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Potatoes and creosote

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

  1. Stegman

    Stegman Feeling the Heat

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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

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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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.
  3. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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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.
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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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. ;)
  5. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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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

    prescottonian New Member

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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.
  7. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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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

    oldspark Guest

    Creosote what creosote?
  9. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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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
  10. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    +2
  11. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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

    nola mike Feeling the Heat

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

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The idea has a peel.
  16. Blasket

    Blasket New Member

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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.
  17. Bub381

    Bub381 Minister of Fire

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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:
  18. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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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.
  20. Rage_Perry

    Rage_Perry New Member

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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.
  21. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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

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

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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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
  23. Bub381

    Bub381 Minister of Fire

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

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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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.
  25. Bub381

    Bub381 Minister of Fire

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    Jake point taken,VERY good point.

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