How to Clean a Chimney

Learn how to clean a chimney by reading the following article. Chimney cleaning is important because it removes creosote build-up that causes chimney fires. If you burn wood, you need to have your chimney cleaned!

Chimney Cleaning Supplies

You will need to gather some supplies to clean your chimney.

The first and most important item is a chimney brush. This is a wire brush that will be used to scrape the creosote off your flue. In order to clean properly, you need to buy the correct size brush. Look at your flue and determine its shape and size. That will give you the information you need to order the proper brush.

Secondly, you need to purchase either flexible rods or rope and wieghts to attach to the wire brush.

Third, if you are cleaning out a fireplace, you need to cover the opening with a tarp or cover of some sort. It's important to seal off the opening because otherwise you'll end up with a nasty mess in your living room.

A shop vac will also prove helpful as will a dust pan and broom. You need to clean up the mess after you are done!

Last but not least, use safety glasses and a dust mask to keep you safe. Some other random items you will find useful: a flashlight to get a better look in the chimney, and a ladder to get up on your roof if you'll be cleaning from the top.

The Basics of how to clean a chimney

Okay, it's time to start cleaning. Don't attempt this when you are burning wood. Sorry, I had to say it!

You have a couple of decisions to make. Cleaning from the top or the bottom and using flexible rods or a rope and weights. I recommend cleaning from the top because it makes for easier clean-up. You can't seal off the fireplace if you are cleaning it from the bottom. I also recommend using flexible rods, just because it is easier in my opinion. That being said, there is nothing wrong with using a rope and a wieght below the brush.

If you have a fireplace damper, remove it before cleaning. Go to the top of the chimney and remove the cap, then begin cleaning by scrubbing the sides of the flue with the chimney brush adding additional rods as necessary to reach all the way to the bottom.

Once the chimney has had a good scrubbing, be sure to clean out all of the debris in the firebox. You can then put the chimney cap and damper back in place.


Learning how to clean a chimney sounds pretty easy, but if you have a fear of heights or have serious hardened creosote in your flue, it may be best to hire a professional.

If you haven't had your chimney inspected, it's a good idea to hire a professional to both inspect and clean your chimney. This will let you know if you have any serious issues and give you a better idea of whether you want to clean the chimney the next time.

Remember, anytime you are on a roof, it can be dangerous. Also, cleaning a chimney from the bottom can be very messy. You'll need to cover everything in the room to avoid damage from debris. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you are safe. A clean chimney is a safe chimney!

Return from How to clean a chimney to Chimney Construction
Return to Firewood Homepage from How to clean a chimney

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