Bonk & Co’s Guide To Keeping Your Stove Glass Clean

If eyes are the window to the soul, the glass of your wood burning stove is surely the window to its soul, exposing the flames at its heart. There's nothing better than a crisp, clear view of the flames in your stove- in fact, it’s one of our favourite sights. There's nothing quite like it.

However, most stove owners from time to time will experience a slight darkening of the glass on their log burner. Read on to learn the best ways to clean your stove glass, so that you can enjoy watching the flames dancing behind a pristine glass.

Reasons Stove Glass Gets Dirty

Over time, smoke, ash and deposits can fix themselves to the glass, clouding your view of the fire. This can be caused by a number of factors:

  1. Wet Fuel

The first, and most common, cause of black glass is wet fuel. Ideally, you should season your wood for two years, or have less than 18% moisture content. Wet fuel requires more energy to burn, and as a result, produces less heat than dry fuel, which nobody wants! As well as burning colder, wet fuel also produces more smoke, which will blacken the glass. You can check the moisture content of your wood easily using this handy moisture meter.

  1. Burning Smokeless Coal

Smokeless coal is another culprit for dirty or pitted glass. When burnt wet, smokeless coal produces sulphuric acid, which can not only cause the glass to become pitted and opaque, but can also eat away your flue liner-  something you definitely want to avoid! Damage to a flue liner can cause smoke leakage, tar build up, damp and staining, and chimney fires.

  1. Old Seal

Another reason you could be experiencing dirty glass, is if the seals on your door and glass have begun to wear. If the seals on your stove are worn, they will let more air into the stove, and as a result the glass can begin to blacken or cloud up. Excessive amounts of oxygen cause the fire to burn hotter and when it cools, in some instances can cause the glass to actually revert to sand, leaving a cloudy effect that is impossible to remove.

The easiest way to check if you need to reseal the door is to close a piece of paper in the door. If you can pull out the paper, you will need to replace the seal. You don't want it looking like this guy!

How To Clean Wood Stove Glass

Now that you know the reasons why it may be getting dirty, by keeping an eye on the door seal and fuel you burn, can help you avoid getting your glass overly dirty. But a bit of dirt is always inevitable, so how do you clean soot off a wood stove glass? Thankfully, in most cases, cleaning your stove glass is a quick and easy process, whether you have a glass panel in the door or a fully glass door. We recommend the following three methods. 

Method 1. Dry Wiper

Using a dry wiper is the quickest way to clean stove glass! Simply wipe the glass to remove any dirt on the glass. No water or cleaning agent is required, with the dry wiper simply lifting the dirt off. This is perhaps the easiest method, although you may need to use a bit of elbow grease if there are any stubborn bits of dirt. 

Method 2. Cloth/ Newspaper And Ash

The traditional method is again very easy. Simply take a clean cloth, or a scrunched up piece of newspaper, and dip it in some clean water. Dip the damp cloth/ newspaper in the ash at the bottom of your stove, and use this to clean your glass. Ash acts as a natural abrasive that will remove any ingrained dirt on the glass.

Method 3. Glass Cleaner

If you've got any really stubborn marks on the glass that won't come out using either of the above methods, you can use a stove glass cleaner. There are a variety of chemical cleaning agents to choose from, but always make sure that you use a cleaner that is specifically for glass. Always take care when using chemicals, and make sure that none of the chemicals touch the body of the stove.

How to Keep a Wood Stove’s Glass Clean

Once you’ve got your glass nice and clean, you’ll want to keep it that way! By making sure you burn nice and dry wood, by making sure that the door and glass seals are in good condition, and by avoiding burning smokeless coal, you’ll help make sure that your stove glass stays clean.