When our wood burners probably spend all winter fired up and keeping us cosy, you might not notice the glass slowly becoming blackened over time.

Cleaning your stove is a good idea at any time of year, though Spring offers the perfect chance to restore your log burner to its former glory.

Firstly, the brighter mornings and evenings often bring to light the darker areas of our homes we overlooked in winter - leaving many of us slightly surprised at just how murky our stove glass has become!

Secondly, as you probably won’t be using your wood burner as much, you can enjoy the sparkling clean glass of your stove before throwing another log on and see your hard work literally burn away before your eyes.

So, if you are sitting there wondering how you can best clean your log burner glass, we have all the advice you need to know...

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What Causes Your Wood Burner Glass to Blacken?

dirty blackened stove glass

First, a quick word on why your wood burner glass goes black.

There are a few common causes of black glass on your wood burner. One of the main reasons is using the wrong fuel or burning your fire inefficiently. Both of these things can cause excessive smoke that will inevitably dirty your stove glass much faster than if you were using the correct fuel at the optimum temperature.

The best thing you can do to keep the glass on your stove clean is to only burn either dry seasoned wood or low sulphur smokeless coal. Wet wood produces a significantly higher amount of smoke than dry wood, which translates into more dirt to collect on your stove glass. Traditional coal is another big culprit, which is why, along with wet wood and processed wood, there are now restrictions on how you can buy house coal.

As for ensuring your fire is burning as clean as possible, we recommend using a stove thermometer to ensure you are burning at the most efficient temperature. If your fire isn’t hot enough, it will be smouldering away slowly. Again, this means that your stove glass will blacken quicker as heavier fumes are created.

Related: Why is my Wood Burner Smoking?

How to Clean Your Wood Burner Glass

So, let’s get on to some tips on how to clean your wood burner glass up to a beautiful shiny finish!

Before you get started...

It seems like common sense, but just to be sure, always make sure your stove glass has cooled down sufficiently before you attempt to clean it. Some people think that slightly warm glass is easier to clean, but you should be just as fine if your glass is completely cool, too.

Then, sweep out the wood ashes from the bottom of your stove and put them in a bowl to use later in the cleaning process.

Using a soft brush, remove any loose bits of debris from the glass door and surrounding area.

Cleaning stove glass with wood ashes and newspaper

This is one of the most tried and tested ways for cleaning the inside glass of a wood burner.

All you need to clean your stove glass with this method is some sheets of old newspaper, those leftover wood ashes you saved, a cloth and a bowl of warm soapy water.

Please note, this method isn't advised with coal ashes, as there might be hard particles left in the mix that can damage the glass. 

Here is what you do:

  • Use a soft cloth to wipe the inside of the stove glass down with some soapy water. You might be able to cut through some of the soot build up here alone if you use some elbow grease!

cloth for cleaning stove

  • Next, scrunch the newspaper up into balls. This is what you will use to scrub the glass with.

newspaper for cleaning stove

  • Take your newspaper ball and dip into the water then the bowl of old wood ashes.

ashes for cleaning stove glass

  • Using your newspaper ball dipped in wood ash, gently scrub the stove glass in circular motions

Once you are done, simply wipe away the residue with a clean cloth and your wood burner glass should be looking much clearer!

Other ways to clean your stove glass…

Many people swear by the use of newspaper and wood ash when it comes to cleaning the inside glass of their wood burner. However, there are a few different ingredients you could try if you are burning coal in a multi fuel stove

Oven cleaner

If you don’t mind using chemicals, you could try using oven cleaner, degreaser or other household cleaning spray to clean your wood burner glass. Just make sure you read the label to check it suitable for use on glass - and, be careful around any cast iron parts or the door seal that might be damaged with chemicals and water.

Bicarbonate of soda

A popular choice of cleaning product for those who don’t like using chemicals, you could try using a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water to clean your stove glass.

Stove glass cleaning spray

If you really do just want to get the job done, there are special stove glass cleaning sprays out there which offer the best in terms of convenience.

Polish your wood burner glass to finish off

Once the inside of your stove glass is nice and clean, it’s nice to finish off with a bit of a polish. A simple solution of equal parts vinegar and water applied with some kitchen roll is a good way to shine up the inside glass without leaving any chemicals inside.

You could do the same for the outer glass - or just use a light squirt of regular glass or window cleaner. Again, just be careful not to damage the log burner body with chemicals. Buff the glass up with a soft dry cloth and your wood burner glass should now look nice and clean.

Tips Watch Out For When Cleaning Your Wood Burner Glass...

  • Remember that glass can scratch, so don’t use anything abrasive on the glass that could damage it beyond repair
  • Don’t leave it too long between next cleaning your wood burner glass - the more soot builds up over time, the harder it is to remove
  • If you notice any damage to the rope seal around the door, or cracks in the glass, be sure to get them repaired as soon as possible and don’t burn your log burner until you do
  • If you want to really get some elbow grease onto the stove glass, you can remove the stove door - check your wood burner manufacturer instructions before you do so
  • Remember, if your wood burner glass is very dirty, your flue will be too. Always make sure you get it swept regularly to avoid chimney fires.

What Should You Do To Keep Your Wood Burning Stove Glass Clean in Future?

As we mentioned at the start of this article, the best way to keep your wood burner glass clean is to ensure you are burning your stove correctly. This way, you can be sure that your fire is producing as little smoke as possible, which in turn means your glass is as clean as possible.

Most modern log burners have a feature called an ‘air-wash system’, which is another defence against dirty, blackened wood burner glass. These stoves use air vents around the stove glass to draw in a flow of air that keeps the smoke and fuel away from the inner window. You can find out more about it in our blog post, What is Airwash?

If you do have an airwash stove but find that your wood burner glass is still getting blackened, it might be that the vents aren’t being used properly. Even when your fire is burning, the airways vent should still be slightly open, so check you are using yours properly.

Again, making sure you are burning clean fuels at the most efficient temperature is also one of the best things you can do to keep the glass on your stove clean for longer.

Is your wood burner in need of replacing? Find an excellent range online now at Direct Stoves.

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 More useful information from the Direct Stoves blog

How to Stack, Store and Season Firewood | Why Does My Log Burner Keep Going Out? | Why You Need to Sweep Your Chimney