Best fireplace glass cleaner

We have taken all of the top fireplace glass cleaners from around the web and put them to a test to find out which ones are the best for your home. Let's get started!

To begin, we took all of the top fireplace glass cleaners from around the web and put them to a test. We looked at factors such as price, quality, and user feedback to determine which ones were the best for your home.

Next, we'll take a look at the top five fireplace glass cleaners of 2022. These cleaners are sure to make your fireplace look brand new!

Finally, we'll give you some instructions on how to use these cleaners properly. So if you have gas fireplaces, wood fireplaces, gas stoves, wood stoves, pellet stove or masonry heater, follow these instructions and your fireplace will be looking good as new in no time!

My Story

I heat my home exclusively with a masonry heater with glass doors on the firebox and oven. Even this efficient burner gets soot on the ceramic glass so I like to clean the glass surfaces every week or so.

Seeing the fire keeps me warmer.

There are several products out there, and I wanted to know which ones worked the best on fireplace glass doors...or woodstoves...or pellet stoves...whatever heater you choose!

I wanted a versatile cleaner (perhaps something that would double as an oven cleaner or even something for fiberglass shower doors), so I embarked on a research and testing mission...which one was the best?

Are all fireplace glass cleaners the same?

There are several different types of fireplace glass cleaners on the market, and each one has its own unique set of benefits. Some cleaners are designed to remove soot and ash from the glass, while others are meant to brighten and polish the glass. It's important to choose a cleaner that is suited for your specific needs.

For example, if you are looking for a cleaner that can remove soot and ash from the glass, then you should choose a product that is specifically designed for this purpose. On the other hand, if you are just looking to give your fireplace a quick clean-up before guests arrive, then a product that is designed to brighten and polish the glass would be a better option.

Soot is a black or brown powder that is produced when fuel burns. It's relatively easy to remove with basic glass cleaners. Creosote is a sticky, black substance that forms on the inside of chimneys and fireplace flues. Creosote is highly flammable and can cause chimney fires.

Why Does My Fireplace Glass Get Black?

soot on fireplace glass

Because soot and ash found in fireplaces can transfer onto the surface of the glass, making it appear black. This is a cosmetic issue that doesn't detract from your fireplace's efficiency.

However, it can be an indicator that your woodstove might not be burning as efficiently as possible.

(Hot fires burn more of this material than smoldering fires, so burning hot when you can help reduce build up.)

When running your wood stove at lower temperatures, not all the carbon from the wood gets burned. This can happen if you are burning wood with too high of a moisture content or if you are dampening down the stove when you are at work or sleeping.

Burning wood with too much moisture is more of a problem. It not only doesn't produce as much heat for your home but can also lead to a dangerous thick layer of creosote build-up.

But it is necessary to throttle down wood stoves if you are away at work or sleeping, so establishing a periodic cleaning process for your fireplace glass will help keep your fireplace or stove glass clean and attractive.

What's in Different Cleaners?

Choosing between commercial cleaners really boils down to a balance between your tolerance for dangerous acids or elbow grease.


If you prefer a non-toxic cleaner, you will need to scrub harder to get that baked-on soot and creosote residue off your fireplace glass.

However, if you don't mind making life easier with chemistry and want to choose a more powerful cleaner, then...a heavy-duty cleaner it is!

Spray Nine Fireplace Cleaner

Spray Nine is one of the milder fireplace glass door cleaners.

It comes in a spray bottle and, according to its website "Removes wood smoke, soot and creosote fast and easy with no tedious scrubbing."

Chemical Composition

(* I am not a chemist! This post is bases on my own research!)

The siginficant chemicals in Spray Nine are: ethanolamine, butoxyethanol, ammonia solution, and sodium hydroxide.

These solvents and detergents would be considered mild.

Ethanolamine is used often in detergents and polishers.

Similarly, sodium hydroxide is used in many cleaning solutions.

Ammonia can be found in nature and in our bodies, and while it can be irritating to the eyes and lungs, it is generally not considered a health risk in small concentrations.

Butoxyethanol is a mild solvent often found in "cleaning products, cosmetics, and personal care products."


Reviewers give Spray Nine Fireplace Glass Cleaner a 4.2 out of 5.

That's not great.

Several folks reported that the bottle leaked during shipping and others reported that it didn't get really clean fireplace glass doors.

Imperial Gas Fireplace Glass Cleaner

Imperial Gas Fireplace Glass Cleaner is one of the stronger spray on cleaner and can be used for more tougher mineral residues.

Chemical Composition

This fireplace cleaner contains: Stoddard Solvent, Monoisopropanolamine Isopropyl Alcohol, and Morpholine.

While these chemicals can be good for cutting through soot and creosote, they are also more caustic. According to the DOW safety data sheet, Monoisopropanolamine can cause "Harmful in contact with skin. Causes severe skin burns and eye damage."

In addition, Stoddard Solvent is petroleum-based (thus smells a bit like kerosene) and is often used as "a general cleaner and degreaser."

Morpholine is an organic compound with the formula (CH3)2NO. It is a colorless liquid that is slightly soluble in water.

Morpholine is used as a raw material to produce other chemicals that are used in dyes, paints, pharmaceuticals, rubber cement, adhesives, and surface coatings.

It's often added to other chemicals to increase their viscosity or lower their volatility. It's also used as an agricultural herbicide because it inhibits the synthesis of vital growth hormones without affecting cell membrane permeability or DNA activity. And yes it can be absorbed through the skin...but 'only' about 7-8% orally vs 18% by injection...even so this concentration should not be administered undiluted if at all possible.

Morpholine is an emusifier, used to better blend chemicals together. (It's actually used in fruit wax so it can't be that harsh!)


Reviews give Imperial a 4.7 out of 5...significantly better than Spray Nine.

However, don't expect it to be the silver bullet. One reviewer stated that "the product description lead me to believe this was going to magically eat away at the baked-on soot on my fireplace glass doors."

However, it took some scrubbing to get the glass door clean. Once they were clean, it works much better as "a preventive slimy coating that once applied on clean glass does kick butt."

Quick n Brite Fireplace Glass Cleaner

Quick n Brite seems to be the most environmentally friendly cleaner that I researched.

Its webpage says that it uses only "environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and non-toxic ingredients," but doesn't say what those ingredients are.

The site also claims that it "works great to remove any unwanted creosote, smoke residue, soot, ash, dust, and carbon deposits off any glass on contact leaving your fireplace glass looking clear and smudge-free without scratching."


Many reviewers disagree.

Like Spray Nine, Quick n Brite only earns a 4.2 global rating.

One reviewer stated that "Windex works as good as this stuff in cleaning our woodstove glass."

Others found it worked, especially leaving " it on for 20 minutes (with towels underneath to catch the drips) [I]used the scrub sponge that came with it, and with very little effort I was able to get them completely spotless."

Meeco Red Devil Wood Stove Glass Cleaner

According to their website, this glass fireplace cleaner is the "Strongest formula available for the removal of baked-on creosote."

Chemical Composition

Meeco's Red Devil commercial cleaner uses sodium hydroxide as its primary ingredient.

Sodium hydroxide is a pretty interesting chemical. According to the CDC, "Workers who come in contact with sodium hydroxide can be harmed. The level of harm depends upon the amount, duration, and activity. It can burn the eyes, skin, and inner membranes, and cause temporary hair loss."

It's used in drain cleaners to convert clogs to water-soluble soap.

And yet, it's also used to soften olives. Go figure.


The label on the side of the spray bottle tells me not to ingest (and if I do drink two glasses of water and don't induce vomiting) and to wear goggles and gloves while using.

Safe to say this isn't as environmentally friendly as Quick n Brite.


Meeco's is popular with reviewers. It garners a 4.6 global rating with over 1700 reviews.

One reviewer "tried Windex, ash and water, vinegar, and all kind of worked with lots of elbow grease." Then "tried Meeco cleaner and almost instant results. I sprayed wiped and about 75% came off."

Rutland Stove Grill & Hearth Glass Cleaner

I visited two different wood stove shops in my research and both recommended Rutland's Cleaner.

Chemical Composition

Rutland fireplace glass door cleaner uses primarily Benzenesulfonic acid, sodium salts, and Kieselguhr, which is an abrasive silica to provide scrubbing power.

According to the Rutland safety data sheet, the glass cleaner "does not contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm."

However, it does say that "Ingestion is not an applicable route of entry for intended use." Good to know.


Rutland garners a 4.6 global review good as Meeco, and better than Quick n Brite and Spray 9.

I appreciate the realism of one reviewer who said "Just know that this stuff does not work without some elbow grease unless you’re just trying to remove light stains from glass. It is a heck of a lot more effective than the spray cleaners I’ve used in the past."

Another reviewer, however, threw down the gauntlet saying, "Absolute garbage. I did at least 6 applications of this and my gas fireplace door looked worse than when I started. I finally gave up and used Meeco Red Devil... Cleaner and one application looked better already"

Aha! A showdown!

The Showdown: Meeco Red Devil vs. Rutland vs Windex vs Vinegar

Based on research, I made the assumption that Quick n Brite and Spray Nine were mostly composed of ammonia or white vinegar/citrus acid. I already have that around the house.

So I bought some Meeco's and Rutland and scheduled a "Hearth Conditioning Glass Cleaner Showdown."

How to Clean Fireplace Glass

I have a total of three glass doors on my masonry heater, so I used the same cleaning process with different cleaners on the fireplace doors.

I sprayed on the Meeco's Red Devil and let it sit for a few minutes while I worked on the other door. With a page of wet newspaper, I rubbed on the Rutland products cleaner and scrubbed away in a circular motion.

I prefer newspaper to both paper towels and a clean cloth or microfiber towel. Paper towels tend to fall apart on the first wipe and clean towels are no longer clean once you use them so you have to do more laundry!

The directions say "gently scrub" so that the abrasive silica in the cleaner will keep the glass doors scratch-free. But my doors are old and have a pretty rugged glass so I wasn't too worried.

After cleaning the first layer of the black residue off, I was left with a white residue. So, with a fresh piece of paper and more circular motion, I polished away trying to get that streak-free shine!

Once I finished the cleaning process on the Rutland products side, I moved back over to the Meeco's side.

I found the process a bit easier. The wet spray seemed to dissolve the soot and ash a bit easier. And the non-abrasive formula provided less resistance. I probably could have used a paper towel on this side without having it fall apart. (If I used a damp cloth I would've still had to do laundry!)

I used two applications and polished off the residue to try and remove smoke-like haze off the glass. the end.....

They looked exactly alike.

clean fireplace glass

Anti-climactic, I know.

But it's true...I couldn't tell the difference.

Can you?

So if the results are the same, your decision would have to be made based on chemistry, process, and price.

Meeco's Red Devil contains harsher chemicals. It has a strong odor, and while spraying it I wore eye protection to keep it from splattering into my eyes.

But it was easier to wipe down.

I didn't have to worry about the Rutland products cleaner splattering, but I wore gloves. The fumes were mild.

I had to scrub more than the Meeco's.

The price of the two are pretty much the same...Rutland products might be about a dollar more. At the same time, it's easy to go trigger happy with the spraybottle and blast your way through half a bottle in no time.

Final Results

I have relatively clean fireplace glass. I say relatively because the glass doors are black residue-free, but have some discoloration to them. But it appears that it could be permanent etching from 10 years of hot fire after hot fire. I don't believe that any wipe of a damp cloth or paper towel will get those fireplace glass doors to spot free again.

Maybe sandpaper.

But sanding fireplace doors would be another post.

What about Windex and/or White vinegar?

I used Windex on the glass doors of the oven. (And I've tried vinegar before).

To clean your fireplace glass, you can make a vinegar solution. Just mix vinegar (white..not balsamic!) and water in a bottle, and then squirt it on the glass. Use 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and add a tablespoon of ammonia. The vinegar will help to break down any dirt or grime, and then you can wipe it away with a cloth. Since ammonia evaporates quickly, it helps avoid streaks on your glass door.

As you would imagine, it works almost as well, (but not quite) as other cleaners for about half the price.

Of course, since it doesn't work quite as well you end up using twice as much. Especially if you have excessive soot build up.


If you want clean fireplace glass doors, it's going to take a bit of work. How much work depends on your tolerance for chemicals.

In reality, if you burn wood daily you will need to clean your fireplace frequently.

You can go the environmentally friendlier way with Windex, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, Spray Nine, or Quick N Brite'll have to wipe twice as much. Check your paper towel and old newspaper supply.

If you don't mind donning gloves or the smell of oven cleaner, then the best cleaners are clearly Meeco or Rutland.

At any rate, staring at those leisure fires through a clean glass door keeps you warmer!

People Also Ask

Q. How Do I Clean Fireplace Brick

A. Mix vinegar and water in a bottle, and then blast it on the bricks. Use 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and add a tablespoon of ammonia. The vinegar will help to break down any dirt or grime which you can clean up with a cloth

Q. Why are Newspapers good for cleaning glass?

A. Newspapers are more structurally sound than a paper towel or cloth for that matter. The fibers tend to stick together rather than disintegrate all over your glass door. Cloths tend to leave lint and streaks on windows while newspapers don't.

And...after cleaning your fireplace doors, you won't have to do laundry!

Q. Is ammonia bad for my fireplace brick or woodstove?

No...not more than any other cleaning chemical. Inhaling high concentrations of fumes over long periods of time might have adverse effects on your health. And excessive ammonia going down the drain would tax wastewater treatment facilities, but used in moderation, ammonia will not harm your fireplace bricks or fireplace doors.

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