Don’t let the title of this article fool you – soot that has built up in your chimney for months isn’t something you can easily wipe away. Whenever you use your fireplace, soot builds up. It becomes more robust and is accompanied by other substances like creosote. The inside of your chimney is not easy to reach. It’s a tall and narrow tunnel with many complex parts.
So, if you want a thorough cleaning, finding a professional is the best way to go. However, DIY soot cleanings can be helpful from time to time. Not to replace professional cleanings, but to accompany them.
Professional cleanings stay essential, but the costs can add up. Despite the clean-once-a-year rule, there are many circumstances and conditions that can make it necessary to have professional cleanings more than that.
This is where you come in.
Instead of having your chimney professionally cleaned and then ignoring it for a year, or until there are any obvious problems, you can do a simple clean yourself. Regular DIY cleanings will help ensure you really only need to have a professional clean your chimney once a year.
Our Guide to a Simple Chimney Soot Cleaner
This DIY chimney soot cleaner is made of water, vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia solution. To prepare it: mix one gallon of water with one cup of ammonia, half a cup of vinegar, and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Before using the cleaner, place tarps along the floor of your chimney to catch any soot and solution that can fall during the cleaning process. This mixture can also irritate your skin, so wear gloves and protective clothing.
Once you have protected the surrounding area with tarps, use a long brush to scrub the cleaning solution onto the bricks of your chimney as best you can. Then use another clean brush to wipe everything away.
How thoroughly you can clean your chimney with this cleaner depends on the structure of your chimney. Some chimneys have easier access to the flue, while others chimneys make it hard for you to reach the pipe. This cleaner is great to remove soot from your chimney in the fall and winter months when you use it regularly but does not come close to a professional cleaning – as no DIY chimney cleaner can.
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