How to Make a Homemade Chimney Brush

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A dirty or clogged chimney can lead to a chimney fire.
A dirty or clogged chimney can lead to a chimney fire. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Chimney cleaning is a regular part of home maintenance since over time chimneys become coated with soot, creosote and other debris such as leaves or even bird nests. Generally, you should clean the chimney at least once a year. If you burn large amounts of wood or live in an area that requires you keep fire for long periods of time, clean the chimney more often. In order to clean the chimney, most people invest in a wire chimney brush. With a few basic supplies, however, you can make your own.

Things You'll Need

  • Rope
  • Roll of wire netting
  • Wire cutters
  • Burlap sack
  • Chains

Purchase a roll of wire netting if you don’t already own some. Wire netting can be found at any hardware or garden supply store and bought for less than $20. The wire used in the netting should be fine and bendable. Also purchase any other supplies you’ll need, such as rope, a burlap sack or wire cutters.

Cut off a section of wire netting using your wire cutters and bend it into a ball shape. The amount of wire netting needed will depend on the size of your chimney. Place the ball of wire into the burlap sack. Use your judgment when deciding the amount of wire netting needed. The homemade brush should fit snugly within your chimney. If the homemade brush is too small or large, it will not work.

Place some chains into the burlap sack along with the wire. The chains will add weight to the homemade chimney brush. This will allow you to lower the brush through the chimney. If you find that you need more weight, simply add more chains. If you run out of chains, you can also throw in a few rocks for additional weight.

Tie the burlap sack shut. Ensure the sack is tightly tied so that it does not come open when in use.

Attach your rope to the burlap sack. Again, make certain the rope is tied securely to the sack, as you will need it to lower the homemade brush down the chimney and pull it back up again. The rope will need to be long enough to lower the homemade brush down the entire length of the chimney.

Tips & Warnings

  • A homemade brush may not be capable of providing the necessary abrasion to remove heavy creosote deposits from the chimney. If you suspect your chimney has a thick coat of creosote, it is best to purchase an actual chimney brush to effectively clean the chimney.

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