Wood Stove Basics | How to Clean Wood Stove Glass

How to Clean Wood Stove Glass

You want to enjoy watching the glowing embers of the wood stove, but its glass keeps getting dirty. Must be a real spoiler, right?

With regular use, wood stoves tend to develop a brownish-black soot layer or white deposits. While this haze or film probably does not harm your unit, it certainly dampens the appearance of your fire. Especially if you’re trying to create a warm and cozy ambiance with the wood stove as an accent piece.

That said, it’s frustrating to look at the dusty and spotted glass and more so if you’re a neat freak. We heard your loud groans and decided to make things simple for you. Fortunately, we have a few tips and tricks up our sleeves that can clear up the dirty wood stove glass in a jiffy.

Without further ado, let’s get down to business.

Dirty Wood Stove Glass – How To Prevent It

Woman cleaning oven and microwave with rag in kitchen, close up.

Your pristine wood stove glass will eventually collect dust from fire, but there are a few things you can do to slow down the process.

  1. Always use seasoned, non-resinous hardwoods

Burning firewood from a resinous species often produces thick black smoke, which clouds the front glass and covers it in dust. Once that happens, cleaning becomes a whole lot more difficult than you thought.

Furthermore, resinous or wet wood generates oil and other compounds as by-products that are most likely to collect on the glass and leave spots. Therefore, it’s best to use seasoned wood varieties, and on that end, we recommend using oak, maple, or ash.

  1. Avoid long smoldering fires

New-age EPA certified stoves are capable of burning for several hours at a stretch on their lowest heat setting, but these prolonged fires produce large amounts of smoke.

They burn away the smoke later, but not before depositing sooty residue on your glass. To prevent this, in case you only need a measured amount of heat, build a flash fire for quick warmth and extinguish.

  1. Optimize heat settings

Most modern wood stoves come with customizable heat settings, so it’s best to turn the heat controls up a few notches as hotter fires keep the glass cleaner.

  1. Allow enough oxygen into the firebox

Many units are designed to help with sufficient airflow through the vents. Check the vent/chimney to ensure it’s clean and in a good position for proper oxygen flow.

How To Clean Wood Stove Glass

Even after all this, when your wood stove glass does get dirty, it’s time to use some simple, fail-safe techniques for a quick fix.

  1. Hottest fires

As already mentioned, cleaning wood burner glass is as easy as burning a few high-temperature fires in the stove. Try using the highest heat setting before trying to clean the glass with other methods. Long story short, this will streamline the cleaning process after the stove has cooled.

  1. Wet cloth

When the wood stove comes down to room temperature, you may use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe away the lighter haze.

  1. Newspaper and ash

For stubborn, blackish stains, take a damp piece of crumpled newspaper and dip it in some ash from the stove. Then scrub gently to get rid of the soot accumulation.

  1. Wood stove glass cleaner

If everything else fails and the stains just won’t budge, we suggest using a wood stove glass cleaner. All you have to do is apply the cleaner on a cloth and wipe off the dirt.

How NOT To Clean Wood Stove Glass

While dealing with a dirty stove glass can get annoying, there are certain things you should not attempt when cleaning the glass.

  1. Do NOT clean it while it is hot:

It’s true that warmer glass is easier to clean than when colder, but you must wait till the wood stove glass is cool to touch before cleaning. If you try handling it while it’s still hot, you’ll risk causing serious burns or breaking the glass.

  1. Do NOT put water on hot glass

Spraying, splashing, or applying water in any manner on the glass surface can lead to thermal shock, which will crack or shatter the glass.

  1. Do NOT use steel wool or razor blades

Abrasive cleaning tools like steel wool, razor blades, or even sandpaper may scrape the soot off of your wood stove glass instantly, but it comes at a price. Using these cleaning methods will leave scratches on the glass surface, causing it to rapidly collect soot the next time and spoil the appearance of the stove.

  1. Do NOT use any random liquid cleaner

Avoid using detergent, soap, floor cleaner, dish-washing soap, or any other random cleaning agent on the glass. Residue from these cleaners may react harmfully to heat and create bigger problems like a fire hazard. That’s why we recommend using cleaners, specifically formulated for use on wood stove glass.

How to Clean Wood Stove Glass 3 1


With these simple tips and tricks, we’re sure that you can retain the clear appearance of your wood stove glass for a long time. However, for easier maintenance, we suggest cleaning the glass more often if you use the wood stove regularly.

On that note, we’ve come to the end of this guide. Do let us know in the comments section if you’ve some more tips to share.

Till next time!

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Anna Vaughn

Anna Vaughn

Immense painting experience recommends Anna. She shaped The Little Painters, a small local painting workshop for children that invites the little ones to explore painting through simple and creative means in a safe, loving and extremely colorful environment. In her home panting studio she plays with all paint mediums but watercolor is her expertise.

Posted in DIY

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