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How to Dry Wet Firewood

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If you have wet firewood and need it to be dry so that you can burn it right away, there are several things you can do to speed things up.

The things you can do depend on which kind of wet you are dealing with. If the wood is wet because it was left out in the rain, that’s a whole different story than if the wood is wet because the wood is still green, which means that is was freshly cut, for those that are not up on firewood terms.

To deal with wood that is wet because it was rained on, or fell into a pond or bog or whatever, so that you can burn it right now, you need to dry it in ways similar to drying dishes, or your own self after a shower; and that is, by toweling it off using either paper or an actual towel. Because wood is rough though, you’ll have to make do with pressing the towel up against the wood and then letting the towel pull the water from the wood, rather than just wiping off the wetness. The better job you do of sopping up the water off your wood, the sooner you’ll be able to burn it. After that, get out your blow dryer and have a go at the wood for as long as you think necessary. The object is to get the wood just dry enough so that it will ignite, after that, the wood beneath the surface will take over and boil off any excess water on the outer parts.

Once you get the fire going, towel off some more of your wood and then set it close to the fire so that the heat from the fire will dry the wood that is to be used next. Keep this up till you are done with your fire, and then, try to arrange things in the future to avoid allowing your firewood to get wet in the first place.

If your wood is wet due to it being green, then you need to take extra measures. First of all, if you need wood, like right now, then you’ll have to do your best to find some wood that is not green to get the fire going. Go down to the supermarket if you have to a buy a bundle of dry firewood if you have to, just to get things going. After that, you can burn the green wood, but be careful to add just one log at a time because if you try to fill a fireplace or wood stove with green wood, you’re fire will likely go out. Also, don’t be alarmed when your fire starts to hiss and pop, that’s the water inside the wood boiling and bursting out from hidden pockets. Do be sure your enclosure is secure though because popping pieces of wood can fly quite a distance.

As for the rest of the wood, the best thing to do is to toss it haphazardly, i.e. not stacked into a barn or other big building, crank up a heater of some sort and run a dehumidifier. It will take awhile, like maybe a couple of weeks, but your wood will dry if you take this approach, far faster than if you just let it sit where it is.

More about this author: Sam E. Jones

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