Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cleaning Woodstove Creosote

Last week I told you about how important our chainsaw is for gathering wood. Without our wood-burning stove, we couldn't live in our cabin year-round. Another important task is maintaining our woodstove to prevent creosote buildup.

Several times during the burning season, Wayne goes up on the porch roof to clean out the external stovepipe. At least once a year, we remove and clean the indoor pipe and scoop ash off the smoke shelf. There are two beneficial reasons. The first, is safety. Creosote can cause chimney fires. Secondly, the fire burns more efficiently, which in turn reduces creosote buildup. Here's what came out of the pipe this time.

I designed a tool to use to help scrape out the horizontal pipes. I call it a Woodstove Sock Puppet. Since we always clean our pipe when there's no fire, it isn't dangerous to you a cloth device. The extra surface area helps Wayne scoop out as much buildup as possible.

Now our woodstove is burning bright, and we're Kozi warm off the grid. -- Margy


  1. I remember cleaning the woodstove and pipes many years ago. We used wood as the primary heat source but now we use natural gas.

  2. Memories of when we had a woodstove - I still miss it - but not the maintenance needed. I love your stove cleaning sock puppet.

  3. Very interesting tidbit. I don't remember my dad ever doing this.

  4. This is my first winter with a wood stove since childhood. The old skills have come back. I thought lighting it would be an annoying chore but so far it is giving me pleasure. Bringing back old memories perhaps?

  5. Thanks for this reminder, we haven't cleaned ours out yet, but I know we need to. I may re-create your woodstove sock puppet:)