Every professional has tools of the trade that simplify their job, and being a chimney sweep is no different. We have several types of brushes, rods, and certain things that we would not be able to work without. We decided to put together a list of a few of the items we use on a daily basis. We hope this list comes in handy for the DIY chimney sweep, but we also hope you will take extreme caution and have the chimney professionally inspected at least once per year.

Ladder with Protective Gear

Some parts of the chimney are only accessible by using a ladder. We use a ladder to inspect the upper part of the chimney and to clean the chimney cap, crown, and inspect the flashing as well. A high quality ladder will allow you to ascend and descend more easily and safely for cleaning and inspecting the chimney.


We use a variety of brushes for the different areas of the chimney. Here are some of the most popular brushes that we use on a daily basis:

  • Wire Brush – This round, flat brush may remind you of a prop from Mary Poppins, but it really is the type of brush we use. It is used to scrape soot and creosote from the interior walls of the chimney.
  • Polypropylene Brush – An alternative to the wire brush, this is better for cleaning metal chimney liners and it’s the preferred brush for stainless steel liners to prevent damage.
  • Hand Brush – The hand brush is used in areas where reach isn’t an issue. We can, for example, use the hand brush in the firebox to remove creosote or soot there.
  • Extender Rods – Extender rods are often required to increase the reach of our brushes, especially with very tall chimneys.

Cleaning Agents

Chemical agents aren’t always needed, but we keep them on hand just in case. We may need to use a chemical agent to loosen caked on creosote before we can get the chimney liner as clean as possible.

Keep it Clean

Cleaning the chimney is very, very dirty business. You will need a vacuum cleaner, but not just your everyday-use vacuum cleaner. A high capacity shop vac is great for the job. A heavy duty vacuum cleaner will make the interior cleanup much nicer and easier. You can also use the vacuum hose to capture creosote and soot that you scrub from the firebox using the hand brush.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to protect your flooring and furniture with drop cloths. Use cloths that can be thrown away because you will not want to introduce creosote to your washer and dryer. It’s easier and cleaner to just dispose of the drop cloth and buy a new one as needed.

We’re located in Drexel Hill and provide all types of chimney services to homeowners and commercial property owners in the surrounding areas and along the Main Line. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 if you’re interested in scheduling an appointment for a consultation, a chimney inspection, or chimney cleaning.