Cleaning MES Window Without Any Chemicals At All

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bearcarver, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Cleaning MES Window Without Any Chemicals

    I've been cleaning my MES window with various things over the last year.

    I used Windex, with the door all the way open, so the overspray wouldn't get inside my MES 40.

    Guys told me this could leave a toxic residue anyway.

    Even though I buff it real good & dry, and I don't believe it unsafe, I tried other things, like Alcohol.

    Alcohol worked good, but not when the coating was real thick. It got all gummed up.

    So the other suggestion was the best I could come up with----Razor blade, and then Alcohol.

    That works pretty good !!!!

    Then I woke up!!!

    What am I doing????

    I've been cleaning the inside of my glass door on my wood stoves for 30 years, and it works great & easy & quick!!!

    No chemicals at all are used. But would it work on my MES 40 glass window in the door???

    I finally got around to testing it, and it works great !!!!!

    All it takes is about 4 or 5 wet paper towels, One dry paper towel, and ashes from a wood stove.

    The ashes are easy to come by for those of us in the North, with woodstoves & fireplaces.

    And I guess guys in warmer climate could just burn some wood in a bucket or on the ground, and save some ashes (it doesn't take much) in a container, after it cools.

    See below for some pics & directions:


    Stop eyeing up my eggs---They're a few weeks old!!!!

    My flash didn't go off on my first picture, so I substituted this old one.

    The ashes inside, on the floor of the woodstove are what you want:


    This flash didn't go off either, but what you want to do is get about 6 paper towels.

    Take two of them, and ball them up & run water on them to get them a little less than dripping wet.

    Then open your stove door, and dab one side of those two balled wet towels into the ashes.

    Also individually ball 3 other paper towels, and get them less than dripping wet.

    Keep the other paper towel dry.

    Sorry it's hard to see below, but that is the wet paper towels with ashes on the one side.

    Now meet me outside, at the smoker!!!!!


    Here is a shot of the inside of my MES 40 Door.

    All you do is put the wet paper towels with the ashes on, against the glass & scrub it just like you would scrub any window, until the whole thing is smeared up, like the next picture below.


    Here it is all smeared up, but the dirt is no longer stuck to the glass, just like it gets with any kind of cleaner.

    Then using the other wet paper towels one at a time, keep wiping the glass. It will get cleaner with each wet paper towel. How many wet paper towels it takes will depend on how dirty it was to begin with.


    Then when it looks clean enough to you, buff it with the dry paper towel-----Done !


    Here it is with the door closed.

    There are a couple light streaks, meaning I should have used one more wet towel---I only used 2, after the ashes.

    Those light colored dots are on the back wall of my smoker, just like the light circle around my heat sensor.

    Also, if your glass is a lot dirtier than mine was, you could still use the razor blade first---Then this method.


    For those of you who never tried this on the inside of your woodstove door glass---You really Must Try It !!!!

    It works Awesome !!!!
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great post Bear....You really know how to spread your ASH THIN!! ...JJ [​IMG]
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Thanks Bear, we have an outdoor firepit that we use all the time, I'll give this a try next time.
  4. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great idea!

    Thanks, Bear!!
  5. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pretty simple!

    I wonder is ashes from my pellet burner would work???

    Guess I'll give it a try

  6. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    Yes, pellet ashes should work - Hardwood ash mixed with water forms lye, which is a basic solution like ammonia. Strength (pH) depends on how much ash & how much water. Good idea to use it to clean the smoker... Doh! Why didnt I think of that!   Main use for centuries was to make lye soap, candles, & tan hides.

    (I tried some of those frontier skills when I was a kid, still remember some of it - like when an egg floats, you have the right pH for tanning a deerskin. Useful trivia if society ever collapses!)
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not sure Todd---I would worry about maybe having some metal chips in the pellets---might scratch glass---I'm just guessing with that though.

    I know the ashes from my woodstove work perfectly, and all it costs me is about 6 paper towels per cleaning.

  8. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Great idea Bear !!!!!!   I just sold a wood burner like that one...
  9. That is an awesome bit of info. Goood to know since santa doesn"t know it yet but i"m getting a MES 40 for X-mas.Thanks for all the info I love this site!
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Jimmy & RH !!

  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Al & Todd !!!

    I think you'll like the way it works.

    However, if it's really really thick, you might want to use a razor blade first, but that would be true with other cleaners too.

  12. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great post and good info!  This makes a lotta sense. 

    Thanks Bear
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks plj,

    I never knew any of that lye stuff (very interesting), but somebody told me about it, around 30 years ago, and I couldn't believe how it cleaned my woodstove door glass. Been using it ever since.

  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Roller!

    I liked my old "Osburn" stoves better than this "Lopi--Liberty", but it will do.


    That's great !!!

    You'll love it !!


    Thanks Red !!

    I never thought of it until that big snow storm knocked our electric out for 6 days.

    Then I was cleaning my woodstove glass, and it hit me---"Why wouldn't these ashes work on my MES 40 glass???"

    Maybe it was because I was using my woodstove for cooking, that made me put the two together???

  15. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Bear -- thanks for the post!  I've been envious of the pics of your MES with the clean window.  Mine is pretty gummed up at this point.  I'm going to use this approach -- I'll use the ashes from my AMNPS.  

    And thanks PLJ for the explanation of why it works -- makes sense to me!
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks John!!!
    I hope that works for you, but I'm thinking the AMNPS ashes may be too fine.

    It kinda gets like talcum powder.

    Let us know.

    If it doesn't work good, living in Ohio, even if you don't have a woodstove, it shouldn't be hard to get a small container of ashes from a friend or relative. It would last forever, because you only use a minuscule amount each time.

  17. Hey Bear, that is very much appreciated. I hated looking around the house for the alcohol.

    Now that it is winter I have a fireplace so this will work great for me.

    It is totally amazing how a person's mind works. lol

    Happy Smokin' & cleaning.... 

  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Mike!!!

    I knew there was at least one good thing about living in Snow Country.  [​IMG]    Plenty of ashes!!

  19. hiram

    hiram Fire Starter

    I use one of those nylon rough pads like your wife uses when washing dishes and white vinegar, the white vinegar cuts the grease great and and the residue wipes off with paper towels.
  20. bobbygee

    bobbygee Smoke Blower

    Thanx for the info Bear. Sounds like a nice and cheap solution(pun intended). I've been stealing my wife's mr clean magic eraser thingy.

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