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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 23 November 2012
We had the fright of our lives when the pipe connected to our multifuel stove began to drip little streams of black tar down the outside of the pipe straight on to the slate hearth at the back of the fire. We sweep our chimney twice a year, and have never left it unswept, and until that day, never had any indication that this action was insufficient. The smell in the room was acrid, and we obviously knew something had gone wrong. We checked the chimney, re-swept it, though it had only just been done 2 fires before, and re-pointed the internal area around the chimney with fire cement. We tried again, and still the tar dripped. I got straight on the internet, and discovered that all these years (about 20),not only should we have been sweeping the chimney, but we should've been using the Stovax Protector powder regularly to prevent a tar/creosote build up. We had no clue, and the installer, who installed our newest stove about 5 years ago, never mentioned anything. What a shock it all was.

We had also taken the precaution of using 2 chimney cleaning logs first (also something we'd never heard of) before starting the Stovax Protector regime. The chimney cleaning log didn't make an enormous difference immediately, but it says its not really supposed to be fully effective for 1 - 2 weeks. The day after we used the cleaning logs, we started using the Stovas Protector. The effect was immediate. The nasty tar smell disappeared straight away and the tar stopped dripping. I'm still using it for the directed initial 7 days, and will swap to the 'every fourth day' at the end of that period. I believe that this product has saved our home from a potential chimney fire, and has given us back a home not smelling of acrid, choking tar. I highly recommend this product, and wish I'd known about it 20 years ago!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 November 2015
As Max Bygraves was alleged to say, "I wanna tell you a story". When I moved into my new home, the second bedroom had a freshly plastered wall. I was told it was because of water damage. When my new neighbour, the local jack-of-all trades, introduced himself he immediately brought the matter up. He'd been asked to have a look at things. It wasn't water damage, it was tar! He'd been a charcoal burner in earlier days, so he knew exactly what tar smelt like.

The major cause of chimney fires is not getting it swept regularly enough. But, as my neighbour explained, a major factor in the amount of deposits you get (besides the state of your fuel) is how hot you burn your fire. The erstwhile owners were in the habit of burning a fairly small fire. A hotter fire produces hotter smoke & a hotter flue. So not only does the smoke rise more quickly, it cools less quickly, and more of it escapes through your chimney, instead of laying down nasty deposits in your flue. Just in case you didn't know!

As for this product, it does what it says - reduces the risk of chimney fires & renders any deposits more amenable to brushing. There are two reasons why I'm only giving it 4*. First, it's pricey. The instructions on my tub say to use 2 measures for the first 7 lightings if you've never used it before, and then 2 measures every 4 lightings, so I'm not sure why some other reviews are suggesting you sometimes only use 1. One measure (I weighed it) is around 28g. Saving you the maths, one tub will last 17.85 uses. If you light your fire every day & you've never used it before, it'll be gone in 47 days. If you have used it before you get 72 days. Obviously, if you don't light your fire every day, it'll last longer, but at the current price, it's more or less a pound per use (and you will still need to get your chimney swept periodically; it doesn't save you that expense, just makes it easier & less messy).

The second problem is that it can be a bit pongy. Even though I've been using it in a closed wood burning stove, I sometimes get a strong chemical smell pervading the house. I couldn't make my mind up as to whether it reminded me more of ammonia or chlorine, then looked at the tub; "product contains 10-30% ammonium chloride" - that explains that then! I can only imagine what it's like using it on an open grate, as I haven't yet done so! Still, it does do what it claims and is probably more beneficial, for the reasons given at the start, for those of you with smaller flues or less hot fires (a smaller flue implying the latter anyway). Oh, one last word of advice - I find it much easier to dump the two measures of powder onto a fire shovel & use that to distribute it, rather than use the small plastic dispenser directly. Especially if I forgot to add it before lighting the fire!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 June 2014
We discovered just over a week ago just how built up our chimney had become with hard deposits. After having a 4 o'clock on a Friday chimney sweep two years ago then not pinning him down to come and do it again last year we had to revert to my husband getting up there and doing it himself. He has a camera on a cable and could see that the creasote had built up alarmingly and our brushes wouldn't shift it - it took a drain spike to remove enough to get the fire to vent and we are only using smokeless fuel just now. I went on-line to see if I could find help and this is what I came up with. Tomorrow will be day 7 and the inside of our little Morso Squirl stove is as clean as a whistle - no sticky residue at all on the boiler or up to the bend in the chimney! We have had a sprinkling of hard dry sooty deposit trickling into the chimney bend but we have no idea yet what is happening further up - hubby will go up and have a look over the weekend. My husband says it smells like rhubarb jam when we come down in the morning instead of sometimes a sickly acrid tarry smell. I love it when I sprinkle the heavy powder on to the glowing coals as the flames are electric blue. I just shut it down with a tiny amount of draught from the vent and it burns and smokes away for quite a while. I also ordered a chimney log but it only arrived after I'd begun the Stovax treatment so we will wait until we see what is happening at the problem spot in the chimney before deciding if we will use it at this moment in time. We ordered the two things as we are desperate to prevent a chimney fire - we had a mega one about 5 years ago and don't want to experience that ever again!

I've given 5 stars for the super job the powder has done inside the stove - fingers crossed that the chimney will follow in the same way and be clean as a whistle too. We realise it is bad and might take a bit of shifting! We will use this as a regular treatment now to prevent the build-up getting to a dangerous stage. My husband is getting on in years and won't be able to hoist himself up on the high chimney for many more years. We may need to look for someone willing to put the brushes down for us when that comes.

Aug '14 - found new chimney sweep who has done a great job. He is not in favour of this product as people think it is an alternative to sweeping. He seems to have got rid of our build up so I assume the powder burning helped 'crust' the tary deposits making it come off. It gave the stove a treatment the evening before the sweep came so everything was dry and flakey. I'm happy and will continue to treat periodically.

30th Dec '14 - I ordered my second tub just before Christmas and it arrived on Christmas Eve. The tub had a rough trip in the post causing the contents to leaking everywhere. Royal Mail had double bagged the box to prevent leakage! The tub was just in a box with no protective packing to take impact. I've contacted the seller re the fact that there is only 678gms left out of the kg. I poured all the loose powder into an old tub and weighed what was left as the seller said I'd get a refund on the amount that is missing. I've replied giving the weight but not a peep have I heard now in three days. Disappointing as it would be nice to have a conclusion asap. Had the 1kg tub had some protection then the damage may have been avoided.
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on 4 February 2013
It's always a problem knowing if these kind of products do what they claim, and at first I was a little wary.

But, I have been using this product for about 2 years now. We have a wood burner in our lounge, with a modern solid flue, than needs cleaning each year after the Winter.

Does it work? Well, my experience is, when cleaning the flue, (and you still MUST clean the flue) the deposits are no longer sooty, black and tarry, but more like a light grey dust. This makes cleaning 100% easier, (as you know soot makes such a mess) and I have noticed there are far less deposits after the Winter season.

I will add, we also make sure our wood is very, very dry, (and I mean storing it for more than 3 months in the warm weather) so this may also have contributed to a much cleaner flue. Anyone will tell you the drier the wood, the less deposits you have and the hotter the fire will be. You also burn less wood, if its a hotter fire.

All that being said, I do think this product contributes to easier cleaning, and the flue certainly appears much cleaner, with less deposits sticking to the sides.

I'll give it 4 stars, only dropping 1 star as the price seemed to drastically jump up each year.
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on 22 January 2014
We've had our woodburner lit on a daily basis now over winter, and I could see some buildup in the chimney.
I've used this for the last four days (2 scoops a day for the first 7 days), and I can see a difference already.
It's a big tub, so it should last a good couple of months.
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on 19 December 2013
I was a little surprised at the size of the tub although it was sated to be 1kg - also could not, at first, find the measuring spoon but although I have not been using this for long it does seem to do what it says on the tin.
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on 23 May 2013
We've trued a couple of different products but happiest with STOVAX and it works , you hear the clinker drop down!
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on 28 November 2015
I keep using this stuff and I think it works but who knows? Anyway, it gives off a very nice blue glow when it burns. Our chimney sweep says that a handful of anthracite does the same job and is a lot cheaper.
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on 14 December 2013
I used this as directed and I checked the fluesome months later. The deposits on the lining had turned to a brittle, powdery carbon whuch could readily be removed with a flue brush.
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on 7 December 2014
Arrived promptly. Seems to harden the soot in the stove flue which then falls off. Doesn't mean you shouldn't get the chimney cleaned every year though helps in stopping any buildup of soot. Make sure you spread over a glowing fire to ensure the powder burns blue.
Worth investing in.
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