How to Prevent Creosote Buildup With Borax

Creosote is formed when wood smoke condenses and attaches itself to the lining of a chimney before it exits the top of the pipe. A wood-burning stove with a chimney full of creosote is at risk of catching fire. Reduce the risk of fire and prevent creosote buildup with Borax. Borax inhibits creosote from attaching to the walls inside a clean chimney.

Step 1

Light a fire and raise the temperature of the stove pipe to at least 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer attached to the stove pipe to gauge the real temperature within the chimney. Maintain the temperature for at least 10 minutes.

Step 2

Open the door to the wood burning stove. Throw an additional piece of firewood into the flames, reduce the heat of the fire and allow the temperature within the chimney to cool to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the stove pipe thermometer for the drop in temperature.

Step 3

Mix four cups of Borax and one cup of salt together into a bucket. Use a measuring cup to take the four cups of Borax out of its container and pour it into the bucket. Take one cup of salt and pour it into the bucket with the Borax. Mix the two ingredients together thoroughly. Continue to make the four parts Borax and one part salt mixture until your bucket at least half full.

Step 4

Scoop one quarter cup of the Borax and salt mix into the measuring cup and spread the mixture over the fire. Shake the measuring cup as you move it from one side in the doorway of the fireplace. Stoke the fresh piece of firewood so that the mixture can settle toward the bottom of the wood.

Step 5

Close the door of the wood-burning stove and raise the inside temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit again. When the temperature reaches the appropriate level, let it cool and continue to warm your home as usual. Prevent creosote buildup with Borax once every two weeks to maintain a clean chimney that resists the build up of creosote during the cold winter months.

Step 6

Clean the wood-burning stove once a month to prevent salt build up at the bottom of the fire pit. Remove all the embers and ash at the base of the stove and sweep it out with a hand brush. Finish cleaning and return to normal operation. Raise the temperature of the chimney above 250 degrees every time you prevent creosote build up with Borax to ensure that the benefits of the treatment will be realized.

Francis Walsh

Francis Walsh has been working as a freelance writer since 2003. He has contributed to websites such as Shave, Autogeek and Torque & Chromeas, as well as provided content for private clients. Walsh has worked as a performance part-packer and classic car show promoter, now serving as crew chief for Nitrousfitz Racing.