How to Clean Creosote Buildup in a Wood Burning Stove

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Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle

  • Water

  • Eucalyptus oil

  • Wire brush

  • Cloth

  • Drop cloth or towel

  • Rubber gloves

  • Safety goggles

Image Credit: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Creosote buildup needs to be cleaned out of your wood burning stove regularly. Thorough cleaning in spring and fall help to keep the creosote buildup from getting too thick; a large buildup of the substance creates health and fire hazards. Although the cleaning process requires hard work, making sure your wood burning stove remains free of creosote keeps it working for longer periods of time. There are simple tools you can use in cleaning up creosote.

Step 1

Put on pants and a long-sleeved shirt as well as rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect your skin and eyes before cleaning up creosote.

Step 2

Lay a towel or drop cloth around the area where you are cleaning to catch any creosote buildup and prevent it from staining your carpet or floor.

Step 3

Fill a spray bottle with hot water and spray the inside of your wood burning stove. Thoroughly wet the creosote buildup inside the stove.

Step 4

Scrub the creosote with a wire scrub brush. Get as much of the creosote buildup off of the inside of the stove as possible.

Step 5

Put eucalyptus oil on the remaining creosote in your stove and allow it to sit for one hour. Eucalyptus oil breaks down creosote and helps remove stains as well.

Step 6

Spray the creosote with hot water from the spray bottle and scrub the inside of your wood burning stove again to remove the creosote and eucalyptus oil.

Step 7

Spray the inside of your stove with hot water and wipe it down with a dry cloth.

Step 8

Remove all creosote buildup and dispose of it with your garbage.


Cleaning a chimney requires special preparation and equipment. Consult or hire a specialist to assist you with this process.

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