3 Ways To Clean Wood Burning Stove Glass Naturally

Are you looking for a way to naturally clean the glass on your wood burner?

Good, because it’s entirely possible to cleaning the stove glass efficiently and effectively using all natural ingredients – no need for nasty chemical sprays or fancy equipment here!

In our view, the best way to clean wood burner stove glass is by dipping a wet cloth or piece of newspaper in leftover fine ash.

Scrub the glass using circular motions until the residue is gone, then wipe down the glass using a clean sponge. Your glass will be sparkling clean ready to see your beautiful fire.

The rest of this article will go over this and other cleaning techniques for log burners in a little more detail. It will also give you some tips on how to prevent a stove glass from getting very dirty in the first place.

Keep reading to be a wood stove glass cleaning expert!

How to clean wood stove glass using natural ingredients

While you could always scroll through Amazon and find products that will clean your wood burner stove glass, you really don’t have to do it.

This is because there are several efficient and environmentally friendly ways of getting the job done with natural methods that won’t cost a lot at all.

Each of the following three methods uses items you can find in your home. In most cases, you won’t have to spend a penny to get clean stove glass.

Here are the 3 best methods

  1. Dip a wet cloth in wood ash and go over the glass
  2. Combine water and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio
  3. Add 3 teaspoons of baking soda to water and make a paste

All three techniques are tried and tested to be effective – including by me on several occasions!

They’re listed in order of what people tend to prefer, so the first one is the most popular while the third one is relatively less popular. Let’s go over each in detail.

small wood burning stove
Dirty glass on this wood burner, which I had to clean

1. Dip a wet cloth in wood ash and go over the glass

Take a piece of cloth, newspaper or sponge and dip it in water. Whilst your item of choice is still wet, dip it in the fine ash left behind at the bottom of your wood stove.

Use this to scrub down the glass in a circular motion. You’ll start to notice the glass getting cleaner really quickly which makes this method the most efficient one.

Flip over your cloth or newspaper and repeat the process if you don’t get the results you want in the first go. The number of times you’ll have to do this depends entirely on how dirty your fireplace glass door is.

You shouldn’t need to go over the glass more than three times even if it’s super dirty and hasn’t been cleaned in a while.

Once you’re done, dampen a clean cloth, I like to use a reusable biodegradable sponge, and wipe off the residue on your glass door. You’ll get rid of the carbon, soot, and ash build-up in less than 5 minutes.

Pro tip: Keep the glass door slightly warm to prevent the ash water mixture from drying down on it. Don’t spray hot glass because you may hurt yourself.

log burner fan on top of wood burner
Nice clean stove glass

2. Combine water and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio

Here’s another easy method with just two ingredients.

Firstly, combine water and vinegar in equal parts. Then spray the solution onto newspaper or cloth to saturate it.

Then repeat the process of technique 1 – dip your cleaning item into fine ash and scrubbing down the glass.

The only real difference between this method and the first one is the addition of vinegar. While the first method relies on brute force to remove residue, you’ll have to scrub a bit harder there, this one relies on chemistry.

Vinegar is acidic in nature and reacts with the build up on your glass and causes it to break down. This is why white vinegar is a great cleaning ingredient. Acidic vinegar is the opposite of other equally good cleaning ingedients, such as borax substitute and soda crystals, which are alkaline.

It takes a little bit of time but means that you don’t have to use the same amount of elbow grease.

An extra benefit is that vinegar has a strong smell which tends to put off inquisitive pets and potential children getting too close. I certainly know that Murphy doesn’t like the smell!

3. Add 3 teaspoons of baking soda in water to make a paste

The third method of cleaning glass doesn’t use fine ash. You just mix baking soda and water and use this solution to wipe the glass.

Start by adding three spoons of baking soda, or bicarbonate of soda, in a bit of water. Remember that you want to end up with a paste so add more powder or water depending on how your solution is looking.

You should only use a sponge for this technique. Bonus points for an eco sponge!

It will get you the best results. Newspapers, cloth, or a napkin will absorb uneven amounts of the mixture and you won’t be able to get even amounts of it on the glass surface.

Apply the circular motion technique until all the grime is gone. Wipe down the glass with a clean sponge or cloth and you’re done.

How to keep wood stove glass clean in the first place?

pigsty log burner with clean glass
Me enjoying a log burner view – glass still a little dirty in the corners. I had to clean this hard whilst on holiday

You can’t stop residue from collecting on the glass. It’s an unfortunate but unavoidable result of using such wood burning and log burning stoves. As you burn wood or other materials they release particulate matter.

You can try to reduce how dirty the glass gets though. Here are two tips that can help keep wood burner glass clean:

  • Don’t use your stove for more than an hour at a time
  • Use non-resinous seasoned wood in your stove

1. Don’t use your stove for more than an hour at a time

Small fires over a short period generate less heat and smoke. This consequently results in less residue and dirt.

On the opposite side, a long smoldering hot fire will produce a lot of smoke consistently. Most of it doesn’t have time or space to escape and ends up depositing a layer of soot on your glass.

2. Use non-resinous seasoned wood in your stove

Non-resinous seasoned wood doesn’t have a lot of the oils that regular wood does. This is important to know because those compounds are responsible for a large portion of the soot build up on your wood stove glass.

Stick to using non-resinous dry seasoned logs in your wood burning stoves and it’ll stay cleaner for longer. You may even be able to use coffee logs and heat logs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes wood burner glass to blacken?

Burning wood produces a lot of smoke which leaves a layer of soot on your glass. Initially this looks like a thin layer of dust but over time, it begins darkening. This is why the glass looks black.

Using fuel that produces a lot of smoke or forgetting to purchase seasoned wood increases the amount of smoke produced which makes your burner glass darken faster. Using wet wood also causes the glass to blacken.

What kind of cleaning material should you use to clean wood stove glass?

You can use a towel, washcloth, newspaper, or sponge as a wood stove glass cleaner. Each one works well. Choose whichever one is most easily accessible for you.

Wrap up on natural glass cleaning for log burner

And there you have it. Three very simple ways on how to clean wood stove glass naturally.

You don’t need fancy equipment and chemical cleaners to do this job, just natural ingredients and a bit of elbow grease will result in clean wood stove glass no problem at all.

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Ben & Murphy Peaks Mam Tor

I’m the Creator and Editor of Tiny Eco Home Life. I write and publish information about living a more sustainable, environmentally friendly life. Away from the laptop, I love spending time in nature and with my young family (plus Murphy the dog!). I write and send out the Eco Life Newsletter.