There are several different ways to clean a chimney; however, the top down rod method results in less mess in the house. After climbing on the roof, insert the chimney brush into the chimney to clean the walls. Make sure to close off the fireplace opening to minimize debris.
Another method is the bottom up rod method. This method is safer than the top down method as standing on the roof isn't required. However, it is very messy, so make sure to cover the surrounding area with drop cloths. Use the chimney brush to work the walls of the chimney from the bottom up, adding extensions to the tool as the cleaning job requires a higher reach.
The weight method is another way to clean a chimney. This method also requires climbing on the roof. Instead of using a flexible chimney brush, an assembly of a brush, a rope, pull rings and a weight is used. The weight should be at least 20 pounds. After making sure the fireplace is closed off inside, raise and lower the assembly, scrubbing at the walls and removing the debris.
The dual line method takes two people, one person on the roof, and the other at the fireplace opening. The brush has a rope attached to each end. The two people take turns pulling the rope and cleaning the debris from the walls.