How to clean your outdoor wood stove
No one wants to clean their outdoor wood burning stove! This is why most new models are equipped with improved features to ease this terrible chore: most stoves manufactured recently have larger doors so users could easily peek in and remove ashes and dirt and there are even models with convenient trays that slide underneath. These trays capture ashes and dust; all you need to do is to remove the tray, dump the ashes and place it back. Nature’s Comfort provides these ashpans on all units excluding the NCB-80 and the GT-6000.
But not all outdoor wood burning stoves are designed this way. Some old stoves have smaller doors and do not have convenient trays; therefore a homeowner needs to improvise.
- Use a small dustpan and a small piece of plywood to scoop ashes and remove them from the stove. Then use a rag to completely remove traces of ash. Deposit ash and coals in a non-combustible container. Remember that ashes could still light up when exposed to air therefore you should never scoop ash using a cardboard box or a paper bag.
- After you are done removing ash, move your coals over the bottom of the firebox. Use a small shovel. Place two new wooden logs over the coals; these will light your new wood.
- If your outdoor wood burning stove has a glass window (most models don’t have one) you should clean this by wiping it down with a clean rag. Some new models have self-cleaning glass installed. This is glass that conveniently cleans itself once the temperature of the stove reaches a point. But if you do not have this feature, better wipe your glass windows down so you will be able to observe your flames.
- Using fine steel wool is one way to clean your outdoor wood burning stove. This tool will efficiently remove stubborn dirt even without the use of chemical cleaners.
Chemical cleaners will only leave hazardous chemicals where soot can get stuck the next time you use your stove. Always check your owner’s manual in using chemicals and artificial cleaners to maintain your wood stove.
- Do not lose your owner’s manual; you will need it to maintain your outdoor wood burning stove for years to come. You could lose or void your warranty if you lose your manual so better keep it handy at all times. You should also download a softcopy of your manual from your manufacturer’s official site. Simply search for the model number of your wood stove and you will be able to easily find the manual online.
- Should you ask a contractor to help maintain your stove? If you want to efficiently and safely maintain your stove then you should contact professional service before doing anything. Homeowners that are new stove owners should contact their manufacturer for service information.
- Finally, keep your outdoor wood stove burning in tip top shape by keeping it very hot. A hot stove will prevent creosote formation that could lead to poor stove heating and horrible maintenance worries.