How to Clean Your Stove
Contura’s expert guide to the dos and don’ts of stove cleaning and maintenance.
Can you smell burnt wood even when your stove isn’t lit? Poorly burning fires? Struggling with excessive smoke? Blackened glass? These tell-tale signs mean it’s time to clean your stove.
Phil Wood, the aptly named wood burning stove expert at Contura says: “As with any appliance, a little care and regular maintenance will ensure it continues working efficiently. And far from needing to go out and buy a selection of expensive cleaning products – the tried and tested ash and water method combined with a little elbow grease is all you really need to create a sparkling stove.
“If you find you’re struggling to keep your stove looking clean and burning efficiently, however, it’s important to look at why this keeps happening and how you can tackle this. One of the biggest issues is stove owners using the wrong fuel or burning it incorrectly, both of which can cause excessive smoke and a much grubbier looking stove.”
Read on for Phil’s guide to the dos and don’ts of keeping your stove in tip top condition…
Do I need a specialist stove glass cleaner?
We don’t recommend stove glass cleaners as they can attack black paint and smear the glass. A clear view to your warming flames is actually achieved by using a little kitchen roll or newspaper, water and leftover ash from inside the stove.
First thing’s first. Make sure your stove is completely cool before attempting to clean it to avoid burns. Then using a soft brush, remove any loose bits of debris from the glass door and surrounding area.
Moisten a piece of scrunched up newspaper or kitchen roll with water, dip it in leftover ashes from inside the stove or in your ash bucket, and gently rub the glass in a circular motion. This is all you’ll need to easily and quickly remove any grime or soot stains, leaving crystal clear glass to enjoy the next fire.
A high temperature, efficient burn, using the correct fuel will actually work to clean the chamber and the glass automatically, significantly reducing the need for any elbow grease on your part, so it’s key to make sure you’re lighting the fire correctly and burning the right fuel.
‘Soft’ woods such as pines, firs and cypress, burn quickly and produce a lot of excessive smoke which can blacken glass and cause tar build up in the chimney. As such they are best avoided.
Instead, opt for a mixture of hardwood species such as ash, oak, beech or birch. These will burn for longer and create a brighter flame.
Make sure not to burn damp logs, which not only burn poorly, but give off lots of smoke and create more soot and tar deposits that can damage your stove. Go for fully seasoned or kiln dried wood with a moisture content below 20% for the most effective burn. The Woodsure ‘Read to Burn’ label guarantees the correct moisture content if you’re purchasing logs from a store.
Whilst not necessarily vital to maintaining a clean, working stove, a wood burner that isn’t being used efficiently will produce excessive smoke, thus wasting energy, creating unnecessary air pollution, and creating a fire hazard.
It’s therefore important to consider how you’re using your stove. When lighting a fire, ensure that you thoroughly warm the stove and chimney chamber through first and then build up the fire from there. Overloading the fire in an attempt to create a roaring fire straight off the bat will generally have the effect of causing lots of smoke.
It’s also worth using the ‘top-down’ lighting technique – placing firewood first and kindling and firelighter on the top -which generates less smoke and consequently, fewer emissions.
No matter how well you take care of your stove, you still need to invest in a professional annual sweep to prevent build up of tar and soot deposits. Pre- or post- stove season (spring or early autumn) are the best times to ensure availability of chimney sweeps. Look for a trained professional with HETAS and/or Sweep Safe accreditation who will also be able to conduct a thorough maintenance check.
For more information on Contura, please visit www.contura.eu
Notes to Editors:
- Rooster PR will coordinate comment, interview and profile opportunities for Contura UK Country Manager, Phil Wood.
- The Contura PR team will also arrange visits to the nearest Contura Design Centre dealerships or the Contura showroom in Doncaster to see the product range.
For further press information, please contact:
Anna Nyman | Elsa Findlay | Julie Aguilera
T: +44 (0)203 440 8930
E: [email protected]
Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.
Starting at £1,395, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use.
Designed and assembled at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufactured to the highest standards, Contura stoves are highly energy efficient, offering powerful convection, superior combustion technology and clean burning systems. Currently, 95% of Contura stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and thus approved for use in Smoke Control Areas.
Contura stoves can be purchased through a network of 165 independent retailers nationwide.
Contura is part of the NIBE group, a Swedish manufacturing company producing world class solutions in sustainable energy across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
Contura is a founding member of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) in the UK.
Contura is proud to partner with Eden Reforestation Projects and has funded the planting of over 140,135 trees. Eden Reforestation Projects work alongside local communities to produce, plant, and protect tens of millions of trees every month, thereby creating jobs to support them in restoring their local environment and economy long-term.
For more information please visit www.contura.eu