Soot on Birch Logs
Author: Rett Rasmussen Reference Number: AA-01080 Views: 6125 Created: 2013-10-26 18:23 Last Updated: 2013-10-26 18:24 0 Rating/ Voters

Q - My vented Birch logs have black soot on them. Is this normal? How can I clean it off?

A - Gas Log sets with the pan-type burner system have the advantage of providing a very realistic replication of a wood-like flame without the need to cut, stack or carry wood, worry about sparks or chimney fires, or clean up ashes.  The trade-offs for the yellow flame are the production of soot and the corresponding requirement that the damper be open and the chimney be venting properly in order to allow the soot and products of combustion to be vented out of the firebox.  As it says in the instruction manual, under “Customer Responsibility”, we state “Your gas log is designed to burn with a natural smoky yellow flame that produces soot.” 

Soot is most noticeable on birch logs, as there is more contrast between the black soot and the white logs than there is with soot on dark wood colored logs.

Many people feel that the soot makes the logs look more natural, just like a real wood fire.  For those who do not, the soot can be either brushed or vacuumed away. 

Alternatively, and more easily, after burning the logs for a few minutes to get them hot, you can spray the sooty area with water from spray bottle.  The soot dislodges and goes up the chimney.  "Gas Log Cleaners" are no more effective in removing soot and may discolor the logs. 

If you wish to add white color to the logs that may have gone away, first wash the logs with water and let dry thoroughly.  Use the least expensive white latex house paint and apply with a sponge, dabbing the paint onto the log.  Let dry, then reinstall. 

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