Cleaning a wood stove chimney

A wood stove is a good addition to the home, but can also become troublesome. Regular maintenance is very important. Cleaning any build-up of soot and creosote in wood stove chimney will prevent any possible fire hazards.

You can easily clean the chimney by yourself if you follow a few simple steps.


Inspecting the chimney once every month is mandatory to prevent any troubles before they worsen. The chimney cleaning must be done at least once a year.

Stove temperature

You must find out if the temperature of the stove is proper. If the stove is burning too cold, this will increase the quantity and likelihood of creosote build-up. Using the instructions manual and a thermometer, find out at what temperature the stove should burn. Also, check for signs of smoke. If you see smoke, the cause may be either faulty chimney installation or a cold burning stove.

Chimney dimensions

If you have any troubles with draft, smoke or creosote, the chimney dimensions are probably to blame. If the chimney is small than it should or has a wrong diameter, it will surely not function right.

Cast iron baffle

A cast iron baffle can be found on the top of the wood stove. You have to remove it and then clean the ash build-up. Also, clean the rest of the stove of any ash and put a fan in front of the stove. Turn it on to create a chimney updraft. This task must be done when the stove is cold.

Chimney cap

Removing the chimney cap from the roof is easy. You just have to get up there and take the cap off lifting it or turning it counterclockwise.

Chimney brushing

After getting the cap off, you must clean the chimney using a 6-inch cleaning brush. Brush the chimney interior until you see no more soot clouds. If the fan is still on, down at the stove, the updraft created will blow the soot out of the chimney.

Finishing touches

After you’ve done all the tasks above, put everything back where it belongs. This includes the connector pipe, chimney cap and cast iron baffle.

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