Why does soot and dust appear on top of my stove?

There’s nothing more frustrating, when you’re trying to keep your home tidy, to see soot or dust appearing on top of your multi-fuel stove or woodburner.

There’s a few reasons for this, and it usually demonstrates a need for you to take action.

Firstly, if soot appears on top of your appliance, then it’s highly likely you have an unlined chimney. This is because soot falls down onto the top of the register plate (the bit which stops you looking directly up the chimney) and some bits will fall between the gaps in the brickwork or between the register plate or the stove pipe. The fact that soot is falling means you need your chimney sweeping, but it also means that these gaps should be filled.

However, if you know for sure you have a lined chimney and you still get soot appearing on the top of the stove, then it could be one of a couple of things. It may indicate that the chimney wasn’t swept before a liner was installed. This in itself is dangerous as soot can smoulder and catch fire, as well as causing a serious potential for Carbon Monoxide poisoning. There could be other reasons, such as the liner has become disconnected or damaged. Get a professional in to check.

soot on top of a multi fuel stove

Large amounts of soot on top of your stove indicate an issue

If you get just dust on top of your stove, this (depending on the amount) can sometimes just be old mortar from the original chimney falling down and finding its way through gaps (as mentioned above). Again, it means that these gaps need plugging and you should seek advice from a professional.

More often than not, some dust will be from failed fire cement which some installers use to seal the stove pipe, Despite its name, fire cement isn’t very robust and regularly disintegrates. Rope seals are much more durable, and less messy, although like anything subject to the sorts of temperatures which stoves kick out, they will have to be replaced periodically.

I personally recommend these flue collars, which do a very good job of keeping dust away from your appliance and making a much neater looking installation.


Like anything, keeping on top of the servicing and sweeping will ensure your appliance is in the best condition possible, and that those pesky dust and soot falls on top of your woodburner don’t take the shine off your clean room!

Mr Soot Chimney Sweep is a HETAS Approved Sweep, and member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, offering a professional and friendly chimney sweep and stove service in Wigan, Stockport, West Lancashire, Chorley and surrounding areas. Book Mr Soot online or call 0800 0541154.

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