Pellet Stoves: How to safely and easily remove build up from the glass

A well functioning pellet stove can provide a warm and cozy atmosphere in your home. But the window of your pellet stove also gets dirty and accumulates smoke grime over time. If left unchecked, the buildup becomes unsightly, and spoils your view of the pellet flames.

Cleaning the glass can be a tough and dirty job if you haven’t been told about these tricks. And the best part is we don’t recommend using any harsh chemicals.

What Causes Buildup on Pellet Stove Glass?

So, what causes the glass to become dirty? The buildup left on the pellet stove glass occurs over time, usually when the fire produces a lot of smoke. Sometimes the buildup is thick and sticky, and can be tricky to remove.

The buildup is typically a combination of soot and creosote, and a few other nasty toxic substances from the smoke that you don’t want accumulating in your pellet stove.

How to Remove Buildup from Pellet Stove Glass

Note: if you suffer from asthma, it might be best to wear a mask and read Pellet Stove and Asthma Health Risks first.

Here are the steps you can follow to remove the buildup from your pellet stove glass:


  • Allow the stove to cool completely.
  • Lay an old towel at the base of the pellet stove. The next steps use water which can get messy if too much is used.

Start Cleaning the Glass

  • Remove any loose ash or soot from the stove and the glass. A steel wool or scourer is great for this.
  • Once most of the soot is removed, moisten a rag, squeeze out excess water and dip it into some ash.
  • Wipe the ash over the glass. The ash acts as a mild abrasive to dislodge the dirty from the glass. Keep scrubbing until most of the dirty is gone.
  • For stubborn stains, scrub with the steel wool or scourer. Steel wool will not leave scratches on glass.
  • Keep alternating between the damp rag with ash, and the steel wool until the glass is clean.

How to get streak free glass on your pellet stove

  • Once the dirty has been removed you can focus on that streak free finish.
  • Mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar.
  • Dip a clean cloth into the solution and wring it out.
  • Wipe down all over the glass window a few times with the cloth, using a circular motion.
  • Allow the glass to dry. As the glass dries the vinegar evaporates the water away leaving a streak free finish.
  • If any streaks remain, clean the cloth and repeat, then consider using a dry microfiber cloth for a final wipe down.

Baking Soda for more stubborn stains

Sometimes we can’t get into the edges of the glass, and sometimes the stains are just too ingrained to remove easily. This is where some chemical help can assist.

Baking soda is a great choice to break down the surface holding power of dirt and grime. It acts as a pH adjuster that gets into the grime by changing its pH level. Baking soda is a gentle cleaner that won’t damage your pellet stove and is harmless to you.

  • Mix a couple of tea spoons of baking soda in a small amount (few drops) of water, making a thin paste.
  • Moisten a cloth and dip into the baking soda mix.
  • Apply the baking soda to the dirty and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Now scrub away with a steel wool or scourer.

For hard to reach areas like the glass edge, mix baking soda with more water and spar it on with a pump action spray bottle. You might need to let it sit a little longer, up to a few hours, before attempting to scrub off.

Once the dirty is remove, see above for a streak free clean with water and vinegar.