Have a question for those of you who have fireplaces, wood burning stoves and fireplace inserts.

Should fire starters like those made from wax and pine cones be used? The only information I can find is to NOT use them in stoves and inserts because of the build up from the wax. Nothing said as far as fireplaces. Reason I'm asking is because I've made some using melted candles poured into cardboard egg cartons and would like to give them to friends.
  4 answers
  • The reason they suggest not to use fire starters in inserts is many have detailed flue assemblies that can have issues if they become plugged with materials that can be flammable. However on a realistic note, Unless they are burning every few days and do not have a regular chimney and flue inspection, I would not be so worried about a few of these being used on occasion. Regardless of it being a wood stove, insert, fireplace etc, Yearly inspections are important. If you tend to burn more sappy wood that will cause a larger amount of creosote build up in the flue and chimney, then I would suggest perhaps a cleaning or check mid season to be safe. Your little gifts are not going to make much difference at all.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Feb 07, 2013
    I have an insert and a free standing wood stove. With these two we burn about 5 to 6 cords each season. We use a fire starter from Rutland http://www.amazon.com/Rutland-Safe-Starter-Squares-144-Square/dp/B00138MO16 these have a touch of wax in them, but not nearly as much as some home made versions. What is far more important than the starter is the bulk of the wood that is burned and "how" the stove is operated. It is best to burn "hot" as this reduces the potential for creosote build up. Check out this article I wrote http://www.networx.com/article/how-to-build-a-hot-fire My concern with a wax starter is they tend to pool a bit of melted wax below them when they are used. If this is dripping on to old ash chances or higher that is will later be combusted as the stove comes up to operational temps. If the stove is empty then this wax may melt and drip on to the metal liner, which then may be covered is ash later. This will most likely cause some cleaning issues in the firebox itself.

  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Mar 24, 2015
    There are man made logs that you can burn that helps to get rid of the build up of creosote. It dries the creosote up, makes it brittle and it falls into the fire place. I use it once a year. The one I use is called The Creosote Sweeping Log. We live out in the country on a 18 acres..I would say 10 acres is woods. When a tree falls in a storm it becomes fire wood...though there are trees we do not use..Magnolia is one. It stinks and smolders, Pine is another, it is so full of creosote building sap.

  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Mar 24, 2015
    I have taken pine cones dipped them in wax and used them as fire starters.