Wulf's Webden

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Cleaning with Mess

After the first couple of fires in our woodstove, the glass at the front was already looking quite dirty. We probably didn’t have it hot enough or burnt wood that was either a bit wet or resinous. How could we get it clean again to enjoy the full benefit of the flames?

It turns out that everything we needed was at hand. I sat in front of the fire with a bowl of water and a damp cloth and wet the inside of the glass. Dabbing my fingers in the ash inside the fire, I rubbed them across the surface and then wiped the resulting mess off using newspaper (on hand for setting new fires).

The result? A very impressive cleaning job. Online sources suggest that the ash is both mildly abrasive and mildly caustic which gives it an edge over plain water although I must give the even simpler solution a test next time I get a build up on the glass. However, I am happy with the result and delighted with the idea that I can use one pile of mess to help clean another.

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