Potatoes and creosote

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Stegman, Dec 27, 2011.

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  1. Stegman

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    So I picked up a chintzy farmer's almanac at my local Dollar Store and came across this nugget:

    Most of the trouble with chimneys filling up with soot may be avoided by burning potato parings. The chemical action is such that the soot is entirely cleaned out. Doing this every three to four weeks will keep the chimney clear and the draft good, no matter what fuel is used."


    Thought? Old wives tale, or is there something to this. I thought it was interesting, if nothing else. It's simple, and it probably can't hurt anyway.
     
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  2. Pagey

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    From what I've read, most of the "chemical reaction" type solutions are really geared towards making the Stage 3 type creosote into something less tar-like and thus more brushable. I imagine this, if it truly works, is based on the same principle. Though it perhaps makes the creosote more "brushable," there will never be any substitute for a manual inspection and cleaning, IMHO.
     
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  3. Wood Duck

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    I just came in from splitting and stacking a cord of potatoes. I like to stack my potatoes in a round 'spudhausen' for about a year before I burn them.
     
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  4. firefighterjake

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    I like my potatoes with their peels in tact . . . I save the peels for eating . . . for my chimney I just burn at the proper temps and burn seasoned wood . . . and run an occasional brush through the chimney -- that seems to work pretty well.

    SAVE THE SPUDS -- BURN A BEER CAN. ;)
     
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  5. gerry100

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    I've heard the same folk tale.

    For thirty years , when there are potato peels around during the burning season I toss them in the stove.

    No idea if it does anything but it hasn't hurt.
     
  6. prescottonian

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    I don't know if it is a wifes tale or not but I have heard of boiling potatoes in peanut oil to clean it up after deep frying turkeys .Also heard of them being used in making bronzes as in bronze statues . It supposed to take the impurities out.
     
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  7. gerry100

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    Didn't mean to imply that potato peels can be relied upon in any way to clean your chimney or to replace any efforts in that area.

    Tossing them in the fire may help and may not.

    My father used to say that the skins are where all of the vitamins are - may be more beneficial to eat them
     
  8. oldspark

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    Creosote what creosote?
     
  9. leeave96

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    My father in law use to burn orange peels to keep the chimney clean.

    I'll stick to seasoned wood and a brush down the chimney!

    Bill
     
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  10. North of 60

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    +2
     
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  11. Pagey

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    That's how you know them taters is workin! :p
     
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  12. billb3

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    sure beets walking out to the compost pile with them in January.
     
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  13. Pagey

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    I see what you did there. VERY clever!
     
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  14. nola mike

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    If yer gettin creosote in yer chimney, you just need to turnip the heat of yer fire...
     
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  15. BrotherBart

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    The idea has a peel.
     
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  16. Blasket

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    My mother swore by potato skins to keep the chimney clean, every so often she would throw in a big bag of skins on the fire, used to drive my father nuts as it usually killed the fire :mad: We never did have a chimney fire.
     
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  17. Bub381

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    Well you can all laugh but me and my spuddies are gonna try em.I'll keep an EYE out and tell ya what i find.Seriously will throw a few in though.Those old folk weren't stupid. :blank:
     
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  18. North of 60

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    Its a poor mans method of steam cleaning. Thats it!
    EDIT: Except no cleaning is taking place.
     
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  19. BrotherBart

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    Might I be so bold as to suggest that nobody throws anything but dry wood into their stove to prevent a creosote problem, until they determine that they actually have a creosote problem.
     
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  20. Rage_Perry

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    I read someone else here in the forums said that they throw a handful of rock salt on a bed of coals once a week to help with buildup. I don't disbelieve this, but if you are reading this can you share your experiences?

    I have a Heatilator WS22 [non-cat w/ 2ndary combustion tubes], installed only 2 weeks ago and am still getting the hang of how long to run full throttle and when to throttle down.... I don't want any trouble too early. I am confident that the wood I am using is good too.
     
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  21. Dakotas Dad

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    So.. I don't want to peel any potatoes..

    Would using potato chips be just like using eco bricks?
     
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  22. raybonz

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    +1 If you burn dry wood with proper air settings you won't need to add anything to reduce creosote..

    Ray
     
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  23. Bub381

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    I'll brush mine every couple of months,that'll take care of all this.No salt though.
     
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  24. firefighterjake

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    And other nuggets from the past . . . :)

    -- Don't burn pine. Pine causes creosote. (An oldy, but goodie from many long time wood burners.)

    -- The best days to cut your firewood are on __, ___. ___. etc. (From one of those Almanacs).

    -- The best way to clean a chimney is to stuff it full of hay, cardboard or crumpled newspaper and light it. (From some old-timers . . . that didn't burn their house down.)

    -- You should only burn seasoned wood . . . that's why we cut down our wood in the Summer so it's seasoned by the Fall -- 3 months later. (From the old school crowd.)

    -- Sometimes it's good to burn some unseasoned wood . . . it makes the fire last longer at night. (From the folks who brought you the 2 a.m. chimney fire)

    -- The cute little poem about what wood is good to burn and what isn't.
     
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  25. Bub381

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    Jake point taken,VERY good point.
     
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