Help chimney cleaning tools/advice please

abby normal

insert appropriate adjective here
We have a whole house wood burner and need to give everything a good cleaning before winter.

We moved here last summer and never used wood to heat before. As the winter wore on we noticed less heat "push" through the vents, I'm assuming it's due to build-up.

We're looking to purchase a brush to clean the chimney but I'm not sure which type is best. Trying to avoid spending too much or getting something that won't last.

Looking for any advice you might have for us newbies, thanks!

Border Collie Dad

Flat Earther
I got one of these a couple years ago and never regretted it

I never have to get up on the roof to clean my chimney.

I burn, mostly, coal and just a little bit of wood.

Creosote is not a problem for me but may be for you.

Dry seasoned wood is your friend, too.


Veteran Member
What Border Collie Dad recommended is close to what we have. What ever you get, will need to be a wire brush, with a flexible rod, like a fishing pole only bigger, and stiffer. And where you can add sections as you push the brush through.

Generically you should have a clean out door of some kind near the bottom. And be able to push the brush and rod through from the bottom.

Getting on the roof depends on the type of "Cap" you have on top. We have one that looks like a bird cage, to keep out birds in the summer called Chimney Sweeps. That means I have to get high enough to remove the cap for cleaning. Which isn't a problem for me.

The type of wood used like BCD mentioned will play a big part in your build up. Wet wood, more than dry, and soft wood generally has more sap than hard wood. Green wood more than older, dry, and seasoned wood.

It should also be noted that generally what is bad for build up, also won't produce much heat/bdu's.

When you do your cleaning, remember to do the part from the heater to the flue. And I am thinking about the pipe that goes out the back through the wall into the exterior flue.

If your pipe goes out the top, through the roof, you'll probably get that when you insert the brush.

'Course if it does go out the top, you can create a donut with the pipe for increased heating, but a nightmare to clean. LOL.


TB Fanatic
Not sure what kind of wood stove you have but that too needs attention, Try using the search engine on how to do this and its easy as it sounds, also measure the inside flue from the roof the brush you want has to fit it and some times because of the shape of the flue the bush may only get one side at a time, then after that you have to remove all the ash and whatnot at the bottom of the flue. A shop vac can helpful.


Veteran Member
If you have a clay flue use a metal brush. If you have a metal flue use a nylon brush. A metal brush will eventually damage the inner liner on a metal chimney and can cause a chimney fire. Happened to my aunt. I have always used a brush and rods from the top. I put a weight on the brush to help it get through to the bottom. One thing I will be adding is a rope to the bottom as well. My father has always had a rope on the bottom of his brush. I never have. Was helping clean his chimney last fall and a rod broke. Using the rope I just pulled the brush through the access at the base of the chimney. It was something his father did as well in case a rod broke.

Don't go cheap on your rods and brushes. I have used the thinner 3' rods in the past. A couple years ago I switched to the thicker 6' professional rods. Bought them at a chimney store and they weren't cheap but they make a world of difference. Much stiffer and easier to use.

abby normal

insert appropriate adjective here
We ended up ordering the chimney cleaner from Amazon, suggested by Border Collie Dad and others. DH used it yesterday and it worked like a charm. Now we're all set to go!

Thanks so much for your help! Timebomb is the BEST :chg:


Knuckle Dragger
We moved here last summer and never used wood to heat before. As the winter wore on we noticed less heat "push" through the vents, I'm assuming it's due to build-up.
Less airflow through the vents or it's not as warm?

A whole house woodburner should have some kind of heat exchanger. You might look at it carefully.