep it going
  • Smoke fills the room

What to watch out for?

Some final thoughts to consider before you begin cleaning your stove glass:

  • Try not to use anything rough on the glass that could scratch it (including hard brushes, wire pads etc.)
  • If your stove is damaged, do not use it until the damage has been repaired
  • On many wood burning stoves, you can remove the stove door, which may make it easier to clean. (Always check your stove instructions first)
  • Don’t wait too long to clean your wood burning stove because it will be harder to clean
  • Always make sure you get your flue swept regularly to avoid chimney fires

Wood burning stoves can be a beautiful asset to your home, but it is very important that we clean them on a regular basis.

We know it’s one of life’s annoying jobs but the longer you leave it, the harder it will become. Using the tips above will also make cleaning your wood burning stove an easier job.

We hope this helps. For everything else home heating, stick with