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Sweep Soundly with the Right Fireplace Tools

Must-Have Fireplace Tools That Offer You 4 DIY Solutions

It’s been a chilly few months, and no doubt we’ve been taking advantage of our fireplaces to help keep us warm and toasty. But the more we use our chimneys and fireplaces, the more important it becomes to keep it clean. A soot-coated chimney can quickly become a fire hazard, so it is important to know how to clean your chimney and fireplace. Lucky for us, cleaning a chimney doesn’t involve cramming yourself (or your smaller children) into the chimney to give it a good scrub like an 1800’s chimney sweeper; all you need are the right fireplace tools:

  • Stiff wire brush
  • Chimney brush
  • Extension Pipes/Weighted rope/Pulley system
  • Spade
  • Broom and Dust Pan
  • Safety Goggles
  • Ladder
  • Tarp

Before you begin, get yourself and the area around your fireplace ready for cleaning. Put on your safety goggles to protect your eyes from the loose soot and debris, then lay down your tarp around the opening of your fireplace to catch any mess. Also, like most messy projects, it’s always smart to wear old clothing you don’t mind getting coated with ash and soot.

Once you’ve gotten yourself prepared to clean, there are four main ways to clean your chimney.

Extension Pipe – Top Down

The first method involves attaching a chimney brush to an extension pipe. With the top down method, you must be up on your roof, at the opening to your chimney. Once you’ve inserted the brush and pipe down the length of your chimney, you can begin to scrub. Make sure to get all four sides to remove all the build-up and debris.

Extension Pipe – Bottom Up

Just like the first method, this method also requires a chimney brush attached to an extension pipe. But this way is better for those who have a fear of heights, or just don’t want to be up on the roof. Using the same scrubbing motion, you can clean all sides of the chimney through the opening of your fireplace.

Rods and Weighted Rope

This method also requires you to be on your roof by the chimneys opening. But instead of attaching your brush to an extension pipe, you attach it to rods (flexible, not rigid like the extension pipe) which are controlled by a system of weighted ropes, and pull rings; allowing you to pull the brush up and down.

Pulley System

Also using a weighted rope, the pulley system uses two people, and two control rings to allow the brush to move up and down throughout your chimney. You must have one person on the roof, at the chimneys opening, and the other at the fireplace opening. Once you have fed the rope down to the second person through the chimney, you can alternate pulling the rope, using the brush to scrub and clean any debris.

Cleaning the Rest of Your Fireplace

Once you’ve successfully cleaned the chimney, you can move on to cleaning the fireplace, starting with the flue. Using your spade, scrape off any built up creosote (tar) and soot. Once all the debris is collected in the fireplace, sweep up the remains into your dust pan, and dispose of it into the trash (keeping in accordance with any disposal laws in your area).

Cleaning your chimney might be a messy job, but it’s important you do it properly, so you don’t burn yourself out. Nowadays it can be easily done using one of these four methods, after you have acquired the right fireplace tools.