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How to Clean a Creosote Wood Burning Stove

Updated February 21, 2017

All wood burning stoves release creosote, a gummy, highly flammable substance created from the mixture of wood-fire fumes that have cooled and turned solid. The build up of creosote in a chimney can cause chimney fires that lead to serious damage. In order to avoid creosote build-up in your wood burning stove it is important to clean the chimney flue several times a season while in use.

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  1. Allow the fire to die in your stove and wait for it to cool until it's warm enough to touch comfortably. Creosote is easiest to remove when it is slightly warm.

  2. Open the stove's door, put on the mask, gloves and goggles and use a stiff wire brush to brush any creosote and ash from the inside of the stove. Scrape the sides, top and bottom of the inside of the wood stove to remove any built up creosote. Brush the creosote into the ash pan and bury it outside. Remove the goggles, face mask and gloves, if you want.

  3. Close the wood stove's door in your house and tape a damp sheet over it to prevent the ash from going into your home.

  4. Climb onto your roof with the help of a ladder and place the goggles and face mask back on. Check the interior of your chimney for any obstructions with a flashlight.

  5. Scrape the inside of the chimney out with a wire brush to remove the creosote. Scrape the chimney until all of the build-up is removed.

  6. Climb down and remove the sheet from the stove. Brush out any ash or creosote that gathered in the base of the wood stove. Dispose of it in a metal pan and bury it outside.

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Things You'll Need

  • Goggles
  • Face mask
  • Damp sheet
  • Tape
  • Wire chimney brush
  • Ladder
  • Flashlight
  • Wire brush
  • Gloves

About the Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.

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