Does Homemade Creosote Remover Work? What Dissolves Creosote

When your fireplace starts smelling like the burning of tires, your chimney is hissing like mini bombs exploding inside the lines, and you begin experiencing some unusual smoke coming out of your chimney hose, your fireplace needs attention.

Does Homemade Creosote Remover Work

Your fireplace or chimney is plunging with stage 3 creosote for those who don’t know about this behavior. So, before any mishap, you need to sweep your fireplace to eliminate this stubborn residue.

Many products are in the market claiming the best solution for creosote removal. Yet, you can also try a DIY homemade creosote remover that mitigates the creosote buildup.

So, let’s see, is cleaning creosote with homemade creosote cleaner effective?

Does Homemade Creosote Remover Work? What Dissolves Creosote

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends if your chimney has 1/8 inches of buildup, you need to sweep your chimney to prevent any type of hazard. Remember, a chimney is a sensitive thing regarding efficiency and safety. As creosote has been categorized into stages, the 3rd-degree creosote doesn’t leave your chimney just by scraping, burning, and any other “hacks.”

Does Homemade Creosote Remover Work

Most of the people use scraping tools which definitely pull off or clean creosote from the chimney to some extent, but it also damages the mortar, potentially leading to a safety hazard.

Yes, there are many efficacious creosote cleaning services and solutions in the market. However, if it doesn’t serve your goals and budget, here is a DIY solution to get rid of creosote buildup.

What Dissolves Chimney – Clean Creosote From Chimney with DIY Methods:

Sometimes chimney owners don’t put their trust in commercial creosote chimney cleaners, which is fine; you can’t risk your chimney with a chemical substance. Beyond this way, you can add homemade chimney removers to your gearbox and get to work. Here are some of the pathways you can do it at home;

The Rock Salt Method: 

So what dissolves creosote? The rock salt (NaCl) residing in your kitchen will probably be a wonder for you as it can replace expensive creosote removal solutions. Yet, this method works fine for stage 2 creosote, and if you have stage 3, it can help to lessen the density. But it only partially removes stage 3 in most cases.

The Rock Salt Method

Another precaution is, don’t use this or any other method that includes sulphuric acid or other acidic substances for metallic chimneys. Salt, combined with moisture, may corrode the metallic flue of the chimney. So, this may do more than good.

So, let’s see how you do it;

  • Arrange the perfectly dried hardwood
  • Gather the firewood in the fireplace
  • Fire up the wood
  • Pick 1-2 tablespoons of salt. Don’t exceed the limit, as overdoing anything is harmful
  • Don’t sprinkle the salt but throw it in quantity.
  • Let the wood burn for 15-30 minutes.  

The idea is that natural sulfate or salts conjoined with the wood’s natural moisture content help the creosote to deteriorate and lose its position. However, it may not be an effective resolution for stage 3 creosote, as said above.

The Baking Soda Paste:

Baking soda should be called “Cleaning Soda” as it’s the most effective DIY cleaning solution for many household chores. Still, cleaning creosote from the chimney at 3rd stage, it doesn’t guarantee eternal results yet. It can make stubborn tar fall to a considerable extent.

The Baking Soda Paste
  • Make a paste of baking soda and warm water with an equal ratio
  • Don’t make it a thin fluid, but it should be in the form of a thick paste
  • Apply directly to a creosote patch and let it scrub until you see the hard dark tar unsticking from the surface.
  • If this paste works, you can apply it to the entire creosote-covered area.

Ideally, your fireplace will not be swept in one go. You have to make multiple applications of this solution in the course of weeks to a month to finally get rid of a considerable amount of creosote.

The Dishwasher and Salt Method:

Your regular dishwasher liquid blended with the same rock salt can replicate the commercial creosote chimney cleaners. As said above, salt and sulfate carry that abrasiveness that can depreciate the creosote buildup.

The Dishwasher and Salt Method
  • Make a paste-like solution of dishwasher and salt with the same quantity each.
  • Apply it to a patch before going deep into the chimney
  • Scrub it to see the effects
  • If it softens the creosote, you can gently use a metal scrapper tool.
  • In order to strengthen the power of this solution, you can add 50-70Gm of Ammonia. However, test it on a patch first.
  • Let the solution sit for 15 min at least to 1hr as per the thickness of the creosote.
  • Let wipe the fireplace walls with a damp cloth.

If all goes well, use this mixture after a couple of weeks.

How to Prevent Creosote in Chimneys to Get Built Again?

Hey, what have you asked me? I mean, Creosote is unfading.

You can’t totally kill it. However, you can manage the creosote velocity of building up in your fireplace. Firewood releases ashes and gaseous residue that combines with moisture and gets stuck to your chimney flue creating soot. Then, if the soot doesn’t clean up at the right time, the additional layer of soot converts it into shining hard flakes and then into creosote.  

It’s evident! Cleaning your chimney whenever it deserves keeps you away from creosote cleaning fatigue. However, you can further minimize the creosote buildups with these techniques.

How to Prevent Creosote in Chimneys to Get Built Again

Manage the Moisture: 

Moisture in the way of fire can be a primary cause of many troubles. So, always manage the moisture formation. Well, technically, the immediate source of moisture is the wet, fresh and unseasoned wood. These wood have a higher moisture content ratio, yielding more smoke than seasoned hardwood. It’s advisable to use properly aged wood with a moisture ratio only ranging from 15-25%.

Reasonably, the main idea is less smoke and less residue sticking to the chimney flue.

Clear the Smoke Path:

Secondly, always remove hurdles from the exhausting channel. In short, always keep the airflow passage wide, open, and barrier-free. Chimneys don’t sustain heat; instead, they permit the residue to safely exhaust.

The slower and tighter the airflow channel will be, the more residue will stick to chimney linings. Consequently, remove all the reasoning which can halt the airflow.

Don’t Burn Commercial Laminated Wood or Cardboard:

I know, a perfectly seasoned hardwood can take a dig at your budget. Thus, many people burn cardboards and laminated plywood, which are relatively cheaper heat sources. As these wood types are commercially and chemically treated, so exhausting life-threatening residue is much greater than natural wood.

Applying the same formula to wood type produces high smoke, eventually not suitable for your chimney.

How to Check Chimney Against Creosote Build-Up:

Creosote is a gradual process; it doesn’t build up overnight. So, psychologically, chimney owners become lazy or forget to do chimney cleaning. This worsened the condition, and you ended up facing severe black hardened tar in the exhaust passage.

How to Check Chimney Against Creosote Build-Up

So, to check when your fireplace is asking for a cleanup, here are points to ponder.

  • Low drafting
  • Low amount of ashes after burning of firewood
  • Greasy or oily substance leaking from chimney
  • Extremely dark smoke coming out of the exhaust
  • Unusual hissing sounds

Only timely cleaning and maintenance can prevent you from facing stage 3 formation.


Will a Hot Fire Remove Creosote?

Hot fire will remove creosote only if it’s at a minimal stage. The stage 3 creosote won’t have positive impacts, but the smoke will form additional layers of hard creosote flakes. Bring the temperature to 250-350F, and it’ll eat most of the creosote dust.

Where Does Creosote Buildup the Most?

A chimney is the creosote’s favorite habitat, where it builds up the most. The core reason behind creosote development is restricted air supply. The chimney is the part where the air channel is narrow. The smoke, combined with moisture and wood residue, finds chimneys favorable conditions to become creosote.

Which Woods Produce the Most Creosote?

Chemically treated wood and soft wet wood produce the most creosote. Plywood and laminates are hazardous to human health. Whereas fruitwood like cedar, pine, and fir grows much creosote building content.

The Bottom Line:

Homemade creosote removers work efficiently for stage 2 creosote. However, it’s better to hire professional chimney sweep services for stage 3 as it’s the state of the most stubborn type of creosote. A mixture of salts, bleach, and baking soda is the substance what dissolves creosote. But you need to put extra care while scraping creosote, so it doesn’t damage the chimney flue and mortar. To avoid the formation of creosote, there are a few tips to slow down the process, but you can’t entirely kill the formation.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *