How to Clean Chimney Liner | 6 Step Guide With Additional Info


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This article is meant to educate us in understanding how to clean the chimney liner, cleaning stainless steel chimney liner, sweeping the chimney, the recommended product mostly used in cleaning chimney liner and other necessary subtopics discussed in the articles.

How to Clean Chimney Liner

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Step-1: Hire a chimney sweep

The National Fire Protection Association recommends sweeping chimneys at least once a year at the start of winter to remove soot and debris. Find a certified sweep near you through the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

How to Clean Chimney Liner

Step-2: Check for damage

In addition to cleaning, a chimney sweep should examine the chimney structure for cracks, loose stones, or missing mortar. Chimney linings should also be checked for cracking or wear.

How to Clean Chimney Liner

Step-3: Close the chimney

A latticed cap covers the top of the chimney, preventing rain, birds, squirrels and debris from getting in. Replace or repair a missing or damaged cap.

what to burn to clean chimney

Step-4: Burn seasoned hardwoods

Choose dense wood like oak that has been split and stored in a high and dry place for at least six months. Greenwoods and resinous conifers like pine produce more creosote, a combustible byproduct of combustion that can build up in the chimney.

how to clean a chimney flue yourself nz

Step-5: Don’t overload

Small fires produce less smoke and therefore less creosote build-up. A fire that is too big or too hot can damage the chimney.

Step-6: Build it right

Place logs on a metal grate at the back of the fireplace. Use matches instead of flammable liquids to start the fire.

How to Clean a Stainless Steel Chimney Liner

Stainless steel, short for stainless steel, refers to the material used for these casings so that they are both robust and flexible enough to fulfil this mission properly.

To clean a chimney with a stainless steel casing, it is necessary to have the following equipment:

  • A hedgehog preferably with plastic spikes to avoid damaging the stainless steel tubes too much;
  • A tough string to tie to the hedgehog to prevent losing it in the casing;
  • Flexible chimney sweeping rods nested into each other at the end of which the hedgehog will be fixed;
  • Plastic bags to collect the soot resulting from the sweeping and also protect the outlet of the casing to avoid dirtying everything;
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to clean up waste and residue;

Repositionable tape to fix plastic bags against the outlet of the case to prevent dust clouds during the operation;

  • A bucket for transporting waste;
  • A cloth to clean the equipment and the entry of the case;
  • A Coloured smoke bomb to test sealing ducts.

Once you have all the necessary equipment, you can switch to sweeping.

For that, you start by creating access to the tube by removing the hoses that connect the boiler or wood stove chimney is there.

  • Clean everything that has been disassembled.

Then mount the hedgehog on the flexible rods and pass all in the duct.

  • To sweep made movements back and forth to the top of the chimney, but avoid rotations as this can disassemble the rod hedgehog.
  • Once you finish the sweeping, spend vacuuming then test with the smoke bomb to check satisfactory smoke evacuation and sealing.
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Steps to Clean the Chimney

Step- 1

At first spread the plastic sheeting or painter’s canvas to protect the floor surrounding your fireplace. Then remove the ashes and stray pieces of wood from the firebox. Once there is no more debris, open the shock. At this point, it is crucial to isolate the fireplace from the rest of your living room. Using thick plastic sheeting and quality duct tape, completely seal the front of the fireplace, with no gaps in the gasket. Cut corners here, and later you might end up with fine dust coating all of your furniture.

how to clean a chimney from inside
Step- 2

When considering how to clean a chimney, many homeowners do not consider protective equipment at all. You will need a set of eye protection that forms a reliable seal around the eyes. If you try to settle for regular goggles, you risk going to the doctor. Plus, you’ll need a quality dust mask, a few different types of chimney brushes, and a sturdy ladder that will get you up to the roof.

If you don’t have any rooftop work experience, now is not the time to learn. Call a chimney sweep. Most of the more dangerous DIY projects take place on the roof; proceed with extreme caution!

how to clean a chimney from inside
Step- 3

Remove any hardware that is obstructing the top of the chimney, whether it’s a chimney cap or animal guard, then go to the largest diameter chimney brush in your arsenal. Brush from top to bottom, working towards the smoke shelf – the flat area in the recess behind the damper. Take your time and do a thorough job. When you are finished sweeping the chimney flue, replace the hardware you removed, making sure all fasteners are secure. Descend the ladder safely.

homemade chimney cleaner
Step- 4

Allow some time for the dust you disturbed to settle in the firebox. After the waiting period has elapsed, remove a small opening in the gasket you placed on the firebox. Using a smaller diameter chimney brush, go through the opening and scrub as far as the brush can reach into the chimney. When you are finished, cover the fireplace again and allow any additional dust to fall on the floor of the firebox.

clean chimney from bottom
Step- 5

When removing the plastic cover, do it slowly and deliberately. Learn how to clean a fireplace – and finish the job yourself – means be careful when you are back on solid ground. Stir soot means having to face an even bigger mess than the one already waiting.

Another word to the wise: Make sure that no open external doors, which allow an air current suddenly sending dust and ashes all over the carpet and the furniture in your living room. The simple act of opening a door would defeat the purpose of having so carefully confined dust and debris behind a plastic membrane. Carefully remove the cover and use a shop vacuum to clean the combustion chamber.

How to Clean Soot Chimney

Things you will need

Hot water


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White vinegar

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  • Mix up your first cleaning solution. Fill the bucket about 2/3 of the way full with hot water. Add 2 cups of white vinegar. This will create a severe cleaning solution that is entirely green and will lighten the mortar while fighting soot stains.
  • Start scrubbing at the top of the fireplace; otherwise, it will wash the soot and debris on the clean parts of the fireplace below. Go up to your ladder with your bucket of cleaning solution. Scrub the fireplace with the steel wool. This will not damage the bricks, but it will begin to remove accumulated creosote and soot. Adamant stains may require a wire brush.
  • Hose down the chimney. You can let the vinegar solution sit on the bricks as you work your way through the fireplace. However, when you’re done, you may want to do a second cleaning with the bristle brush. Flush the entire fireplace with the hose, starting at the top as before. Scrub the fireplace with soap and water.
  • Mix about six drops of mild detergent in hot water in the bucket. Then use the bristle cleaning brush to scrub the entire fireplace again from top to bottom. This will remove any remaining dirt that may have been dislodged by the bristle brush, but not completely removed from the fireplace.
YouTube video

How to Sweep your Chimney

Chimney fires can be like volcanoes, with sparks and scales from burning creosote fired from the chimney. The real danger is that this fire can spread to the rest of the house through the walls or attic, or clinkers spewing from the chimney can set the roof on fire. These are why your fireplace needs regular and deep cleaning not only to prevent a fireplace fire but also to maintain the efficiency of your fireplace or woodstove. Here is the step-by-step procedure for sweeping your fireplace. Before starting, make sure all the coals have been wholly extinguished, and the fireplace is cool.

YouTube video


  • Inspect the chimney. This requires the flashlight and the ladder. Examine the chimney from the top and bottom. You’re looking for the highly combustible mixture of soot and creosote, the by-product of burning wood or coal. A creosote buildup of a quarter-inch or more should be removed.
  • At this time, you should also carefully measure the interior dimensions of the fireplace to build your brush in step 3. An undersized brush or an oversized one provides adequate cleaning. Frequently smoke fires are another indicator that the chimney is dirty. When the smoke rack is filled with debris, instead of diverting the cold air up the chimney, it channels air down the chimney, thus blowing smoke into the hearth.

Prepare for clutter. Seal the fireplace or wood stove chamber by taping the sheet of paper over its central opening. Make sure the paper and tape work is airtight, so not a drip of soot can leak out into the house. Leave the damper open (otherwise, you’ll have to open it later and run into a soot cascade on your face). Some fireplaces have removable dampers.


Assemble your brush. Attach four heavyweight floor cleaning brushes to a Centre block of wood. The block should be as long as the bushes, and square so a brush with the bristles facing out can be attached to each side. Then I hook weights (approximately 20 pounds) to this four-sided brush, and the entire assembly is suspended from a rope that is as long as the real fireplace.

This is called the “Line and Weight Method” and is equally functional with removable chimney caps or with permanently attached chimney caps. As an alternative to making your brush, various companies offer brushes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Abrasiveness is essential to loosen from the creosote that has baked into your bricks and mortar. Some fire departments use chains to clean chimneys.


Climb back up from the roof and bring your brush with you. There are two variants, depending on your fireplace cap style.


If your chimney has a removable cap or no cap, then let down the weighted end of your brush into the flue. Tug it back up, and then let the weight tow it back down. In this way, cause the brush to rise and fall several times. B. If your chimney has a permanently fixed cap, then you need to insert one end of the rope through an opening in the side of the cap. Allow this end to drop to the bottom of the flue. Now attach this end to your brush-and-weight assembly. From the roof, drag the brush up.

With either method, be careful not to remove the mortar joints or break the fireplace liner when you’re done sweeping, clean the outside of the fireplace around the lid.

Send to your fireplace or stove to clean the chamber itself. Caution before re-entering the house is to place the plastic walking tarp on it. No point in depositing soot anymore while you are trying to get rid of it. 


Remove the tape and paper covering from the opening after the soot has settled. Now with the little broom and dustpan, remove all the soot that has already fallen into the chamber. Put on the mask to protect yourself from breathing any harmful dust. Then go up to the fireplace as soon as you can and start brushing with the smallest, portable wire brush, like good house painters use to remove old paint. Also, polish the smoke rack.


Shovel in the container all the ash from the chamber platform and the smoke. Do not use plastic garbage bags because soot has static electrical charges and clings to the outside of the plastic bags. Then it falls on your carpet or furniture. Ash is perfect for the compost pile. Or put directly in the garden, it discourages cutworms. Slugs don’t like it either since they avoid abrasive surfaces.


Finally, rub yourself. Although skin cancer was discovered early between chimney sweeps, the main reason for this “trade disease” was low standards of personal hygiene in the 19th century. There is no danger to those who will make fair use of soap and water.


We believe you have learned a lot regarding this article on how to clean the chimney liner, clean chimney, sweeping chimney, and other relevant subtopics discussed in the articles.

Read More: How to Tell If a Chimney is Structural

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