Awhile back, a forum member reported that he had compared the ingredient labels of several off-the-shelf chemical creosote remover/destroyers, and discovered that they all contained trisodium phosphate dodecylhydrate (TSP). As I recall, he had a problem with glaze creosote buildup, and figured he could save himself tons of sponduits by just buying the TSP in bulk and sprinkling it on his fire, effectively cutting out the "middle men" who were marketing the same chemical in solution and gleefully pocketing the exhorbitant markup. A subsequent posting, as I recall, asked about what quantity of TSP should be applied to achieve the desired result. I wanted to speak up on both occasions, but, noting the thousands of daily visitors to the forum, decided instead to invest in TSP futures. Now that the stampede of TSP buyers has ensured a comfortable retirement, I think it is time to debunk this myth. While it is true that TSP is often used in chemical glaze removal sprays, it is not the active ingredient. The active ingredient in chemical creosote removers is generally some kind of chlorine salt, such as sodium chloride. Many also contain additional metallic chlorides to accelerate the breakdown of the glaze. These salts not only break down glaze creosote, but are horrendously corrosive to metal. The TSP is added to neutralize the metal corrosion properties of the active chemicals, so that glaze removal sprays and powders can be used without fear of damage to steel and cast iron woodstoves and manufactured metal venting components. Professional Chimney Sweeps use a stronger chemical soup, available only to the trade, which contains a more powerful caustic, Sodium Hydroxide. Unlike the off-the-shelf products, which are sprayed onto the wood or into the firebox and carried aloft to be deposited on the glaze by natural condensation, the industrial-strength soup is applied directly to the glaze using a proprietary spray head at the end of a long hose attached to a compressor or pump sprayer. Professional chemical glaze removal is done in two stages. After the Sodium Hydroxide mixture has done its job and the creosote has been broken down and swept out (Stage 1), another chemical mixture must be applied to neutralize the corrosiveness of the original spray. The Stage 2 mixture is the one that contains TSP.