Concept of How to Clean Wood Stove Glass

How to Clean Wood Stove Glass

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Colleen Roberts

Expert writer

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Wood stoves can generally be appreciated by any person, from producing a safe haven on a chilly day to creating a charming ambiance that defines the room. But to appreciate the comfort and usefulness of a great wood stove, it needs to be kept in working order.

Perhaps one of a wood stove’s most neglected (ironically, the most appreciated) features is its glass. The glass is very expensive to replace, so you must clean and care for it.

How to Clean Wood Stove Glass?

Wood stove with dirty glass door

There are EPA-rated wood stoves with a self-cleaning glass air wash. Users only need to clean these stoves about twice annually, if the wood being burned is of good quality, and everything else is in good working order (such as the fresh air tubes, etc.).

But for those without the fancy air wash, we need to clean our stove glass by hand. If you often burn wood, you should clean the glass more frequently.

Daily wood stove usage generally requires a weekly cleaning. If you are only burning a few times a week or less, the glass may only need a quick wipe down once it becomes hazy.

Why Does Wood Stove Glass Get Hazy

Other than the frequency of wood burning and using the stove, there are several other factors that can cause the glass to darken and become hazy or even build up grime (commonly referred to as “soot” or “creosote”).


Proper airflow for the wood stove is an important consideration. Insufficient airflow into the wood stove leads to build-up on the glass. Of course, a lack of airflow will choke out oxygen, which will increase the amount of polluted air in the wood stove.

This pollution will consequently settle on the glass, increasing the need for cleaning.

Fuel Type

Of course, another very large factor is the fuel being used for the wood stove. Lower-quality wood, such as soft wood (cedar, pine, spruce, etc.), can cause a build-up on the glass. Damp and green wood are also examples of low-quality fuel.

Dry, well-seasoned, hardwood is recommended for wood stoves because of the clean, efficient heat production, and crisp burn (examples of hardwood include alder, beech, hickory, maple, oak, etc.). If the greatest quality wood is not an option, cleaning the glass weekly will help prevent dirt, soot, creosote, tar, mineral, and ash from building up.

Products to Clean Your Fireplace Glass

Products to Clean Your Fireplace Glass

There are multiple ways to clean wood stove glass. Many people use home remedies such as razor blades, spatulas, damp newspaper, paper towels dipped in ash or baking soda to make a cleaning paste, and even heating the stove to loosen the grime. Any one of these methods may not always be the best option due to abrasion.

Instead, emulsion cleaners are safe and produce excellent results. They will also leave a silicone layer, which will aid in the next cleaning. Professional cleaners include the following:

Windex may seem like a reasonable option, but it does contain ammonia, and it is harsh on wood stove glass. (Note that wood stove “glass” is actually commonly a transparent ceramic, not an actual glass, rendering ammonia-based cleaners inappropriate.) You can easily find these professional cleaners, as well as many others, in local stores and also online.

Cleaning the wood stove is fairly simple, especially if you use any professional cleaners. If there is a good amount of build-up on the glass, the initial cleaning may be more time-consuming.

  1. Before starting, ensure the wood stove and the glass are cool.
  2. Apply cleaner to the glass and allow time for the cleaner to soften the grime and do its work (usually just a few minutes).
  3. Then, using a soft cloth, wipe in a circular motion to remove the build-up. You may want to apply the cleaner a second time and wipe it with a clean cloth to remove any residue.

As mentioned above, many cleaners will leave an invisible, polished layer to help with the next cleaning. If you routinely maintain and clean the wood stove on a regular basis, there should not be a lot of build-up for the next cleaning. You should only need to quickly wipe it down.

Keeping the glass clean will affect the appearance of the entire wood stove. So, putting in a little effort to keep your wood stove glass clean will certainly brighten the room.

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