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I used to use salt sprinkled on the logs as they burned.

It helped some.

Most of all is not to let crersote build up or their will be a fire, in the chimney or stove pipe.

Crersote build is the most dangerous problem with burning wood.


From the above link:

Do chimney powders work? Are there any dangers?
How effective are creosote powder cleaners? The brand I have is [****], and the active ingredient is cupric chloride. Are there any dangers to the use of this material, and are the ashes of concern as far as toxicity is concerned?

Thanks for your help,

Hi James,
Here is an excerpt from the Wood Energy Technical Training reference manual, part of the Canadian training and certification system for wood heat technicians and inspectors:

" Chloride-based powders, containing copper, zinc, or other metals, are the oldest form of chimney chemical. The active ingredients in these powders are the heavy metals and chlorides which have the corrosive qualities of salt. Chloride-based powders are effective only at high temperatures, so they are sprinkled on an intense fire. Tests have shown that this form of anti-creosote powder is not particularly effective and the chloride-based powders attack steel and cast iron. Therefore, chloride-based powders are not recommended."

I would also point out it has been found more recently that the combustion of organic materials (like wood) in the presence of chlorines/chlorides, such as salt, bleach, plastics and so on, promotes the formation of the toxic pollutants dioxin and furan.

The best way to remove chimney deposits is through brushing. If deposits form quickly or are difficult to remove, the problem is fuel quality and firing technique.

If you really must use a chemical treatment, look for manganese based liquids. They actually work somewhat if used correctly.

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I think this is just an old wives tale, and I certainly don't do this myself, but I have heard that throwing potato peels on a fire keeps the chimney clean.

If this is not an old wives tale, will someone please explain to me the chemistry behind this process?

I don't know about powders, but there is a liquid called Anti-Creo-Soot (ACS), that comes in a gallon bottle (like a bleach bottle). It says it is non-toxic, but there is no list of ingredients on it, and it smells faintly like hand dishwashing liquid or vinegar. It is like $35 a bottle, so it is not cheap. I am not that impressed with it, and we're still on the same bottle I bought two years ago because I keep forgetting to use some.

It might be a weak solution of TSP. I would think that by law you had to put ingredient names on products in case you had to call the poison control center....

We have our chimney cleaned once a year, and I think instead of using the logs or whatever, save that money and pay a chimney sweep. Our sweep recommends smaller, hotter fires, especially when you're burning the softer woods, and not throwing big huge chunks of wood on the fire.

Hope this helps.

There is a product in log form at Walmart and also a thing called soot stix that my hubby uses in our woodstove, they require a HOT fire. He works at a plumbing & heating store and gets them there. One older gentleman that frequents the store said a hot fire and add potato peelings to the stove....we havent tried it but usually old timers have ingenius fixes for common problems around the homestead!
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