How Do You Clean a Chimney?

clean-chimney Credit: Mario Henriques/EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

To clean a chimney, use a chimney brush to scrub the inside of the flue beginning at the roof, and scrub the damper, firebox and chimney cap before using the fireplace. Cleaning the chimney may require several hours.

  1. Protect the surrounding area

    Place a drop cloth around the fireplace opening to protect the interior of your home from ash and debris. Cover nearby furnishings and flooring with additional drop cloths or an old sheet as needed.

  2. Clean the chimney

    Open the damper, and remove the cap from the top of the chimney. Use a chimney brush that fits into the chimney snugly to scrub the interior of the chimney, starting at the top and working downward. Add additional poles to the chimney brush until it is long enough to reach the damper, and begin cleaning by moving the brush up and down the length of the chimney. Use a flashlight to determine when the chimney is clean.

  3. Clean the damper and chimney cap

    Use a firm scrub brush to clean the chimney cap, and replace it. Clean the damper and firebox with the scrub brush.

  4. Vacuum the area

    Remove the drop cloth, and vacuum the area to remove any debris that may have fallen while cleaning the chimney.