Chimney cleaning

It’s the time of year when the wood burning has finished, and so it’s time for cleaning.


I was surprised to learn this year that there are products sold for the specific job of cleaning the chimney pipes from wood stoves. I found that a cloth, re-useable bag is available that uses velcro to hold on to the pipe and which hangs down from the pipe, collecting the dust and soot. While I would like to have such an item, it is far too expensive to ever consider buying. A cheaper version is made out of plastic but again has velcro to hold on to the pipe.

For now, I’ll stick with my tried and so-so OK method for cleaning. It costs a lot less and it collects most of the soot. This year my method worked the best yet for me.

After removing screws from one section of pipe, I push one section of pipe slightly over another lower section. This year, I actually removed both sections, but it’s not necessary.

Next, I use the jack from my car to lift up one side of the stove, then the other and slide boards under the stove’s feet. Once on the boards, it is easier to slide my stove out of the way, so that I can feed the steel rods and brush up the pipes.

I put the brush into the pipe, then tape a plastic bag over the pipe. I then placed a piece of tape on the side of the bag, near the top, and cut an X into it with scissors. The tape makes for a stronger entry area so that when I feed in the rods into the hole, the hole in the bag will not open up larger.


We didn’t get a lot of soot this year and that’s a good thing. It means we were burning the wood at a hot temperature, and that the wood was generally dry enough to not give off too much moisture.

With all the preparation before and the clean up after, it took me a little less than 2 hours. I’m glad that it’s done, because now that the warm weather is upon us (with much warmer weather soon to come) I hate doing work wearing my dirty work clothes. I can now relax and enjoy the summer and not have to think about the wood stove.

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