Pros: Prevents creosote build-up. Easy to use. Most effective brand on the market.
Cons: Can be hard to find at brick-and-mortar stores. Contains Cupric Acid – keep out of reach of children.
When I was a kid, Christmas dinner was an inclusive family tradition in our home. It was always great to have the New York gang arrive to spend time with our band of country-bumpkins.
One particular year stands-out in my fledgling yuletide memory – seeing my Uncle Alphonse stuffing a schnauzer-sized ball of used gift wrap into the crackling fireplace. The ensuing roar of the chimney on fire was eclipsed only by the sheer panic and subsequent mortification of my mother’s city-slicker sibling.
What Al hadn’t realized was that this was often a yearly occurrence. Being in the firewood business, we used the fireplace daily for its ambiance and supplemental warmth. Before the advent of products such as Meeco’s Red Devil Creosote Destroyer, there was little the homeowner could do to further enhance a chimney’s annual cleaning.
What It Is
Meeco’s Red Devil Creosote Destroyer appears as a fine-to-semi-granular gray powder. When applied to an active bed of coals, its chemical makeup acts as a catalyst to weaken the inherent structure of creosote molecules – thus disabling their adhesive properties within the flow of affected exhaust gasses.
The part of the flue that extends beyond the roof-line is particularly susceptible to creosote build-up, as these colder environs encourage condensation of the moisture-laden, non-combusted gasses – even when burning thoroughly seasoned wood.
Does It Work?
My airtight wood stove gets a comprehensive monthly cleaning during the heating season. When used according to package direction, the stovepipe contains a fluffy, light-gray ash that brushes away completely with little effort – leaving bare metal in its wake.
Should I get lazy with the schedule or run out of product, the inner walls of the pipe will display a hard layer of black, glossy buildup that can only be partially removed with 60-grit sandpaper. Under the proper conditions, this licorice-like accumulation is quite flammable, as my Uncle Al discovered to his horror some years ago.
The package directions advise the user to “Sprinkle two tablespoons over a medium fire. Use with every third fire.” Though beneficial toward maintaining a cleaner, safer flue, no creosote neutralizing product can replace periodic professional cleanings. It is important to remember to have your chimney cleaned and inspected on an annual basis.
Meeco’s Red Devil Creosote Destroyer is available in a variety of sizes, including 1, 2 and 5-pound plastic containers. In my experience, the 2-lb. container will provide a season’s-worth of product for one appliance, when used as directed. The Red Devil line also includes a version suitable for fireplaces and non-airtight applications.
Contains Cupric Chloride – always keep container tightly closed and store in a dry place, out of the reach of children.
Made in USA
Meeco Mfg. Co., Inc.
Seattle, WA 98108