How To Clean A Wood Stove Chimney?

While owning a wood-burning stove can bring comfort and warmth to many nights, it is important to maintain the stove’s property to protect your home and loved ones.

A time-tested option wood burning stoves combine traditional styling with energy-efficient heating to give your house an unmistakable air of coziness, warmth, and style.

Every customer wants to know how to get the most out of their wood-burning stove. It’s critical to understand proper usage and maintenance procedures in order to achieve this.

Clean The Stove Top With A Clean Towel.

If your ash pan is removable, you can use the crevice tool or vacuum brush attachment to clear up any dust that has gathered around the sides of your stove. If not, simply use a clean towel to wipe down with soap and water (or your preferred cleaning agent).

Make careful to wipe down the window area with glass cleaner and clean it as well. After that, you can either replace your ash pan or transfer all of the ashes you’ve accumulated to a pail for disposal.

As The Ashes From The Fireplace Build Up, Clean Them.

This only pertains to fireplaces that burn wood, but it’s still a crucial step! Throughout the burning season, we advise leaving a bed of ash because doing otherwise will aid in starting fresh fires. Place them in a metal-covered container on a flat area far from your home, just cleaning off the excess ash.

Take A Look At Your Chimney System.

Examine the internal parts of your system. Included in this are the firebox and grate; also, check to see if there are any missing mortar joints or other unusual items. Check the chimney’s exterior for gaps, deteriorating brickwork, vegetation, and missing bricks.

Before Starting A Fire In The Fireplace, Make Sure The Damper Is All The Way Open.

There are various difficulties when starting a fire with a closed damper. This involves smoke entering the house and difficulty starting a fire.

Burn Only Wood That Has Been Thoroughly Seasoned.

To give firewood enough time to season, gather it six to twelve months in advance. Less flammable material accumulates in the chimney as a result. Never fire-painted or pressure-treated wood, garbage, or other materials. Burn the fuel in fires that consume it. Wet wood cannot be burned properly, which costs money and causes more creosote buildup on the flue.

Apply The Top-Down Burn Strategy.

Compared to conventional fire-building techniques, this method burns hotter, cleaner, and with less smoke. The largest logs should go in the bottom of the fireplace, and then a cross-layer of smaller logs should be added.

Crushed newspaper is then added, and finally, an inch of kindling is placed on top. Turn on the newspaper, relax, and take in the fire. Don’t overload the firebox with small, hot fires.

Cleaning Your Wood-Burning Stove’s Interior

Begin by cleaning the wood-burning stove’s interior. Always put on protective gloves and wait for the fire inside the stove to cool before emptying the ash.

Put on your gloves and use a small spade to transfer the fire’s ash into a metal pail or ash container (DO NOT use anything plastic to store the ash). Avoid spilling any ash when shifting the ash into its metal container (slip the ash off the spade at the bottom of the bucket, don’t just throw them in). Never sneeze, no matter what!

Cleaning Your Wood Burner’s Glass Door

There are two possibilities available here. The first is to use what your stove produces so you can avoid spending extra money on expensive chemicals.

As you are aware, when the wood is burned, charcoal eventually results. It loses a lot of its usefulness after it reaches the dust stage and turns to dust, but if you can catch part of it when it is still in the charcoal stage, you will be left with something that can clean your stove door.

Carefully remove a piece of COLD charcoal from your stove. You may need to do this while the charcoal is still warm and then leave it to cool in a secure location.

Rub it on the inside of the glass, paying particular attention to any spots that are dark or blackened, after dampening it with water.

After wiping the extra moisture from the stove glass with a piece of kitchen paper, you should have a sparkling-clean window through which you can see the raging flames.

Cleaning the Chimney and Stove Flue

Despite being difficult, this task is crucial because a buildup of soot in the chimney might prevent the smoke from being properly removed.

The advice is to fire your stove vigorously for at least 30 minutes every day, especially during the winter. This will aid in keeping the flue free, but you’ll also need to scrub the chimney of any excess soot.

Why Do You Do Your Own Chimney Cleaning?

How To Clean A Wood Stove Chimney?

The creosote that has accumulated on the inside of the chimney walls must first be removed. Typically, creosote is divided into three steps.

  • Initially, creosote appears as fine dust or flakes that are easily removed.
  • When you use a brush to clean your chimney, second-stage creosote still peels off quite easily despite having the appearance of a black, crumbly sponge.
  • Near the top of your chimney, where the gases have cooled and are in touch with the cool external chimney walls, you will often have a larger deposit of first and second-stage creosote.
  • Third-stage creosote resembles a glossy black glaze or tar that is very challenging to remove. Third-stage creosote will require more than just a standard brush to remove, thus it is recommended to call a professional chimney sweep if you find any.

Finally, while cleaning your chimney, take some time to check all of the chimney’s parts for damage by shining a flashlight inside the chimney.

Keep an eye out for damage to the chimney crown, damper, or flue, as well as cracks in the chimney liner.

Reasons and Motives for Cleaning Your Wood Stove and Chimney

Enhance Heating Effectiveness

A wood-burning stove burns less efficiently and generates less heat when the chimney is obstructed because not enough oxygen is getting to the stove. A clean chimney provides a clear path for smoke and ventilation, which enhances the efficiency of wood burning.

How To Clean A Wood Stove Chimney?

Reduce the Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

An odorless, toxic gas known as carbon monoxide can be damaging to your health if ingested over an extended length of time. Additionally, since carbon monoxide is a natural result of burning, a clean chimney is necessary to prevent it from being forced back into your house through your stove.

To Prevent Chimney Fires

Creosote, a chemical produced from burning wood, is very combustible. Creosote will accumulate in a chimney if it is not frequently cleaned, and this can cause a chimney fire, which can harm many different components of a property.

Cleaning and Inspection of Chimneys

You can ask the chimney sweeper you employ to check the chimney and make recommendations for repairs in addition to cleaning the chimney. Regular inspections and small fixes might help you avoid major issues.

Is Cleaning The Chimney Of A Fireplace The Same As Cleaning The Chimney Of A Wood Stove?

Yes and no. Both wood stove chimneys and conventional fireplace chimneys experience the same problems (soot and creosote buildup). Although cleaning should be done once a year, cleaning a wood stove pipe is a much simpler job.

Consult your owner’s manual first. Both precise instructions and a suggestion for a cleaning kit and/or supplies should be included. Burning creosote cleaning logs first helps simplify the task, and seeking advice from a specialist or your community fire department is also a wise move. Keep in mind: safety first!

How to Replace a Wood-Burning Stove?

There are two ways to replace a wood stove if you’re wondering how to go about it:

1. Do it yourself

2. Collaborate with a licensed installer

If you decide to take the first route, be aware that there are a number of stages and that there is a risk. However, you can save money and put more effort into your task if you’re convinced that you can accomplish it securely. Consult the installation and owner’s manual for the correct instructions on wood stove removal and installation.


Can you clean a wood stove chimney from the bottom up?

If you’re afraid of heights and your upper body can fit inside the fireplace, clean the chimney from the bottom up. With the wire brush, reach up into the flue and into the fireplace. Use a brush to scrub the flue walls up and down. Up until the top, extend the brush as necessary.

Will creosote be destroyed by a hot fire?

Creosote buildup in a chimney of the third degree. Creosote is killed by heat. Keep burning your fires hot even if your chimney has little to no creosote buildup! You are much less likely to have problematic creosote accumulation between yearly cleanings if you keep your chimney temperature above 250o F.

What occurs if your chimney isn’t cleaned?

When your chimney hasn’t been cleaned in a while, creosote keeps accumulating in the fireplace’s flue while it’s being used. Due to its high flammability, this creosote could cause a potentially harmful chimney fire (an uncontrolled 2000-degree fire burning inside the chimney).

Can a fire start in a clean chimney?

Keep in mind that clean, well-maintained chimney flues don’t catch fire because they don’t have creosote or soot layers that could catch fire, and they don’t have cracks or other damage that could allow heat or fire to leave the flue.


Although cleaning your wood stove might be a messy job, it gets simpler the more you do it. And the more attention you give to maintaining your wood burner, the more you’ll get from it and appreciate the warmth.