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How to keep insert glass clean?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Johna, Dec 11, 2010.

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  1. Johna

    Johna New Member

    Nov 11, 2010
    southeast, Pa
    I have a vermont castings 0044 insert and can't keep the glass clean. It gets covered with sut with in a few hours of burning What is best to clean it with?

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

    Aug 2, 2007
    N.E. Penna
    most always dirty glass is the result of wood that is not seasoned enough yet or turning the air down too soon or too much and not having a hot enough fire during the active burning phase.

    You can read more here http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/64335/

    If you do a search for dirty glass or cleaning glass, you'll learn a lot.

  3. ecocavalier02

    ecocavalier02 Minister of Fire

    Dec 12, 2008
    +1. my glass has not been cleaned this season and its perfectly see through and now black what so ever.
  4. maxed_out

    maxed_out New Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Central Pa
    +2, burn hotter, get drier wood. If you want to experiment try pallets or a bag of dried wood from the store. I went thru the same thing.

    If you still have black glass after this you might have a blocked air intake.

    welcome to the forum!
  5. Fechmup

    Fechmup Member

    Oct 10, 2010
    Southeastern DE
    About once a week we clean our glass with Rutland Conditioning Glass Cleaner. In the morning when the stove is fairly cooled off, apply the cleaner with a couple damp paper towels. This cleaner is approximately the consistency of liquid dishwasher detergent. I touch up the streaks with another cleaner in a spray bottle called Rutland Fireplace Glass Cleaner. I've found that it's easier to clean when the glass is still a little warm.

    I was having similar issues when I was getting used to our setup. Our glass still gets dirty after a week of constant running, but it's more of a whitish haze over the glass.

    Hope this helps, best wishes,
  6. spencer186

    spencer186 New Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    I just get the whitish haze and leave it. Occasionally I'll choke the air down too soon and get some black in the lower corners but you'd be amazed at how a good hot fire will clean the glass for you. I never clean the black, just burn it off. Like the others said- probably poorly seasoned wood.
  7. Later

    Later New Member

    Jan 30, 2009
  8. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Jan 15, 2009
    Principality of Pontinha
    My insert glass gets dirty below 500F and cleans itself 550F and hotter. After 3 years I'm getting better at running it, and use a lot less of the fan, instead I point a large floor fan about 10 feet away and blow cold air towards the stove. This keeps the stove room bearable, and by shutting down the stove blower (or setting to low) it keeps the firebox much hotter. I don't like the fan in the way but the tradeoff is too big.
  9. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Jul 22, 2008
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Step 1: Crumple newspaper and run it under faucet.
    Step 2: Clean glass.
    Step 3: If necessary dip damp newspaper in wood ash to scrub off stubborn black or brown stains.
    Step 4: Repeat as necessary until glass is clean.
    Step 5: Use dry newspaper to clean glass dry.
    Step 6: Throw out newspaper.
    Step 7: Light fire, enjoy the view and the thought that you are very frugal.

    Oh yeah, long term solution . . . burn well seasoned wood, burn at the proper temps (i.e. hot enough), keep wood away from the glass if possible and use proper air management.
  10. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

    Jan 10, 2010
    Texas- West of Houston
    While clean glass is not a fetish of mine, I have been doing a lot better this year because my wood supply is really good. 11% MC hickory and 16% to 18% MC oak. I tend to burn pretty hot during 'awake' hours- 550 to 650- so the the glass stays pretty clean. Until the past couple of days. I cut up a big chunk of cedar that has been sitting outside for at least three years. I wanted to cut it into small kindling pieces. That would was so hard my Fiskars SS could hardly dent it but I eventually chipped off some small pieces. When I used them to start my fires I started getting a thick black, and very hard crust on my glass. It didn't take me too long to figure out the problem is with the cedar chips I had started using for kindling.
    So, I tossed them out and am going to go back to my original kindling process: I buy a $6 three rail cedar fence post and cut it into one foot sections. I then use a BFH and a wedge to split each section into pencil size sticks. The grain is so straight and the wood so dry I can almost split it all up by hand just using the wedge. Sometimes I need the hammer to get it started. I can get about 60-75 sticks out of each one foot section of post. Four or five sticks of these super dried cedar sticks mixed with half a dozen newspaper knots make a fast, hot start for my top down burn. And the wood from these cedar fence posts are so dry they never mess up the stove glass. A heck of a lot cheaper than buying fatwood, too.

    I sometimes take a double handful of the cedar sticks and wrap a ribbon around them and take them as a host/hostess gift when we visit friends during the holiday.
  11. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    May 20, 2008
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    I only get any black on my glass if the wood is touching it, and that burns off the next fire. Black stuff means that you should adjust how you burn.

    So- to answer- clean the glass with a hot fire. White haze can be cleaned off with a wet paper towel, follow with a dry one. That's it.
  12. drewmo

    drewmo Feeling the Heat

    Nov 20, 2006
    Central Maine
    If it takes anything more than a moist paper towel to make your glass crystal clear, I'd say there's a problem with wood or burning method, as others have suggested. And if your glass is black, imagine the build up occurring on your pipes. A friend burns at a slow smolder and his glass is always black. I've tried to tell him he might want to burn a bit hotter. Sure enough, he had a chimney fire, fortunately no damage to his house.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Feb 14, 2007
    Welcome to the forum Johna.

    You've probably by now realized that, just like a car or a regular gas/oil furnace, your wood stove also requires the best fuel. That simply means good dry wood.

    You will find there is a huge difference in types of wood and will also find there are varying seasoning rates. In addition to that, wood simply will not dry until it has been cut to firewood length, split and then stacked out in the sun and wind. (Wind is more important than sun.) Then you need time. For the quickest seasoning woods, one year is usually required. Some other woods may take 2 years to season properly and then there are those types that can require 3 years to dry enough to burn right.

    This is why most people are advised to have 2-3 years of wood supply on hand. That, as you know, means cut, split and stacked. If you do this, you will not have the problem with black glass.

    To clean the glass, like others, we found that simply dampening some newspaper and dipping it into the ash cleans the black off like magic.

    Good luck.
  14. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

    Dec 6, 2010
    Broadstone England
    Same here, damp newspaper and wood ash cleans glass a treat. The times mine soots up a little is when I'm lighting it and the newspaper uncrunches and flips a bit of kindling close to the glass..........

    And a warm welcome to the forum :)
  15. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

    Feb 12, 2008
    Essex County, New York
    Yep, wet newspaper and ashes cleans door glass better than a French maid! Well almost...
    Poorly seasoned, or rain soaked wood will smoke it up overnight.

    Burn seasoned and dry fuel for the best results and max BTU.
  16. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

    Feb 9, 2010
    NE Virginia
    Last year, when my wood was not fully seasoned, I used Ceramabrite to clean the glass. With dry wood this year, ash and either paper towels or newspapers provide a quick clean-up. Of course, a clean start - top down fire with some kind of fire starter (e.g.. SuperCedars) also helps.
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