How to clean a wood-burning stove

If you own a wood-burning stove, one of the first things you will need to know is how to clean it. Burning logs inevitably creates ashes and dust, which need to be cleaned up.

How to clean wood-burning stove ashes

You will need to clean the ashes out of your wood-burning stove after each use. Keep in mind that the ashes may remain hot for several hours after the fire has gone out. In the case of multi-fuel stoves, the appliance will have an ashpan. The ashes can all be emptied into the ashpan, usually using a riddling grate, which moves the grate bars to allow the ashes to be easily swept into the ashpan below.

In a wood-burning stove, which usually has a flat bed and no ashpan, the ashes can be cleaned using a vacuum cleaner or a brush and ash shovel. Logs burn best on a shallow bed of ashes, so you don’t need to remove all of the ashes.

A deep clean for your woodburner

Occasionally – we recommend approximately once a month – you will need to give your woodburner a more thorough clean than simply emptying the ashes. That is because some of the ashes and soot will have inevitably settled in other parts of the woodburner over the course of several uses. If they are allowed to sit indefinitely, the ashes can start to corrode your stove. Following this process will help you to clean your stove and prolong its lifespan.

Remove the baffle plate, grate, ashpan and fire bricks

Check your stove manual to see how to remove each of these items, then do so. This is usually achieved by lifting out the baffle plate, which might rest atop the fire bricks. Next take out the firebricks (which are sometimes called stove liners), then the grate and ashpan. Take care to observe each part’s positioning so that you can restore it correctly.

VacUUM the inside of the stove

The next step is to clean all the ashes from the various nooks and crannies of the inside of your woodburner. You can do this in the same way that you would usually clean up the ashes: either with a vacuum or a brush and shovel.

Clean sooty deposits

Now, remove any sooty deposits that have built up on the internal surfaces of your woodburner, including the inside of the firebox and the baffle plate. Use wire wool and a scraper to do this. You can limit – but not prevent – future build ups of soot by burning only well seasoned wood and operating your stove efficiently.

clean the firebricks

Firebricks are brittle, so the wire wool will be too tough. Instead, use a soft brush to remove any build up of material on the bricks.

Clean the glass

Dirt on stove glass can be minimised by efficient use of your stove, correct operation of the airwash system and burning only well-seasoned logs, but some clouding is inevitable. You can clean your stove using a special stove glass cleaning product or one of these glass cleaning techniques.


You can clean your stove body with a damp cloth, but only do so when the appliance is cold. If you notice discolouring of or damage to the stove paint, you can retouch the finish with a spray can of heat resistant stove paint. You can also check for signs of rust during this process. If you find any rust, it can be removed with wire wool and the affected area retouched with stove paint.

Re-fit the cleaned baffle, grate and fire bricks

You can now replace the internal parts of your woodburner in the places from which you removed them. Consult your stove manual if you have any doubts.

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