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What not to burn in the stove? – These materials you should keep away from your wood stove

If you want to use unusable waste materials as fuel, it would be useful to know which ones you are not allowed to burn in the fireplace. In the event that you throw something else into the fireplace instead of firewood, you should consider a few factors. Unfortunately, many homeowners often use their fireplaces and wood-burning appliances as the next best waste disposal option. However, putting anything other than logs in the fire can be extremely dangerous for many reasons. Here are some of the things you should never burn in a wood stove or fireplace during the heating season, or in winter in general.

Resist the temptation and do not burn certain things in the stove

young woman with cap enjoys the warmth of modern stove in cold season

The fireplace in your house or apartment is certainly not a place where you should break the rules of safe burning. After all, this could lead to an accident or a dangerous and costly house fire. For this reason, some surprisingly common things and especially trash have no place in a fireplace. Your wood stove or fireplace will work hard when the cold wind blows against the walls of the house. Therefore, you should focus on safety in your home heated by the stove. In addition, it is important to understand why you should not put just anything in the fireplace when heating with fire. This is mainly about some of the materials that you probably want to get rid of by burning them.

Why you shouldn’t burn damp wood in the fireplace

throw suitable firewood like logs into the fireplace and heat with wood

In general, the wood with moisture content above 20% is an unsuitable fuel for any stove. It produces not only smoke, but also dangerous amounts of creosote. The latter can affect the efficiency of your stove and chimney, or even cause chimney fires. And the wetter the wood, the more pollutants are released into the atmosphere, which can affect a number of conditions like asthma. In any case, wet wood simply does not produce the same amount of heat as dry and seasoned wood. So think twice before pulling some wet wood out of the rain-soaked pile in your backyard.

Old Christmas trees

glowing christmas tree next to a fireplace create a cozy christmas atmosphere

By mid-January or early February, a handy supply of firewood in the form of a Christmas tree seems to be right in your living room. However, it can be dangerous to use the leftover Christmas tree for fuel. . This evergreen species contains a high resin content that burns and bursts quickly, allowing for a high risk of an out-of-control fire. If your tree isn’t natural anyway, you won’t want to burn it in your fireplace or throw it directly into the flames. In addition, purchased fir likely not only contains a significant amount of moisture, but may have been treated with chemicals and resins.

Do not burn treated wood materials such as pallet wood in the fireplace stove

do not burn treated wood such as pallet wood in the stove due to hazardous chemicals


If you feel like tearing your house apart in search of firewood, you’d better not do it. Painted and treated wooden boards, such as stair railings, also contain toxic chemicals that can fill your interiors with unbearable stench. Even if these chemicals do not harm human occupants, they can seriously damage your fireplace. Whether you want to turn a pallet into a coffee table or burn it in your fireplace, you should always check the manufacturer’s seal. This stamp shows if the pallet was treated with methyl bromide, a pesticide, and what method was used to dry the wood.

Avoid burning glossy paper with colored printing or cardboard

do not burn cardboard or glossy paper in the stove because of dangerous chemical substances

Magazines, wrapping paper and food boxes are also not suitable fuels for a fireplace because they can release toxic gases. These can be corrosive and even carcinogenic. Therefore, you should dispose of such materials rather than throwing them into the fire, even if you think they can burn well. In fact, every colored material has been treated with a whole range of chemicals at some point. The list includes everyday items such as magazines, shoe boxes, pizza boxes, etc. Studies have shown that certain colored paper/cardboard products can release harmful, corrosive and carcinogenic gases into the atmosphere. These gases are also extremely hazardous to people living nearby.

Old furniture made of plywood or chipboard

do not burn plywood from old furniture or chipboard in closed rooms


An abundance of carcinogenic and toxic substances are usually found in plywood and particleboard furniture. They are usually made from wood chips mixed with glue and pressed into a solid piece of wood. So unless it’s something that’s made from dry logs, you shouldn’t burn it in your fireplace to avoid breathing in the accompanying fumes.

Why you should not burn liquid igniters in the stove.

strong burning fire by certain materials do not burn in the fireplace stove

You may get a little impatient when it comes to getting that crackling fire burning. However, you’d better not try to speed up the process with a kindling, as it can cause a flare-up and bring your fire to a dangerously high temperature. In such cases, it can get out of control, which in turn poses a safety hazard and would damage your fireplace. Remember what happens when you pour lighter fluid on your grill? You definitely don’t want that kind of flare-up in your fireplace. While not necessarily a hazard to the environment, putting an accelerant in a wood/multi-fuel stove can pose a danger to people nearby. In addition, it can cause intense heat, backfires, and chimney fires.

Avoid plastic bottles and any products made of plastic

incorrect burning of plastic bottles or plastic in a wood stove harms people and the environment

Playing with melting plastic may be a fun kid’s game, but some people don’t realize how bad it is to burn plastics. Any type of household plastic, from children’s toys to disposable tableware, should never be burned indoors or out. It releases some serious toxins into the air, such as sulfur dioxide, hydrochloric acid, heavy metals, and other potentially deadly materials that you should not breathe. Therefore, under no circumstances should you burn such materials in your home.

Why you should not burn lint from the dryer in the stove

using lint from dried laundry to light a fire as a bad practice

This may seem like an effective way to start a fire, but it’s better to throw lint from dried laundry in the trash. These usually release toxic chemicals as well. This is especially because so many garments these days are made from synthetic materials or a mixture of natural and synthetic fibers. While the topic is mentioned here, it is also good to regularly clean your dryer of lint as this can hinder ventilation within the machine and cause a fire.

Fruit peels and some poisonous plants better not thrown into the fire

poisonous plants like ivy can cause allergic reactions when burned

The smoke produced from certain types of plants, such as poison ivy or poison oak, when burning can cause allergic reactions when inhaled. Therefore, it is better to throw any suspected plant parts outside on the compost pile. Many people also try to flavor their homes and opt for fresh flavors from oranges, lemons or apples during the holiday season. However, the problem with burning fruit peels is that they are moist. This can lead to heavy formation of smoke and creosote. To avoid this undesirable effect, it is best to dry the fruit peels at a low temperature in the oven. Then you can throw the potpourri into the fire and safely enjoy the pleasant aroma. You will still get the fresh aroma from it, but not the moisture.

Burning old clothes or textiles in the fireplace.

removing lint from laundry in the dryer

It may seem like a good idea to let old t-shirts, wool sweaters and other home textiles burn in the fireplace to start a better fire, but this is not the case. Textiles give off an unpleasant odor and produce a large amount of smoke when burned. This smoke in turn covers the inside of the chimney with creosote, which can cause chimney fires.

Why you should not burn charcoal in your stove

why you should not burn charcoal in a stove

While you can use charcoal products in your grill, you should only do so outdoors. When you burn charcoal, carbon monoxide is released into the air. It’s the last thing you want in your living spaces. That’s because the stuff isn’t as dangerous outside as it is indoors. Too much draft can cause the coal to burn twice as much as wood, which can damage the chimney. That’s why it’s better to reserve this fuel for summer outdoor grilling. Even if you are enjoying a fire outside in an outdoor fire pit, it is recommended that you do not burn the items listed here because the fumes will rise into the atmosphere. This not only endangers people, but also the environment. Remember that there is a wide range of safe materials to stoke your fire in various suitable locations.