LAST UPDATED: 7th January 2023 by The Editorial Team
Summary: Step by step guide and video showing how to sweep a chimney for a stove, wood burner or open fire.
Cleaning the chimney
This task is usually taken on by professional chimney sweepers who use modern equipment, making chimney cleaning quick and creating less mess. However, if you desire to tackle the work yourself, then the main equipment you will need will be chimney brushes with extendable rods.
Chimney cleaning should only be tackled from below the chimney. A common misconception is that they need to be accessed from the roof to be cleaned.
- Make sure the brush head you will be using is the correct size for the chimney. If it is too small or big, the chimney will not be cleaned properly, so check sizes beforehand.
- You will need to start by covering the whole floor and all areas around the fireplace with sheets, as a lot of soot will descend into the room as you are cleaning. Have a vacuum laid on the hearth and leave it turned on so it can remove some of the dust and soot as you go.
- Do not attempt to clean your chimney for a minimum of 12 hours after having last used the fireplace. This is due to the fact that the soot lining the chimney wall can stay hot for this period of time after the fire has been extinguished.
- Make sure the brushes you use are good quality and in good condition for cleaning effectively. Screw the rods to the brush head tightly.
- Extend the brush up the chimney, adding rods to the brush as you go. When sweeping the soot, you can push the brush up and down or you can twist the rods to spin the brush head. When twisting the rods, do it in the direction the rods tighten (this should be clockwise), otherwise the rods will become detached.
- Once finished, pull the brush out, detaching the rods as you go. Use a hand brush and vacuum to clean the areas around the entrance to the chimney and around the fireplace. Hoover up all remaining soot and you are finished.
- Extendable rods with chimney brushes
- Dust cloth
How to sweep a chimney video
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