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Fireplace soot--was: Off Topic - An engineer probably should know this, but I don't

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Rich Lewis wrote:
"When I moved in the glass windows were black with carbon.  The
fireplace, not the whole
house :o)  I cleaned them off.  But now when I have a fire they blacken
up again.  How can I keep them clean?"

It may help to build the fire farther back in the fireplace.  It may
not.  The worse soot happens when the bright yellow flames of an early
fire lap across the cold glass.  The hotter, bluer flames later in the
fire don't seem to leave any soot.  I don't know if it's because the
flame is cleaner, or because the glass is hotter by then and doesn't
condense as much soot out of the flame; but I suspect it's more the

When you've found that my first advice isn't worth a damn, go to the
second:  a wet paper towel dipped in ashes will scrub off the soot
easier than just about any spray bottle.  While it leaves its own gray
mess on the glass, that cleans up very readily.

Mike Hemstad
St. Paul, Minnesota  

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