Fireplace and wood burner maintenance

It might not be the most exciting job, but proper cleaning and maintenance of your wood burner or fireplace is an important part of keeping them safe and efficient. 

Use the correct fuel 

Some stoves will only be suitable for burning certain types of fuel, so ensure the correct fuel is being used for your appliance. When burning wood, for the long term health of the flue or Chimney, it pays to burn kiln-dried firewood as it releases fewer byproducts like soot and tar. Wet wood will create lots of smoke, damaging and blackening your appliance, making it much harder to maintain.

The embers smouldering from a recent fire in a log burner
You should always wait until everything is completely cool before cleaning any part of your fireplace.

Cleaning a traditional fireplace

A traditional fireplace has few components making maintenance relatively straightforward. The removable grate is easily scrubbed clean with soap and water and the firebox walls can be simply scraped down whilst dry with the debris being swept up from the hearth.

Cleaning a wood burner

Wood burners will usually have an ash tray located underneath the grill where the fire burns. The first step is to carefully remove this ash tray, being aware that if full, ash can easily spread or blow around your house. 

Once removed, the best and most environmentally friendly place to dispose of ash is in an outside compost heap. Wood ash makes excellent compost. Alternatively, tip the ash into a bin. Sweep or vacuum any remaining debris from the wood burner and surrounding area. 

A log burner with an open door next to a stack of Cornish kiln-dried firewood
Having a log burner requires a little bit of work, but it’s more than worth the effort

Wood burner glass

Over time the glass in your wood burner will accumulate soot and blacken. This is unsightly and can completely block the view of your roaring fire. Thankfully, the glass is easily cleaned with some water and leftover ash. Use a bit of wet newspaper dipped in ash to create a mild abrasive cleaner, perfect for your glass. If this doesn’t work then you may have to turn to commercial cleaners like oven cleaner, in which case you should carefully follow the instructions on the container as they can be very harmful.

Professional maintenance

Even if you keep your fireplace or burner spotless you will still need to occasionally have a professional come and give it a service and clean. We recommend calling someone in the Autumn or after any long periods where the fire hasn’t been lit. A chimney sweep will have specialist equipment to reach up and give your chimney a proper clean. They will clear any chimney debris like tar or any nests that may have moved in. This will ensure you are best protected from any accidental chimney fires.

For the most efficient and maintenance-friendly fuel for your wood fire, you should use kiln-dried logs. Cornish kiln-dried firewood is available from Wildwood with free UK delivery. For more information contact us or call 0300 303 4963.