Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wood Stove Woes

You know I love our wood stove, and it's been working overtime recently...we're back into single digit temps and never rising above freezing during the day...
...but alas today I foiled it up good...no worries, it still works, but it doesn't look pretty and there's a nasty smell.
You see, I was doing laundry.  My washer doesn't spin very well (I end up running the spin cycle a second time) and my dryer takes it's sweet time getting things dry (I have 6 tennis balls in the barrel just to try to keep things bobbling about the dryer rather than in a clump)I know, I know, it would probably be a wise investment to get a new set, but we are discussing the details of creating a guest room/bath/laundry area in part of the basement so I am being patient to make the change until those plans are confirmed and we start to build.  But I digress...since things take forever to dry, I usually place socks over the handle of my kettle of water (humidifies the cabin) to let them finish drying with the heat of the stove.

I put my thickest, warmest, cuddliest, favorite pair of cold weather socks over the handle to finish drying.  I was working on my computer when I smelled something funny and said out loud "what is that smell".  Suddenly, it dawned on me...MY SOCKS!  I ran to the stove, saw my disaster and yelled "noooooooooo!".  I grabbed the sock, ran outside and put it in the snow...leaving an icky, sticky, plastic mess on my stove...and ran back inside.
By now Johny is saying "what" and wondering what I'm running around desperate about...he wasn't too thrilled with the reason either.  At this point I decided to take some thick paper and scrape the plastic off the stove top...it worked on the thick, globby, sticky, ugly stuff...but left the smear you see in the picture above.  By the way, this is the other sock, which never fell onto the stove top but did get melted from the heat...who would have thought these amazing socks were made of something so flammable...not sure I want another pair, as cozy as they were.

After much thought about what to do next, I decided to fill the stove to the brim and pump up the heat to see if I could get what remained to melt enough to be removed.  It isn't gone yet, but I do believe it's looking better...more heat, more rubbing with a towel...if I'm lucky it will just burn off (I just hope the fumes don't get to us, we'll have to be sure to step outside and get lots of good breaths of fresh air!).  

In the meantime, my dear friend Patti @ Osage Bluff Quilter, do you think your fabulous blacksmith of a husband might have an idea I can try?  Or Margy @ Powell River Books Blog, do you have any solutions based on all your wood stove experiences (I know we share burning our clothing, but we've never discussed anything this extreme).  Anyone else out there have any suggestions?

Well, you know what they say, live and learn...no more drying synthetic socks on the wood stove! 

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Dad/Pepere said...

In the old days, before you were born, we had a liquid that was used to clean/polish our wood burning iron/steel (?) stove. I remember it cleaned it up and made is look like new. Not sure what the liquid was made of though. Hugs!

NCmountainwoman said...

I know there are some cleaning products specifically for wood stoves. Many Lowe's stores have large departments for wood stoves and they might be able to help.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I'm sorry about your socks scorching on the stove. But I do love a woodstove. It's the best heat you can have. I hope you are staying warm and will have a great day.

A Colorful World said...

Ahhhh.... and then there's the other side of having a snow...all the drippy mess, all the issues with heaters and stoves, all the muddy ground. I love it and yes, I DO miss it, but I'm happy with my 70s weather right now! :-)

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

We have no clue as to how to get socks off the wood stove.

Maybe let the stove get ice cold and it will pop off ! NOT!!

You know I remember hot pants but never hot socks. Gosh does that date me!

Lise said...

Thanks everyone, I'm happy to say the heat from the stove is burning off the residue...woo hoo!

I'll have to check that out dad. Hugs back.

I called the company we bought the stove from NCmountainwoman and surprisingly they had no suggestions. I'll check Lowes, thanks.

I agree with you Brenda, the only heat we use. As for the socks, well, live and learn!

You are funny Marie, I know there are many people who would agree with you!

Patti, I haven't burned my pants yet. But I did do a number on my favorite sweatshirt!

Powell River Books said...

First of all, I love your kettle. We use large open pots to heat water and humidify our cabin at the same time. At least in winter we always have a good supply for dishes, baths and such.

I have burned quite a few things on the stovetop, but nothing that has stuck like that. When our stovetop got rusty, we gave it a good scrubbing and sanding with a metal wire brush and sandpaper to get it smooth before repainting with high temp stove paint, but I think that is too aggressive for your situation. -- Margy

p.s. I think that sock is too far gone to darn.

Lise said...

I love my kettle too Margy, it works like a charm! And guess what, the heat has eliminated the remaining residue...woo hoo! LOL, you are right, that sock is done for.