Can You Clean Your Own Chimney


Sometimes you may need to clean your chimney but you don’t want to call a handyman. While this normally isn’t a recommended step, especially if a large-scale cleaning is needed, it can be done for very small or minor chimney soot removal.

Keeping your family safe can be done with very little effort. Here’s how you can clean your chimney with the help of a few simple home supplies.

cleaning out fireplace

The Best Way to Do a Quick DIY Fireplace Inspection


Chimney Cleaning Tools

There are a handful of inexpensive cleaning tools to facilitate the process.

  • Goggles and N95 Mask: The first step in the inspection process is to protect yourself from creosote by wearing goggles and an N95 mask. This is the same gear that any handyman would wear.
  • Cloth Tarps: Heavy-duty cloth tarps will properly cover your space around the fireplace and flooring.
  • Commercial Grade Shop Vacuums: The highest quality, most-effective vacuum cleaners are commercial grade. If you don’t own one, call a professional.
  • Long Brush: These brushes allow you to really dig in and get the hard to reach gunk out of your fireplace.
  • Flashlight: An LED light would be ideal.

Next you’ll need to spread out a plastic tarp, painter’s cloth, or newspapers around the perimeter of your fireplace to ensure soot doesn’t go all over the floor.

Start by cleaning ashes out of the firebox area and take off the grate to start cleaning your chimney.

To see the full extent of the creosote buildup, grab a flashlight and your fireplace poker. Shine the light into the fireplace and start scratching the walls to see the true thickness of the soot.

The rule of thumb is that if the soot is less than ⅛” thick, you can remove it yourself. Otherwise, you should call a professional chimney sweep.

A Clean Chimney and Fireplace Helps Prevent House Fires

It doesn’t take much dirt to present a broader hazard to your home. You need to clean even the smallest amount of soot to ensure a safe and healthy environment for your family.

If your primary burning is by way of green, wet logs, these don’t typically burn cleanly and will send a bevy of dirt particles throughout the house.

Removing dust is vital to keeping the area safe and preventing future mishaps.

What Happens if You Don’t Clean the Chimney?

When you don’t clean the chimney or flue, you’re leaving your home susceptible to creosote buildup which is highly flammable. It can increase to several thousand degrees and burn precipitously around your fireplace.

This can also affect the structural integrity of your roof in general if you leave the situation unremedied.

Improve Your Chimney with Professional Services

While it may be tempting to clean your own chimney or fireplace yourself, it’s always better to hire professional chimney cleaning to ensure that you’re getting the space clean in a safe manner.

Not only is this a safer option for most homeowners, but it can also be much more effective to get the hard stuff removed.

A professional cleaning involves the use of quality tools to conduct a proper inspection and the use of an effective brush among other great tools.

Protect Your Family and Your House

It’s not just about cleaning your fireplace, it’s about keeping your family safe. Whether you live in an old or new house, you owe it to your loved ones to remain safe.

Get a proper inspection and cleaning done today. Why wait to remove the junk that’s stuck in your chimney structure?