How do you clean the window on your fireplace insert?

I wait for the glass to cool, then use water, paper towels and ashes and SCRUB. Every time I build a fire. It’s getting old.

Does anyone have a better system?

We have one or two fires each winter. I’ve never cleaned the glass, never even thought it was an option.

We’ve been burning alot for 2 seasons now. Been trying to keep the oil furnace running as little as possible. With this frequency comes dirty glass.

Our cabin has a wood stove fireplace insert with a glass window. The secret is to use dry, seasoned wood and to make sure there’s not a lot of debris and dirt on it.

Wood is clean and dry, been in the woodshed. Also nice and seasoned, as it was cut and split in fall '17.

And we are following the insert manufacturer instructions, like keeping the thermostat on high (max air flow) and only closing the catalytic damper when the fire is hot enough.

The window still requires cleaning every day. :frowning:

I clean my wood stove window almost every day. And I use the same way as you. But I don’t scrub.

How much water are you using? I use a wrung out, almost dry, single sheet of paper towel. Dipped into the finest ash. Plus one sheet to dry it with.

I only have to scrub if I leave it several days. So I mostly do it daily because it’s simplest.

Maybe try less water? Not sure why it’s not working for you, but wishing you Good Luck!

My father swears to wet newspaper and ashes, but does not clean the glass every day.

Does the glass go completely opaque in just a few days? Or is it just that you think it should be completely clear all the time?

Elbows, I will try less water on the paper towels, thanks!

Naita, it would go completely opaque if we didn’t do it at least every three days.
And we do want the glass very clear. One of the reasons we bought this model of insert was the large viewing window.

I’m hoping someone has an easier solution. We are scrubbing quite a bit.

Agreed. And I think it also relates to how hot you can run the thing. We have a modestly sized log burner (as they are called in the UK) so it just doesn’t run that hot. I guess I could clean every few days, but I’m with** elbows** - it’s simplest to do it every day. I learned the hard way that you shouldn’t leave it too long.

I use a ceramic hob cleaner (Hob Brite) which is, I think, what the maker recommends. You need to dampen the glass first. If it’s OK to use on a ceramic hob, hopefully it’s OK on a log burner.


We have a pellet stove, and when it has a chance to cool down, I clean it the same way you do. If it’s particularly stubborn, I may grab a scotch-brite pad. The pellets produce minimal ash, but it seems a significant portion wind up on the glass - probably because of the combustion blower directing the flames.

oooh Treppenwitz we have a ceramic cooktop stove and use something like Hob Brite (I googled it) to clean that. I’ll give it a shot.

And Fairychatmom, thanks for the scotchbrite pad idea. Goes in the “to try” pile as well.

I have been afraid to be too aggressive (note paper towels and fine ash) for fear of scoring the glass and weakening it, but I guess it’s time to step up the abrasion quotient.

Happy to be of service. Let us know if it’s an improvement - I never could get ash to work.

PS: Great name.* But why?*


Well that shouldn’t happen, sounds like the fireplace is badly designed.

Another thing that I do that helps is that I start burn some newspaper on the top of the wood at the start of the fire to get the chimney heated up. When I don’t do that, smoke really builds up in the firebox before the chimney starts drawing and that could contribute to dirty glass.

There does seem to be something wrong with how your stove is burning. I have one with a big glass door and heat with wood all winter. There’s a fire in it most afternoons and all night long, October through March. Same stove has been installed since 2005.

I’ve cleaned the glass on it maybe 2 dozen times total, and always with a couple paper towels and Meeco’s Red Devil Glass Door Cleaner for wood stoves and fireplaces. I still have the original bottle and it’s more than half full. The cleaning only takes a minute – but then, the glass is never very dirty. My fires are hot and rarely leave any residue on the glass. I’ve never had to scrub.

You might try opening that damper up just a wee bit to see if adding a little more air encourages a hotter fire. Worth a try.

You might also try a mix of fast and slow burning wood. I usually start with Doug fir (fast) atop kindling to get a hot fire, then add oak and maple (slow) for a steady burn. If the fire starts cooling off, I throw on another stick of fir.

Yes naita and aspenglow, I’m starting to get the feeling that the airflow is not correct in the insert. Like the inlet damper is not moving from low to high properly. The manual says burning on high should clear the glass; it doesn’t. This is our second season with the insert, still getting to know it. I will do some digging this weekend, see if that thermostat is working correctly.

And thanks for the Red Devil suggestion aspenglow, I ordered a bottle and am anxious to add it to the “to try” pile!

And Treppenwitz, glad you like the screen name. Send me a PM and I’ll tell you the story

I think heat will be your friend. I have a wood stove and a fireplace with an insert. I clean the glasses maybe twice a season with RedDevil. I burn hot fires and it does the trick. I am in s.Arkansa so they don’t get the use as in Northernmost climates.YMMV.

Thanks. I am going to be looking into if it is burning hot enough. Even though this conversation started with glass cleaning, I’m really starting to feel like the insert is not sucking enough air into the combustion chamber, and that’s what is dirtying the glass.

You need anair wash down the inside of the glass. When the draft gets established, a minute amount of it needs to come in around the glass. This creates a very thin layer of fresh air to keep the smoke and ash from actually getting to the glass. I learned this from my pellet stove improvement research. Check the gasket between the glass and frame on your door. Mine has none on the top of the glass meets door frame. The air is cooler when it is drawn in so it moves down the face of the window, at least in theory. We don’t need it kept clean enough to watch the pellets drop so we only clean it when we clean the fire pot every week. I just wipe it with a dry paper towel or newspaper. My wife uses glass cleaner after the fire has been out a while when she does it.

I use Rutland Hearth and Grill Conditioning Glass Cleaner when mine needs it, which is probably 3-4 times per season. It works amazingly well. If you try it, my two tips are to make sure that you shake it well, and to let it sit for a minute or so after application before beginning to wipe.