Stop Your Log Burner from Smelling

If you’ve recently joined one of the many households throughout the UK that have a log burner by having one installed, or if you’ve moved into a home with a fireplace, you might notice a smell you’re not familiar with when you build a fire. These might raise some concerns, but as experts in all things burning at Logs Direct, we want to help demystify these scents and provide some tips on how to remove them once they outstay their welcome in your home.

Why do log burners and fireplaces smell?

There are several reasons that burners and stoves emit an odour. If you’ve recently had one installed and can detect a chemical smell, it can be because of a breaking-in period from the paint curing while it’s being heated. Once used a few times, the smell will fade, and you’ll be treated to the smell of wood burning. Undersized chimneys can also be the reason for an unusual smell. If it’s too small for a fireplace or stove, it won’t effectively draw out smoke the same as one that’s been fitted correctly. Similarly, if ventilation isn’t effectively allowing for smoke to escape, excess smoke builds up and sticks to the inside of the chimney. This is common in newer homes where seals are still tight or rooms with extractor fans like bathrooms and kitchens, as it creates negative air pressure. Using the wrong kind of wood can also result in a noticeable smell, as smoke from wet wood produces soot and creosote, which builds up and produces a musty smell. This is why it’s so important to use kiln-dried firewood logs when you’re building a fire, which are wood with a moisture content below 20%. It’s important to source wood that’s certified as Ready to Burn, and Logs Direct are one of the founding members of the Woodsure Ready to Burn certified vendors. So whenever you purchase logs from us, you can be sure that you’re getting the highest quality kiln-dried firewood to protect your chimney from buildup.

How to prevent log burners and fireplaces from smelling

There are several methods you can try to reduce smells that outstay their welcome:

Log burner and fireplace maintenance

Keeping your fireplace, burner, and chimney maintained and clean will work to reduce the smells that they give off. By cleaning the inside to remove the buildup means you’re preventing it from festering and producing more smells. You can even buy chimney cleaning fire logs that once burned treat the creosote buildup in your chimney.

Fireplace deodorant

Fireplace deodorant acts more as a temporary solution by masking the smell rather than going to the root of the problem. However, for the occasions you’re unable to appropriately clean your fireplace or burner, such as when hosting guests, it can be viable for a short-term solution.

Vinegar as a deodorant

Vinegar has strong deodorising properties and can mitigate the smells that fireplaces and burners give off. Diluting it with equal parts water in a spray bottle and applying it to an affected odorous area can help absorb and reduce smells. Another option is leaving a bowl of vinegar in your fireplace or stove, which will absorb the smell. One thing to note is that it should be separated from bleach and ammonia, as mixing these chemicals will produce a toxic gas that’s extremely harmful.

Using charcoal to stop the smell

Charcoal is a natural option for removing smells from fireplaces and stoves. It’s a material that can absorb smells with very little interference. Organising charcoal pieces or briquettes in a bucket with some damp old newspaper in or near your fireplace or burner will draw out the odour, and you can just leave it to do its work.

Air purifiers

Having an air purifier helps to filter chemicals in the air and remove odours. Running it within a short distance from your burner or fireplace will help filter out the particles and purify the air in the room. It’s important to check whether you have a model that produces ozone as a byproduct, as this is a lung irritant that can be harmful to those with respiratory issues.


At Logs Direct, we’re experts in all things firewood and burning. If you have any questions about any of our logs or getting into seasoning them yourself, call our team on 01524 812476 or visit our contact page.

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