Keeping it tidy around the stove

Gr8ftblr

New Member
Mar 12, 2017
18
SE Tennessee
I like keeping it neat, tidy, and clean around my stove. Please share tips you have learned either during ash removal, transporting wood, or any other task that you have managed to figure out how to keep from making a mess. Wood burning is messy but some have learned to minimize. Please share away!
 
Oct 31, 2017
123
S.C.Pa
We are peticular also.....use a hand he'd vac to clean up any wood chips n dust. Also when any loose (fly) ash appears.
There's a post or a reply I have seen where a gentleman uses a popcorn maker (open fire one) to remove ashes......so I bought one n tried it n I really like it!! Just keep it inside ur stove while slowly shoveling coals n ash into it.....closethe lid n take it outside to dump into ash bucket.
 

CincyBurner

Feeling the Heat
Mar 10, 2015
398
SW Ohio
My boss had a cooking term Mise en place (MEEZ ahn plahs)
is a French term for having all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, etc. before you start cooking. Pans are prepared. Mixing bowls, tools and equipment set out. It is a technique chefs use to assemble meals so quickly and effortlessly
that could apply for this topic
* hearth tools: poker & scraper parked on hearth beneath wood stove
* hearth/ welding gloves on hearth to side and behind side door
* short one-handled broad (9" wide) hearth shovel hanging from mantle. Sweepings easily swept into shovel wide enough for quick sweep yet easy to pitch back into stove (most dust pans just a bit too wide for to pitch straight & level into wood stove side door).
* kindling in brass barrel from grandpa's fireplace along with horse hair brush (daily clean-ups)
* horse hair broom with with handle painted to match room wall color stored behind lamp in corner
* of to side of room: old copper canning tub that holds small tools (hearth shovel), window cleaning supplies, and bit of newspaper, a couple wood racks to allow wood to come to room temp, Corona promo beer pail filled with dried orange/ grapefruit skins collected throughout the year, fat pine in small metal holder that sits on floor
All easy enough to find when I reload in the dark
And in garage:
* small portable shop hang-up vac hanging on wall in garage for small hearth clean-ups
* several old 15# & 20# nursery containers that hold wood scraps/ rakings, small uglies and cookies for start-ups esp. during shoulder season
And on concrete front porch:
* ash pail w/ hearth shovel and coal sifter shovel, and couple old coffee cans
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,022
South Puget Sound, WA
I got a Black and Decker heavy duty dustbuster last year and it has worked out great. It's also been handy for cleaning sofa cushions of cat hair and for quick car rug cleanups.
 

Gr8ftblr

New Member
Mar 12, 2017
18
SE Tennessee
Nice. I got a warm ash vac. So far so good with it. It’s the Power Smith Vac.
 
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griam01

Member
Jan 22, 2016
156
Upper Panhandle, WV
I use a wood tote to carry my wood in. Keeps a lot of the mess in the tote but when I need to clean up I have a cordless Dyson I use to quickly get the wood pieces and cool ash up. Been using it for a few years now.
 
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CincyBurner

Feeling the Heat
Mar 10, 2015
398
SW Ohio

Chas0218

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2015
482
Beaver Dams New York
I have tried a few totes/ wood carriers. This tote has worked well for me: https://www.lehmans.com/product/closed-end-log-totes-large/
It's very tough, durable material (it hasn't shown signs of wear in almost 10 years) and easily carries enough wood for a day in one load.
I Have a closed end tote and usually fold the ends in because it hinders how much I can carry I like to carry 1 whole stove load in at a time so about 6 or 7 pieces that are around 5" across

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 
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Blazing

Feeling the Heat
Mar 2, 2015
272
VA
I load at most every 12 hours.. if I gotta run a broom for 30 seconds every 12 hours I guess I'm just a workaholic lol. Joking aside a dust pan and hand held work for me. I dust like a mad man though can't stand it.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,049
Fairbanks, Alaska
I use that wee tiny hole in the floor of my stove to scrape ashes into the factory equipped ash drawer. It takes FOREVER to get the ash through the little hole, but it saves having to dust the living room, so ends up being overall quicker.
 

glennm

Burning Hunk
Dec 26, 2010
192
S Ontario
I hold an ash vac nozzle in the ash pail when shoveling out the ash. The vac sucks in the dust that rises when you dump the shovel
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
18,851
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I like keeping it neat, tidy, and clean around my stove. Please share tips you have learned either during ash removal, transporting wood, or any other task that you have managed to figure out how to keep from making a mess. Wood burning is messy but some have learned to minimize. Please share away!
Mess from the wood . . . I try to minimize the mess from the firewood (i.e. dirt, bark, etc.) by using a canvas tote from LL Bean to bring in the wood and then I place it in a woodbox beside the woodstove. The woodbox has a large plastic tote inside it to help contain the mess until I can clean it out in the Spring. I am however a slob and invariably bark will fall on to the hearth or floor when moving wood from the canvas tote to the woodbox or woodbox to the woodstove so I keep a small whisk broom and pan on a hook on the woodbox so I can sweep up the mess and toss it into the woodstove.

Mess from the ashes . . . I really like my stove's ash pan. It's pretty simple and relatively clean to remove the ashes. I do use the aforementioned whisk broom however to clean up any ash that spills out when I remove the ash pan. I dump the ashes outside into a covered metal pail that is away from all combustibles (presently it's sitting in about 12-14 inches of snow.)
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,386
07462
my stove is in the basement, but never the less I like everything clean (I'm a freak) So to store wood I bought a large metal horse feeding bucket from tractor supply, its about 16" high w/ a 32" radius, holds a day and half worth of wood and keeps the wood crumbs in the bucket for easy dumping. I also have a dustbuster to vacuum around the stove is something gets messy. I keep my fire tools neatly on its rack, I bought a hearth rug that the fire tools rest on, also my welding gloves.
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,067
Long Island NY
I got a Black and Decker heavy duty dustbuster last year and it has worked out great. It's also been handy for cleaning sofa cushions of cat hair and for quick car rug cleanups.
If its this one you should be happy, mine has lasted for years (jinx!) and the filter setup is nice and durable.
 

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Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
694
Rochester NY
I usually clean the stove ashes out every week, typically on Mondays. Empty ash, wipe down the glass, dump ashes out back in the fire pit. Afterwards I run the shop vac over the door mat next to the stove to get wood crumbs and stuff off there and go around the hearth and stove itself with the shop vac "duster" attachment....basically the round attachment with soft bristles. Seems to work just fine, and no I'm not having ash blowing out the back of the shop vac.
 
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yooper08

Minister of Fire
Jan 4, 2016
618
South Lyon, MI
I also have a canvas wood tote to carry wood inside. I have a wood basket that I transfer it to, then fold up the tote such that the crumbs and dirt don't go everywhere and tuck that into the corner. Keeps the hearth pretty clean and it gets vacuumed when the rest of the room does.

As for when it's time to shovel out ash, I make sure the firebox is relatively warm so that any ash that gets disturbed stays inside and/or goes up with the draft instead of wherever. Turn off the fans. I'll open the door slowly, similar to not wanting smoke spillage...don't want ash spillage from the sudden change in air movement inside the box. Inevitably there's some spillage if ash is right against the door, but for me, it's never gone past the ash lip. When shoveling, I'll have the lid of my ash bucket underneath the shovel to catch anything that may fall. There's some ash on the hearth over the course of time, but I've never had it go any further than a few inches away. In other words, I've never had to dust the room of ash particulate.
 
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Mark8

Member
Dec 23, 2017
248
Central California
Keeping things neat is good, but what do you do when the mess you brought in your house has legs like spiders, how do you stop from bringing them in your house and making a mess with spider webs or worse black widows, or even a brown recluse.
 

yooper08

Minister of Fire
Jan 4, 2016
618
South Lyon, MI
Keeping things neat is good, but what do you do when the mess you brought in your house has legs like spiders, how do you stop from bringing them in your house and making a mess with spider webs or worse black widows, or even a brown recluse.
As I gather wood outside to bring in, I'll grab a split in each hand and knock them a couple of times. Gets dirt off and may knock some critters off, but if they're under the bark, it can be hard to prevent them from coming in. The only prevention there I know of is bring in what you're going to burn now.
 
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RobbieB

Feeling the Heat
Feb 19, 2017
290
Central CA
Best so far is the little 2 quart stainless steel bucket I bought for ashes. I use the little tool kit shovel to scoop up the first line and then I leave it in the stove and put the little bucket in the stove on the clean strip. Then just dump the shovel into the bucket rinse and repeat and any misses just stay in the stove.
 

armanidog

Burning Hunk
Jan 8, 2017
184
Northeast Georgia
I'm finding damn stinkbugs in my logs. It's hard enough to keep them out of the house and then to just invite them inside. :-(
I have to remember to knock each log as I pick it up.
 

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
694
Rochester NY
It's been so cold here that nothing is living in my wood. But as mentioned, I don't really bring that much in at a time anyway. Usually I'm making a couple trips to the garage per day.
 

heavy hammer

Minister of Fire
Jul 18, 2015
1,424
Kirtland Ohio
I have an old vacuum that I use the attachments while shoveling ash into a large metal bucket when cleaning out the stoves. It gets that ash cloud before it can poof out into the room. I have a small hand held for cleaning up wood pieces when loading the stoves. I usually bring my wood in with three or four clean five gallon buckets I have in the garage to keep the tracking wood mess down. I clean a lot, years of when living at home with my parents my mother was a clean freak. Swept the floors everyday, wiped down the hard wood floors at least daily. I tell my wife all the time the house needs cleaned and begin sweeping and cleaning. I do tell her it is because my mother messed us up as children, my 2 brothers are the same.
 
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Zack R

Feeling the Heat
Sep 27, 2017
287
Sisters, OR
flic.kr
A canvas tote made a big difference for me. A lot less mess keeping the wood in the tote vs piling it up on the tile next to the stove. We have a 11 month old girl who is quick to find any small chips or pieces of bark so I run the vacuum around the area once a day.