What causes excessive soot to build up on stove glass?
Soot is an inevitable reality when enjoying the heat and beauty of a wood-burning stove or fireplace. Many newer stove models direct air flow during stove operation to keep the glass cleaner. This is called an “air wash.” Developing good habits can reduce black residue on the glass and extend the time between cleanings.
4 Fundamental Habits to Reduce Soot Accumulation:
1. Beware of Restricted Airflow – Inspect the chimney and venting to ensure it’s clean and in a good position to allow enough air to vent into your wood stove. Some manufacturers offer outside air kits to boost the airflow.
2. Check Fuel Quality – Firewood containing too much moisture or sap will result in rapid creosote build-up on the glass and chimney pipe as well. Dry, seasoned firewood should contain less than 20% moisture content. Low-grade pellets will also produce excessive smoke, soot, and ash compared to high-quality pellets.
3. Increase Heat Level – Burning a hotter fire boosts ventilation allowing smoke and flue gases to vent out the chimney efficiently. The increased firebox temperatures help support the air wash and keep the glass clearer between cleanings.
4. Burn More Fuel – Encourage a larger, hotter fire with a little more pellets or firewood. Small fires may not reach high enough temperatures to keep the glass clean.
Glass Cleaning Tips:
- When it does come time to clean the glass, dip a damp cloth or newspaper in a bit of cooled fly ash to wipe away soot deposits on the glass.
- Avoid using glass cleaners containing ammonia to prevent “etching” which can make the glass appear cloudy.
- Scrub cautiously in a circular motion with non-abrasive materials to avoid scratching the glass