Multi fuel stoves create a sealed environment to burn a number of different types of fuel in your home such as wood and coal, but keeping the glass clean on the inside of a multi fuel stove can sometimes prove problematic.
Using a multi fuel stove releases a number of byproducts that can cause the glass on the stove door to blacken over time; in particular creosote which can be released by burning wood, and can be produced in larger quantities under certain conditions.
Ways to clean the glass on a multi fuel stove include:
- Scrunch up a piece of newspaper, get it slightly wet and wipe down the inside of the glass door with it.
- Dip wet newspaper in wood ash from the stove and use it to wipe down the inside of the stove door.
- Use a stove glass cleaner spray, leave it on for a short while and wipe it off with a cloth.
The glass on our multi fuel stove can start to blacken through regular use, and we have to wipe down the glass between use to keep it clear, as well as periodically use a dedicated stove glass cleaner spray for a deeper clean.
I’ve discussed in another article why your fireplace glass is turning black and ways to prevent it, but I’ve explained below how we clean the glass on our multi fuel stove, as well as how we keep it clean both during and in between fires.
How To Clean Multi Fuel Stove Glass
An unfortunate downside of using a multi fuel stove to heat your home is that the glass on the door of the stove can blacken over time through use, and in many cases the more the stove is used, the quicker the blackening can occur.
Blackening of the glass on a multi fuel stove eventually becomes a nuisance and prevents you from fully enjoying the view of the fire.
Thankfully, there are a few ways you can clean a multi fuel stove after blackening of the glass has occurred, using simple methods such as simply using wet newspaper, using wet newspaper dipped in wood ash, or even using conventional stove glass cleaner.
The best method that works for us is using wet newspaper to wipe down the inside of the stove door glass between fires.
Take a piece of crumpled newspaper and dab it in some water. Then use the newspaper and wipe down the glass as you would clean any other glass surface. Another sheet of newspaper can then be used to wipe the glass dry.
This method helps to remove any buildup of deposits on the inside of the glass from the previous fire, and also helps to prevent further blackening from gradually getting worse over the next couple of uses.
If this method doesn’t work for you, you can also take a piece of wetted newspaper and dip it any wood ash left in either the bed of the firebox of the ash pan, and use that to wipe down the inside of the glass.
(You should never use ash from a coal fire however, as this can make the situation worse.)
If the glass on your stove has blackened to such an extent where using the above cleaning methods with newspaper doesn’t quite work well enough, it’s worth using a conventional stove glass cleaner.
We’ve found that although using wet newspaper on the glass between fires keeps the glass from blackening too quickly, a spray of stove glass cleaner every so often significantly improves the look of your stove.
We use the above stove glass cleaner spray on the inside of the door and it does an amazing job of clearing the glass.
The images below show what the inside of one of our stoves looked like before and after using the glass cleaner.
How To Keep Glass Clean On A Multi Fuel Stove
While there are a few methods to clean the glass on your multi fuel stove after it has started to blacken, there are also a number of things you can do to keep the glass remaining clean.
To keep the glass clean on a multi fuel stove:
- Burn dry wood that has low moisture content to reduce the amount of soot that is produced that can line the inside of the stove glass.
- Burn hardwood logs rather than softwood logs.
- Ensure that if the stove has an air wash system that it’s operating efficiently and used throughout the duration of every fire.
- Have hot fires to burn off excess soot.
- Wipe down the inside of the stove glass between every fire to keep on top of it.
- Build fires away from the glass to prevent them from causing further blackening.
Use Dry Fuel
Burning wood inside a multi fuel stove releases a number of byproducts, some of which can line the inside of the glass when having fires. One of the main causes of blackening glass when burning wood is soot or creosote, which is produced in higher quantities when the wood isn’t being burnt properly.
Wet wood is one of the main causes of it not burning properly, and so it’s recommended that all wood being burnt inside a multi fuel stove has 20% or less moisture content.
Wood can be kiln dried or seasoned to get the moisture content down to acceptable levels before being used in a fire, but you can also check the moisture content of wood using a moisture meter just to be sure.
Burn Hardwoods Over Softwoods
Softwoods such as Pine typically have higher sap content than hardwoods such as Oak or Ash, which can lead to it being deposited on the glass door of a stove in larger quantities as a result.
If you regularly burn softwoods over hardwoods, you may notice that the glass doesn’t blacken as quickly if you swap to only using hardwood logs. Softwood should typically still be used as kindling when lighting a fire because it’s easier to catch alight and burns more quickly compared to hardwood.
Operate The Air Wash System
Many newer models of multi fuel stove incorporate what’s known as an air wash system that helps to keep the glass clear when having a fire.
An air wash system works by providing a flow of cooler air down the inside of the glass door of the stove, and helps to prevent byproducts from the fire from settling on the glass.
Air wash systems work as part of the air flow into your stove, and so as long as you’re not fully closing the air vents on your multi fuel stove the air wash system should work as intended.
The air wash system in our multi fuel stove is served by air flow from the secondary air vent located underneath the stove (more about types of air flow in stoves here). Therefore, to ensure that the glass on the stove door is kept clear throughout a fire, our secondary vent is never closed but always left at least partially open to provide air for the air wash system.
The vent for the air wash system can be in different locations depending on the brand and model of multi fuel stove, but in many cases can be found on the front of the stove at the top. Check your stove’s instruction manual to see if it has an air wash system and details of how to operate it.
Have Hot Fires
Hot fires help to burn off waste gases and other byproducts from a fire (thanks to secondary combustion – more about that here), and so to help keep the glass clean on a multi fuel stove you should have the right sized fires that your stove was designed for.
Building fires that are undersized for your size of multi fuel stove can produce creosote as an increased rate.
We have a thermometer for our multi fuel stove, and it shows that creosote will be produced in larger quantities if the stove is operating below a certain temperatures.
You should also ensure that the fire isn’t starved of oxygen by closing down the air vents too much, as this can lead to fuel that isn’t burning properly and increase the amount of byproducts produced that can build up on the glass.
Wipe Down The Glass
To keep the glass clean on our multi fuel stove, we always wipe it down with a wet piece of newspaper to prevent deposits from building up on the glass over time.
We simply take a piece of crunched up newspaper, dip it in some water and wipe down the inside of the glass to help keep it clear.
By wiping down the glass between fires you can help prevent having to clean your glass more often with dedicated stove cleaning sprays once the blackening of the glass has fully obscured your view of the fire.
Build Fires Towards The Back
Having fires in your multi fuel stove that are too near to the door can increase the rate at which the glass starts to blacken.
Try to therefore build and keep fires inside your stove towards the back of the firebox.
How To Keep A Multi Fuel Stove Burning
How To Use The Air Vents To Control A Multi Fuel Stove
How To Build And Light A Fire In A Multi Fuel Stove
How Hot Does A Multi Fuel Stove Get?
What’s Inside A Stove?
Parts Of A Stove Explained