The Best Way to Clean the Glass Window of Your Fireplace or Wood Stove

Updated on April 20, 2019
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Steve is the owner of Chimney Works, a Cincinnati, Ohio based company. He also runs The Chimney Outpost, a small business blog.

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Your wood stove or fireplace insert glass can often have a grey or black film over it. This film can often seem "baked-on" and very difficult to remove. While your first reaction may be to grab a wire brush or some harsh chemical cleaners, you don't want to damage your expensive fireplace glass or create a fire hazard. Your best bet for cleaning your glass are things you have right near your fireplace: water, ash, and newspaper.

Be Safe!

WARNING: Before you begin cleaning your fireplace glass, make sure that your fireplace insert or stove has no smoldering ash. Remember that coals can remain hot for up to 48 hours.

Items You Will Need to Clean Your Fireplace

  • Newspaper (I prefer the non-colored kind)
  • Regular tap water in a pan or bowl
  • Water spray bottle
  • Paper towels
  • Ash from your fireplace (secret weapon)

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Let's Get to It

Fold or crumple your newspaper, dip it in the water and then in the ash. You just need to moisten the newspaper a bit (just damp) and you just need a little ash to stick to the wet newspaper.

Take your dampened newspaper with ash and begin gently rubbing the item on the inside of your fireplace glass. I prefer a circular motion as I find it loosens the soot quicker. You will notice as you clean, your newspaper will turn black and become dirty. Discard that piece of newspaper and get some more, dip it in the water then ash, and repeat as needed. In short order, you will have removed the majority of the 'baked on' soot, and you'll have just a bit left on your glass.

Finishing Up

Spray some of the water on the glass and wipe off with a paper towel. Repeat until the paper towels have no black residue, then dry with a clean paper towel.

Good Job!

Thats it! You are all done - you just cleaned your fireplace glass with no harsh chemicals with no risk of damaging the expensive glass!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers


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        4 months ago

        This works so well! Our fireplace glass is spotless now. Thanks so much for sharing this method!

      • profile image

        Anne Spence 

        12 months ago

        I tried this after trying every cleaner ever made ... Wonderful .. Amazing ... it really works .. thank you ..

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        My husband and I just tried this with our EXTREMELY dirty fireplace glass and it was nothing short of amazing. HIghly recommended!


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