Can I Clean My Chimney By Myself?

Step-by-Step Guide to DIY Chimney Cleaning

Let’s dive into a topic that might seem a bit daunting at first: cleaning your chimney. Now, you might be wondering, “Can I do this myself?” Well, you’re in luck because we’re here to guide you through the process step by step. And remember, while a DIY approach can be rewarding, there are times when calling in professionals (like us) is the best course of action. So, let’s get started!

Article (actually) written: December 2023

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Beautiful Clean Farmhouse Fireplace and Chimney

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Before you begin, you’ll need the right tools. A chimney brush and extension rods, a sturdy ladder, a flashlight, goggles, and a dust mask are essential. Consider investing in a chimney brush kit, which you can easily find online. These kits often include everything you need and are a good investment for regular maintenance.

Step 2: Prepare the Area

Safety first! Lay down a drop cloth or plastic sheeting around your fireplace to protect your floor and furnishings from soot. Make sure your fireplace doors are open and the damper is completely open.

Step 3: Access the Chimney

Using your ladder, carefully climb onto your roof. Ensure your ladder is stable and you’re comfortable working at this height. If not, this might be a time to call in the pros.

Step 4: Start Scrubbing

Attach your chimney brush to the extension rods and begin scrubbing the inside of the chimney. Start from the top and work your way down, adding more rods as necessary. It’s important to be thorough, so take your time.

Step 5: Clean Up

Once you’ve scrubbed the entire chimney, head back inside. You’ll need to clean out the accumulated soot and debris from the fireplace. A shop vac is great for this, but make sure it’s designed to handle fine particles like ash.

Step 6: Inspect Your Work

After cleaning, inspect your chimney for any signs of damage, like cracks or missing mortar. If you spot anything concerning, it’s time to call in the professionals.  We can get you scheduled for an in-depth chimney inspection or a professinal cleaning.

Recommended DIY Chimney Cleaning Products:

Chimney Brush


Strong Flashlight

Dust Mask

Safety Goggles

Lord Brassburn, Gentleman, Chimney Expert

“If you’re ever in doubt, or encounter a situation you’re not prepared to handle, let Brass & Burn handle it.”

When to Call the Pros

  1. If You Find Cracks or Damage: This is not something to tackle on your own. Cracks can lead to dangerous situations, including the risk of fire spreading to other parts of your home.

  2. If You’re Uncomfortable with Heights: Cleaning a chimney often requires working on the roof. If you’re not comfortable with this, it’s safer to call in the experts.

  3. If Your Chimney Hasn’t Been Cleaned in a While: If it’s been years since your last cleaning, a professional inspection is a good idea. They can catch issues that you might miss.

  4. Complex Chimney Systems: If your chimney is part of a more complex system or you have multiple fireplaces, a professional can ensure that every part is properly cleaned and functioning.

A Nudge Towards Professional Care

Cleaning your chimney can be a satisfying DIY project, but it’s important to know your limits. Remember, safety and effectiveness are key. If you’re ever in doubt, or encounter a situation you’re not prepared to handle, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help ensure your fireplace and chimney are safe and ready for those cozy nights in.

About the Author

Meet the esteemed ‘Lord Brassburn,’ a moniker as grand as the chimneys he champions, yet beneath this Victorian-style cloak of mystery lies the true chimney connoisseur, Tony Latino. With a brush in hand and soot in his soul, Tony has reigned over the chimney cleaning empire for 30 years, mastering the art of chimney wizardry—from sweeping grand fireplaces to crafting sturdy stucco with the finesse of a seasoned artisan. His expertise in fire safety shines brighter than any flame, offering wisdom that complements, but humbly bows to, the expertise of our brave firefighters. Passionate and unparalleled in his craft, Tony has lovingly passed the torch (or should we say brush?) to his son, ensuring the family legacy burns as brightly as a well-tended hearth. Fear not, dear readers, for each word in our blog is sifted through the discerning eyes of Tony himself, guaranteeing the spark of authenticity in every post. Rest assured, Lord Brassburn’s Associate, Tony Latino, is no mere chimney sweep, but a true steward of the flame!

Lord Brassburn, Gentleman, Chimney Expert