Thursday, November 29, 2012

How to Clean a Wood Burning Stove

Yikes!  Our Jotul wood burning fireplace was looking pretty sad, but I didn't want to take it apart and paint it.  We use our stove primarily to heat our home, and occasionally we cook with it.  Since our stove is cast iron I was thinking I could care for it like a cast iron skillet, and season the stove to clean it.  With a little bit of elbow grease, it is looking fantastic again.  It was such an amazing transformation, I am sharing it with you.  Dear hubby thinks I should do the stovepipe next, lol.

Stuff I used:
steel wool (I grabbed some from my husbands gun cleaning stuff)
spray olive oil
vacuum cleaner
Bar Keepers Friend (I use this to clean my stainless steel sink too, best stuff ever)

With steel wool, I fine sanded the rusty parts of our stove, mainly the top and a few spots on the side then vacuumed it to remove the dust and fine particles.  I opened up the front doors and cleaned the glass.  I usually use a special stove glass cleaner, but was out, so I tried Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser and Polish (Google Affiliate Ad).  It worked perfectly and cleaned the black soot off of the glass easily.  Then I sprayed the stove with olive oil and gently rubbed it around.  I was amazed that my cloth was black and how the olive oil cleaned the stove.  Wow!

We had a small fire and the olive oil smelled so good my husband asked what I was cooking, lol.  The oil will burn off completely after a few fires, and the stove will have a matt finish. 

Do not overheat your stove after applying olive oil, it could smoke up your house.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by - Last year we had to replace one of our glass panels :(

  2. Found that a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar & water cleans the glass quickly & is inexpensive. Will do a test area with olive oil after cleaning off a bit of surface rust with 0000 steel wool.

    1. Thank you Dewe, I'll try water and vinegar on my glass soon, since I need to prep our wood stove for the upcoming heating season. Let me know how your stove cleaning project turns out.