Cleaning Wood Stove Glass


I happen to live in a one of those trendy tiny houses.

The cuteness on the inside is camouflaged by the not so cute outside, but that is all right with me. A couple of years ago we invested in a teeny tiny wood stove to cut the chill and dry out the damp. Its inside fire box is 12″x12″x12″… so basically we burn short sticks, and it does not get inferno hot like a larger model for larger spaces, so we get a fair amount of soot build up on the front glass.

My husband does make efforts to get the inside temp hot enough to burn the soot off, but I tend to complain when it is 30 degrees outside, but 100 degrees inside my house. (This is not a joke).

He tries to get it that hot, and has been successful on more than one occasion.) Thankfully we have it properly installed and thoroughly surrounded by thick stone to act as a heat sink.

However, to my point…

Cleaning the wood stove is a pain in the butt. It gets soot and ash everywhere, especially on the glass door which is disappointing because then it is harder to enjoy that peaceful ambiance of a fire.

cleaning soot from wood stove

Thank goodness for YouTube! Seriously, where would we be as a culture without this easily accessible wealth of information?

We have a fair amount of clients with wood stoves in their homes. I do not blame them either; we live in a land of trees and free, renewable resources that are ‘greener’ alternatives to electric or gas.

Here is a great trick to cleaning the soot off the inside glass of your wood stove without using harsh or toxic chemicals. Water, the universal solvent; and ash, readily accessible in your fireplace, are all that is required. Get a paper towel (or old newspaper works wonderfully, too) and dampen it with a bit of water. Dip the damp cloth in ask and rub again the sooty glass. Voila! It is like magic.

I can only speculate if there is any chemistry magic happening there or if it is just because ash is a bit of an abrasive and anything even mildly abrasive would remove the soot.

The nerdy side of me that took chemistry once wants to think that there is something magical happening between the water and the ash, but that is only because I have a vague understanding of how lye is made using ashes. Naturally very ambiguous because I am pretty sure heat needs to be applied to ash and water to make lye.

I should probably brush up on my homesteading skills.

So there you have it… A solution that takes maybe 2 minutes and you are left with sparkling clear glass in your wood stove ready for that next fire on a cold, stormy evening.


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