Return to How To's & Project Ideas

Clean & Maintain Your Stove

Print this article Share

A multi-fuel stove can burn smokeless coal, wood or peat, which is why they are sometimes also referred to as solid-fuel stoves. We will show you the best way to clean and care for your matt or enamel stove as well as the glass in the door.

Stoves are now easier and cleaner to use than ever before. They come in two different types of exterior: Enamel - a glossy vitreous enamel, and Senotherm - matt black.

Cleaning a Vitreous Enamel Stove

The high gloss vitreous enamel finish on your stove is tough and hardwearing but should be treated with care. Here are some tips to help you keep it in the best condition:

  • Cleaning must be carried out when the stove is cool.
  • Regularly wipe the stove with a damp, soapy cloth, followed by a polish with a clean and dry duster. For stubborn deposits, carefully use a non-abrasive, soapy pad.
  • Only use products that are recommended by the stove manufacturer. Most stove companies sell their own brand of approved enamel cleaner. Always adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions on the cleaning product.
  • Do not use abrasive pads or oven cleaners containing citric acid on enamelled surfaces.

Cleaning a Matt Black Stove

You only need to use a dry cloth on your matt black  stove to remove any dust or dirt. Do not use any water on the matt black finish as this will cause it to rust.

You can refresh a matt black stove with a fresh paint finish, either by brushing on tinned paint or by spraying on an aerosol paint; both available from Topline stores. Here is a brief step-by-step guide to painting your matt black stove. Please also follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions.

1. Prepare
Brush down the cast iron using a grade one steel wool, ensuring that an even coat remains on the surface. Then dust the area.

2. Apply Paint
Apply the paint evenly over the surface. Two to three coats may be required depending on the condition of the original paint. Do not paint on thick coats and always allow the paint to dry thoroughly between coats. Allow the final coat to dry overnight.

When firing the stove for the first time since painting, open a window as the paint will give off a smell during this first use.

Cleaning Glass on Stoves

Typically the glass will clean itself when there is sufficient heat generated by burning fuel. If a build-up of creosote occurs on the glass it may be due to draught conditions, poor quality fuel or low burning for a long time.

Only clean the glass when the stove has thoroughly cooled. Either use a stove glass cleaner or hot water and a soapy cloth to clean the glass. For stubborn stains also use a fine (grade zero) steel wool.

Prevent stove glass from blackening with the following tips:

  • The air wash system is only effective on higher rates of burn so ensure the fire is blazing strongly before closing the vents.
  • Avoid poor grade or damp fuel, which exacerbate the condition.
  • Even with good quality fuel, low burning will sometimes show this condition, however when the draught is opened it should clear up.

Prolong the Life of your Stove

  1. Do not burn fuel with a high moisture content such as damp peat or unseasoned timber, as they lead to a build-up of tar in the stove and chimney.
  • Burning soft fuels such as timber and peat can stain the glass. Regular cleaning will prevent permanent staining.
  • Do not burn rubbish or household plastic.
  • Clean the flue ways of the stove every month and ensure there no blockages. Please refer to your stove manufacturer’s manual for instructions as they vary from stove to stove.
  • Clean the chimney at least twice a year.
  • Before loading fresh fuel into the stove, fully remove all ashes to allow better and cleaner burning.
  • Never allow a build-up of ashes in the ash pan, as this will cause the grate to burn out prematurely.
  • Allow adequate air ventilation to ensure plenty of air for combustion.

You might also be interested in