Owning a fireplace or wood stove can be one of the most relaxing, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing ways to warm your home. The cozy atmosphere can make a calming evening at home with friends or family like no other and is certainly worth the upkeep and investment.
That being said, it is very important to take care of your fireplace, especially your chimney flue. With extended use, your chimney will accumulate a build-up of creosote. Creosote can catch fire with too much build-up, which can become hazardous to the integrity of the chimney and may become disastrous.
To assure your chimney stays as clean and safe as possible, acquiring a high-quality, professional brush is an absolute must. However, before you choose which chimney brush you will be using, there are several important factors to consider.
In order to choose the best fit for your individual needs, you’ll need to do some measurements or refer to documentation regarding your particular chimney.
First, you need to know the brush-specific recommendations for your particular chimney, such as the brush material and head diameter. You’ll also need to know whether you need to additionally purchase an extension rod for your brush head, and what the fitting size will be.
If you have a metal chimney flue, you may want to stick with a brush made of polypropylene or synthetic material. On the other hand, other chimneys may benefit from a brush made of spring wire. Such as the Rotland 16410—as this brush will be more heavy-duty than its synthetic counterpart.
At the very least, you must refer to, or measure, your chimney flue diameter, and choose a brush that will match that. Some brushes, like the Rutland Products PS-3, have multiple options. Others, like brush sold by Holikme, have a single option for the head diameter and will not work for larger chimney flues.
Now that you know your requirements, let’s look at these TOP 5 chimney brushes.
The Holikme 25-foot brush has a head that is made of synthetic material and does not require the purchase of an extension rod, so it can be used immediately with no additional hardware.
What We Liked
You can use this brush with or without a drill. Choosing to use a drill gives you some extra power and can get your chimney cleaned quicker and more efficiently. That being said, it also works very well without being attached to a drill.
The rod kit feels sturdy, though not as sturdy as a full steel rod that you would use with a brush head with a standard 1/4 inch fitting. Unlike a steel rod, however, the flexible nylon makes it easier to maneuver the brush in your chimney flue, which is a huge plus.
This brush has a head with a roughly 4” diameter. This is great for some smaller chimneys, but will not hold up to a larger / wider flue. Also, the bending rod does not allow for the same friction / scraping action you would have with a less flexible rod.
- No additional hardware requirements
- Flexible / bending rod
- Unique design
- Not the most sturdy rod
- Small brush head diameter
This brush fits many purposes very well. The overall versatility makes it highly valuable, so long as it isn’t too small for your particular chimney.
This cleaning brush made by Midwest Hearth has stiff high-quality polypropylene bristles that work great for cleaning out coal and soot. Recommended for cleaning metal stove pipes, flue, and chimneys. This chimney cleaning brush is the most durable and professional quality.
Best For Metal Flue
Using a brush made from a high-quality polypropylene like Midwest Hearth cleaning brush is your best choice if you have a chimney with a metal flue. The poly brush will not scratch or damage the flue like wire material but is stiff enough to get the job done.
There are two head diameter options when buying this brush. There is a 6” and an 8” option, allowing you to select the one that will fit your chimney flue best.
Only a Brush Head
When purchasing this cleaning brush, keep in mind that this is only a head, and DOES NOT include a rod. You will need to purchase an additional rod kit that will fit, and it has a standard 1/4 inch NPT fitting. Midwest Hearth sells a fiberglass rod kit they recommend for this brush.
The consensus is that this brush is high-quality and gets the job done. However, there have been some reports of this brush being slightly too small for chimneys that were measured at 6”.
- Sturdy and durable
- Two brush head diameter options
- Great quality
- Some report the brush is slightly too small
- Need to buy rod, not included
Overall, this is a well-made cleaning brush that will fit 6” or 8” chimneys and get the job done well that is made professional quality in the USA. This could be a fantastic option for anyone with the correct chimney size, especially if you have a metal flue.
Chromex 6 Inch Poly Chimney Cleaning Brush Standard 1/4 Inch End Fittings – Hassle-free 1-year Warranty
The Chromex cleaning brush comes in two sizes, 6” and 8” and is made of polypropylene with standard fittings. This makes it an appropriate choice for anybody with the correct chimney size and a metal flue, and it comes with a hassle-free 1-year warranty.
This Brush comes with 1/4 NPT fittings which will work with a large variety of chimney rods making it easy to find additional hardware.
ChromeX advertises that customer satisfaction is their main priority, and invite individuals to contact them with any questions or concerns. In addition, they offer a 1-year warranty on all of their products, so if you are worried that you may break or damage your cleaning brush you may want to consider this option.
Several verified buyers complained about the quality of this cleaning brush. Mentioned most of all, was the quality of the bristles, which have been reported to fall apart after just a few uses. This might be something you want to consider before buying this cleaning brush, even with the warranty in place.
- Standard Fittings
- Two brush head diameter options
- 1-year warranty
- Reports of bristle damage
- Not the best quality
If you are concerned about not having a warranty when you buy a product, ChromeX’s 1-year warranty may entice you to buy this brush. However, for the individuals with the same needs who do not mind lacking a warranty on a relatively inexpensive product, it would seem that the nearly identical product made by Midwest Hearth is a more high-quality chimney cleaning solution.
The Rutland Products PS-3 Stove Brush is a unique product that may be exactly what you need, depending on your situation. The brush has 0.020” poly bristles and has various different buying options to change the size or handle length.
Length and Size
You can purchase this brush in several different models with either a 3” or 4” inch poly head or a 10 foot or 20-foot handle length. This offers you several options to buy exactly what will fit your specific needs.
Not For Big Chimneys
As you can no doubt tell by the small brush head diameter options, this is not a product made for huge fireplace chimneys. This one is best suited for chimneys found with pellet stoves and is advertised as such.
With several models for brush size and handle length, you have several options that work right out of the box. Buying this brush will include a 10-foot or 20-foot handle and does not require any additional purchases.
Good Fit for Pellet Stoves
Most buyers agree that this is an excellent brush if you own a pellet stove. This product has great reviews and reportedly does a fantastic job cleaning pellet stove chimneys.
- Great quality
- No additional requirements
- Multiple size options
- May only work for pellet stove chimneys
If you have a pellet stove with a 3” or 4” diameter, this might be the best purchase you can make. This is an all-in-one cleaning brush solution that has found massive popularity among buyers.
The Rutland 16410 Round Wire Chimney Brush is the largest and most sturdy example on this list. With a 10-inch round brush diameter and spring wire bristles, this stands out from any other product on the list.
This brush head will require the additional purchase of a 1/4” NPT rod, which Rutland also makes and sells. This product will not work without a rod to attach which is not included.
For Big Chimneys
If you have a chimney flue that measures 10” in diameter you are going to need a brush like this. These larger chimneys will accumulate just as much soot and creosote as others, so it is essential that you take care of them.
This brush has bristles made of oil tempered spring wire, which is more sturdy and strong than most poly bristle options. This makes the Rutland 16410 an excellent option for individuals with large chimneys that need a thorough cleaning.
Not Best For Metal Flue
The 10-inch spring wire brush is not designed for contact with metal. Failure to adhere to this recommendation can lead to scratching and damage on both the brush and the chimney. This is a much more suitable option for large masonry or tile chimneys.
- Strong and Sturdy
- Very Large
- Great For Masonry and Tile Chimneys
- Should not use on metal
For the large fireplace chimney that needs a thorough cleaning, this may be an excellent choice. For other smaller chimneys or metal flues, this product may not be your best option.
If you have an indoor fireplace, you will need to keep the chimney flue well maintained. Failure to do so can be extremely dangerous, and at the very least, damaging to your chimney.
A cleaning brush will help you to keep the buildup from getting too serious in your chimney, but to make your life easier you will want the best tool for the job.
Features to Consider
Chimney cleaning brushes come in many shapes and sizes and it is crucial that you understand these before making your purchase.
What sort of chimney needs cleaning? How long is your chimney? It is important to make sure you buy a brush head that comes with a long enough extending rod or has options to extend it further if needed.
Many brushes come as just the head with a standard 1/4 inch fitting, giving you the freedom to select whichever size rod to attach.
Many of these brushes will not come with a rod. This means that you need to source and purchase the correct rod to fit the brush in order to be able to use it to clean your chimney. Check the product listing to see if this is the case with whichever product you are looking to purchase.
It is not recommended that you use brush heads with wire bristles in contact with metal. This can damage your chimney and your brush. On the other hand, polypropylene brush heads should work just fine on anything without any damage. It is the same case with synthetic brush heads. Spring wire can be more heavy-duty and efficient, so long as you do not have to worry about coming in contact with metal.
Brush Head Diameter
Not all chimneys are created equal. It is important to make sure you buy a chimney brush with the correct diameter for your particular situation. These brushes are made to fit perfectly, and using one that is too big or too small will not be nearly as effective.
Any chimney brush you buy will be advertised for specific situations. Some are made for fireplace chimneys, while others are for pellet stoves and smaller setups. Take a look at the manufacturer’s recommendations.
You should clean your chimney with a brush at least once a month. This will help to reduce the buildup of hazardous materials.
You will want to keep an eye on the integrity of your chimney brush. When bristles start becoming weak or falling off, it is time to replace the brush.
When the brush is doing its job, you will see all of the residue and material coming from out of the chimney. If you are not seeing any results breaking loose while using your brush, it may not be working correctly.
Connecting your brush to a drill will allow you to rapidly rotate it and more effectively knock more buildup loose. If this is not an option, it is completely fine to do it by hand, just ensure you are being as thorough as possible.
Even though you are taking the initiative to clean out your chimney with a brush. It is still a good idea to have a professional take a look at your chimney at least once annually, if not more frequently. The buildup can become a huge fire hazard if not treated responsibly.
Why Do I Need a Chimney Brush?
A buildup of creosote in your chimney can be very hazardous to your home and the integrity of your chimney or fireplace. This buildup can ignite without warning and cause serious damage in very little time if left unwatched. By using a chimney brush thoroughly, you are allowing less buildup to accumulate. In addition to cleaning yourself, you should have a professional take a look at your chimney once a year, at least.
Why Can't I Use a Wire Brush in a Metal Chimney?
While some people still do and report that they do not have any issues, it is unwise to use a spring wire brush in a metal chimney. This can cause scratching and damage in your chimney and this additional wear-and-tear is not recommended for the longevity or the integrity.
Can I Use Any Rod For My Chimney Brush?
While many manufacturers will recommend you use their rod kits, you can absolutely use any rod that will fit. The most common size for the fitting is 1/4, and you will find very many rods that will fit this. In general, it is a good idea to make sure the rod you are looking to buy says something along the lines of “will fit any 1/4 connector,” or contact and ask the maker of the product.
Do I need a Power Drill?
Absolutely not. You can manually clean with your chimney brush completely by hand, and it is more than anything a matter of preference as to whether or whether not you use a power drill with it.
Can I Just Hired a Chimney Cleaner?
Yes, but unless you intend to hire one on a minimum monthly basis, you should also help to keep your chimney clean between visits. Even if you have somebody look at your chimney every 6 months. That is still enough time for your chimney to become clogged with buildup if it sees regular use.
How Often Should I Clean My Chimney?
There is no single answer to this question. Firstly, consider the use. However often you use the chimney will increase or decrease the frequency you may want to clean. As a general rule of thumb, for a chimney that sees somewhat frequent use, once a month minimum is recommended. We recommend more often for people who use daily or for long periods of time.
As we have seen, there are many options to consider when buying a chimney brush such as the products on this list. Additionally, there is no single one-size-fits-all solution, as there are many different types of brushes for many different types of chimneys. We would suggest the Holikme 25 Feet Dryer Fireplace Chimney Brush Synthetic Head — Most Versatile and Efficiency.
You will need to know what size brush head diameter to use and choose which material is best for your chimney. Also, you will need to know how long of a rod you will need, whether it will fit, or whether it is included.
Once you get yourself the proper tool for the job, embrace the art of cleaning your beloved chimney so you can avoid any potential hazards and keep structurally sound for as long as possible.
At the end of the day, take pride in knowing that you can use your beautiful fireplace or stove with a clean chimney as intended and that you may continue to enjoy it for years to come.