Cleaning Stove and Fireplace Glass - by Ken Rajesky, Hearthlink International
Proper Wood Stove, Fireplace, and Gas Stove Glass Door Cleaning
Before you start any procedure involving your glass door, its important to fist check your manufacturers instructions to ensure that the cleaner or the method that you plan to use complies with their requirements. This is especially important if the glass is still under warranty. Second, always make sure that you have the proper safety equipment such as gloves or glasses. Cleaners may be caustic to your skin, and your eyes are irreplaceable.
There are two ways to clean your glass. The first way is to clean the glass with the glass still attached to the door. I recommend using a cleaner specifically designed for removing the brown and black stains (carbon) from the glass. Cleaners such as Glass Plus do not do a good job when it comes to carbon. There are several brands available, and the cleaner I have had great success comes in the form of an aqua colored paste. Typically the cleaner will come in a 12 oz. Bottle, and say Fireplace Glass Door Cleaner or Woodstove Glass Cleaner. You must clean the glass while its cool for best results. All youll need is a few paper towels, or cloths.
Leaving the Glass in the Door1. Open the door(s), and if possible, remove the door for easier access to the glass. If access is easy while the door is still attached, then leave it on.
Removing the Glass to Clean
If you need to remove the glass to clean, and/or you feel you need to replace the glass gasket, then you follow the steps outlined below. If you have a digital or Polaroid camera, you may wish to take a few pictures as you remove items, so that youll have a visual record available when you begin to reverse the procedure:1. First, loosen the clips that hold your glass in place. Since the design of these clips will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, youll need to consult your manual.
If you are seeing a grayish coating on the glass, thats due to the ashes from the wood swirling around the firebox from either the reloading process, or opening the doors or ash pan door below which will cause a rush of air to enter the firebox. This stirs up these ashes. Be sure to wipe the glass clean of these ashes at least one a week or they will etch and stain the glass permanently. Wood ash is very caustic.
Fireplace Glass Doors
Fireplace glass doors are quite easy to clean, except that they will require a larger amount of cleaner given their size versus a woodstove. Each door design is somewhat different in how the door clips are designed. Most doors, however, have spring-loaded clips along the top, which will allow you to remove the doors for maintenance. If you cannot remove the doors, check your manufacturers instructions for details.
Most fireplace doors are cleaned while still in their frame, so there will not be the need to remove the glass from the frame. This saves both time and aggravation.1. Open the remove the fireplace door(s) from the track in the frame.
Gas Appliance Glass Doors
Gas Stove Glass will not typically carbon up unless there is a problem in the combustion zone that is prompting a sooting condition, or direct flame impingement on the glass. In most cases, you do not receive the brownish colored carbon glass, but instead a whitish coating on the glass. This film is caused by high temperature silicone outgassing or curing and the result is this film on your glass.
The procedure for cleaning gas appliance glass doors is similar to how you would clean a woodstoves glass doors. However, the type of cleaner is different. We have found that a non-abrasive cleaner such as automotive white polishing compound, or Flitz works quite well.
Most gas appliance glass doors are held within a frame, especially direct venting models where the tightness of the glass door to the body of the stove is critical. And, in most cases, you do not have to remove the glass from the frame but instead, clean the glass while still place.1. First, loosen the clips that hold your glass frame in place. Since the design of these clips will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, youll need to consult your manual.
If the glass continues to have a white film during the season, consult your local dealer or manufacturer for the next steps.
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