Useful Tips

What is a ruff for cleaning the chimney, and how to make it yourself?


Flowers from brushes possess all the beauty and brightness of real flowers, but without annoying bees. They are as easy to manufacture as they are cute. Such flowers look charming in old glass soda bottles and fit perfectly on the windowsill. They will revitalize any room and will be very popular in the winter season. Their funny and bright color will serve as a reminder of the summer, in addition, it can be easily changed to adapt to any taste.

What is a brush for cleaning, what does it look like and what does it consist of?

Structurally, a ruff consists of the following parts:

  1. Brush. About the main element, it almost always has a round shape. It is he who cleans the plaque from the inner walls of the chimneys. Can be made of metal, plastic or nylon.
  2. Sinker. Used only if the brush is attached to the cable. If it is attached to a telescopic pole, then the weight is not needed. Approximate weight of the weight is 2-3 kg. Appointment - to weight a light brush. Without additional load, the ruff on the cable simply will not normally clean even a light layer of plaque.
  3. T grew or pen. A brush is attached to this element, and on it is lowered into the chimney.

Of the main qualitative characteristics, we can distinguish:

  1. The length of the cable (handles). Cables are usually used on 10-15 meters, handles on 1-1.5 meters.
  2. Diameter of the brush (rectangular products are found, but less often than round ones). It can be from 20 to 250 mm. The most common range is 150-200.

Types and products by material and type of construction

The main differences between all products are in 2 nuances:

  1. The material from which the brush is made.
  2. The way the brush will sink into the chimney.

The cleaning process, the ruff is lowered into the chimney on a rope

By material - Now the following options are used:

  1. Metal. Such brushes last longer, more durable and reliable. Of the minuses, less convenient use can be distinguished: if a metal bristle hooks on something, it will be more difficult to “release” it. In addition, metal products are more expensive than plastic ones (but since the cost of any brushes rarely exceeds 2000 rubles - this is not critical).
  2. Plastic. Such products are easier to make on their own - this is done quickly and easily (exactly how - we will describe below). Plastic brushes easily and quickly wear out and break. In addition, they cope much worse with complex and long-standing blockages.
  3. Nylon. A relatively new option, in fact - an intermediate solution between plastic and metal.

By the waywith which the brush is lowered into the chimney:

  1. On a rope / rope. It can be used only from above - the ruff falls into the pipe under the weight of the sinker. The option is relatively simple, but not suitable for cleaning horizontal areas. The cable may be metal, nylon or rope.
  2. On a flexible cable (as well as for cleaning sewer pipes). From the pros: it can be used both from above and below, and in horizontal areas.
  3. On a rigid handle (rod). A universal and more effective option - allows you to quickly clean up the accumulated soot, can be used both on vertical and horizontal sections. The length of the handle is usually adjustable - for this they are made telescopic, and if necessary they are folded or laid out.

How to choose a ruff for the chimney?

To summarize the basic rules for selection:

  1. Rigid handle or cable? Ideally, to have both options in the household: they are inexpensive, and it will be much more convenient to work. If you need to choose one thing, and there are no hatches in the chimney, then it is better to take a cable. If there are hatches in the chimney, and it is not high, then it is more convenient to use a rigid handle.
  2. What brush material to choose? For stainless chimneys, you need to choose only plastic - it will not scratch the stainless steel. For brick and asbestos chimneys - it is better to take a metal or nylon brush.
  3. What brush diameter should be for a round chimney? It is selected for the diameter of the pipe.
  4. What brush diameter should be for a square / rectangular chimney? For the right choice, you need to measure the length and width of the chimney, and choose a brush with a diameter equal to the larger side.
  5. What should be the length of the cable / handle? It is selected for the length (height) of the chimney. It is not necessary to take the cable / handle to full height: cleaning is carried out not only from above or below (from a fireplace or stove), but also through hatches that are located in different parts of the chimney.

How can I clean the chimney

The essence of cleaning the pipe is to free the inside of the pipe from combustion waste, which will certainly be deposited on its walls. If the chimney is not cleaned properly, a fire can occur in the pipe channel, which can lead to a fire.

There are several main ways to clean a pipe:

  1. When using the biological method, soot is partially softened and exfoliated. It includes the use of potato peelings, apricot kernel shells and walnuts, table salt and hardwood (aspen).
  2. The chemical method includes drugs that reduce the formation of soot: tablets, briquettes, solutions. During their combustion, a gas is formed that decomposes the components of the combustion products and reduces the formation of soot. “Log chimney sweep”, “Kominichek”, “Merry chimney sweep” - chemical products for removing soot and soot.
  3. The mechanical method is used when the chimney is very clogged, and the methods of prevention did not have the proper result. For mechanical cleaning of the chimney, brushes, scrapers, hard brushes and even fir branches are used.

Mechanical chimney sweeps are used when other methods are powerless

The method of mechanical cleaning of the pipe is relatively simple, but the necessary precautions should still be observed:

  • all work carried out at height must be carried out with safety equipment and paired with a responsible partner,
  • chimney cleaning must be done under appropriate weather conditions, when there is no strong wind, rain and snow,
  • it is necessary to use personal protective equipment: gloves, a respirator, well-fixed non-slip shoes,
  • during the period of work it is strictly forbidden to drink alcohol and drugs that affect the speed of the reaction.

Ruff - chief assistant chimney sweep

Mechanical manual pipe cleaning has been known to mankind since the beginning of the development of the science of thermodynamics. Even then, brushes, brushes, scrapers, wire ropes with cores were the main tools of the chimney sweeps. Since then, oddly enough, almost nothing has changed. Only a professional chimney sweep is now almost impossible to find. So the owner of the house or cottage himself has to clean the chimney with improvised means. You can buy sets with ruffs-nozzles made in the factory, or you can do it yourself from what is always found in the workshop or garage. Cheap, interesting and creative.

Ruff from plastic: material, tools, instructions

Some craftsmen offer a design made of a plastic bottle, but in practice such devices can only drive the spiders and destroy their delicate cobwebs. In fact, deposits in the pipe are much harder than bottle plastic. In addition, in the chimney there may be small branches, fragments of masonry bricks, and even bird nests.

A ruff made of a plastic broom or panicle justifies itself well.

To make it you will need:

  • a propylene broom without a handle,
  • a metal cable or a very tight rope made of synthetic fibers,
  • building hair dryer
  • two eyebolts with washers and a metal stud,
  • Short, sturdy chain for hanging loads (weights or cores).

Any brush consists of three main elements: a cable or chain, a brush (brush) and a load.

To make a ruff from plastic you need:

    Take a round broom made of propylene without a handle.

Propylene rods are stiff enough to remove soot from the walls of the chimney

You can give the ruff the desired shape using a hairdryer or boiling water

The sinker is attached to the body of the ruff with an eye bolt

Such a ruff is suitable for working after using the chemical method of cleaning the chimney, since soot deposits are noticeably softened and easily peeled off. Plastic pile will perfectly cope with the duties assigned to it.

If necessary, the desired size of the bristles is adjusted to the diameter of the pipe. The diameter of the load should be 2/3 of the diameter of the hole in the chimney.

The length of the cable or rope should be about 2 meters longer than the distance from the furnace to the top of the pipe. This will allow the structure to be fixed at the waist for greater safety.

Brush from a metal brush: step by step instructions and some subtleties

In some cases, the use of a plastic ruff is inappropriate: a lot of work has been done, and the result is zero. If such a brush cannot cope with very hard and dense deposits on the walls of the chimney, then in this case a ruff made of a metal brush (fenders) from the grinder will help to clean the contaminated places. Such brushes of any shapes and sizes are on sale, but you can always take a brush that has already been pretty used. We need a disk brush. The main thing is that the diameter of the brush is slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the duct and passes through the pipe without much effort.

From the disk brush you get a very suitable ruff for cleaning chimneys

To make such a ruff you will need:

  • metal brush of the desired diameter,
  • a sinker weighing 3-5 kg,
  • a rope or metal cable of the required length,
  • additional safety cable.

We fasten all the parts together in the same way as was done during the installation of the previous design, only to the bottom of the sinker we additionally fasten the safety cable. This will help if the short hard metal fenders of the fenders become clogged with soot and there are difficulties when passing the ruff through the hole in the pipe. Using a safety cable, you can remove a stuck ruff without violating the integrity of the pipe.

Interesting ideas for making a chimney brush

Another manufacturing option for an iron ruff is as follows: instead of a cable, use polypropylene pipes, and you can connect them to a disk brush using PVC fittings, which are usually used when installing plastic water pipes.

Using the fittings "mom" and "dad" ruff can be on a polypropylene pipe

Work will be carried out according to the principle of the ramrod. Just as they clean and lubricate the barrel of a weapon, you can clean the chimney from deposits. This design is lighter, tougher and more reliable than on a cable or rope.

And in conclusion, here is such an original way of cleaning chimneys with a ruff made of fir branches:

I make a "brush" for the chimney in the country on my own. I always use the branches of the Christmas tree for this, that is, its large paws, as it were. I just attach it very well to a stick the length of a chimney (several meters). After several cleanings, I replace the legs of the Christmas tree and clean it again. Soot falls off and pours a lot of it down, so do not forget to remove it from the lower blocked sections of the chimney. I must admit: this is somewhat cumbersome and inconvenient, but the chimney is cleaned perfectly. You feel such a "brush" in your hands!


Another idea is to use grass trimmers from a grass trimmer sandwiched between metal plates as a ruff.

Video: making a do-it-yourself ruff from wire scraps

Surely every owner has a wonderful brush, who uses stove heating to heat his home. Do not forget that preventive cleaning is carried out before the heating season and upon its completion. Do not neglect the care of the chimney during the heating season. If you notice the first bells of reducing traction - urgently to the roof. With such attention, the stove will provide you with warmth, coziness and comfort.

Where is it sold and how much is it?

E rshiki of various types and sizes are sold in stores that sell equipment for fireplaces, stoves, baths.

A similar tool is relatively inexpensive:

  • polypropylene ruff, with a diameter of 100-120-200 mm: cost - about 700-1000 rubles,
  • plastic ruff, with a diameter of 200-250 mm: cost - about 1700-2000 rubles,
  • metal ruff, with a diameter of 150-200 mm: the cost is about 1500-1800 rubles,
  • a metal ruff with a diameter of 250 mm: the cost is about 2200-2500 rubles.

Please note: the amounts shown are only for the ruff and the cargo. A cable or telescopic extension is usually sold separately. The approximate cost of an extension cord for 1-1.5 meters is about 400-600 rubles, of a cable (for 10-15 meters) - up to 100-200 rubles.

Ready-made kit (brush itself, cable or extension cord and weight) - will cost around 1500-2500 rubles.

Shop brushes of different types

Among the manufacturers on the market of the CIS countries you can find:

How to make a homemade ruff?

To clean the tube of the stove, it is not necessary to go to the nearest store. A homemade brush is done quite simply and quickly. True, the effectiveness of such a product is likely to be lower than a special purchase. Therefore, it is suitable for cleaning a not very dirty chimney.

There are many ways to create a ruff with your own hands. Below we give 5 step-by-step instructions:

  1. From a plastic bottle for a round chimney.
  2. From a plastic bottle and plywood / board for a rectangular / square chimney.
  3. From the broom.
  4. From a metal brush from the grinder.
  5. From a metal cable.

In all cases we will need:

  1. A metal cable (about 2-3 mm thick, longer - or at least as long as the height of the chimney) with a carbine.
  2. A weight of about 3 kg is of such a size that it easily passes into the chimney. For example, it can be a small metal rectangle, or an old pancake from a dumbbell, or a plastic bottle with sand.
  3. A coil of wire, with a diameter of about 2-4 mm, or a metal stud (length about 10-12 cm, diameter about 5 mm), with unscrewing eyes on both sides.
  4. The product from which we will make a brush with our own hands.

Problematic moment: there is a bottle, a wire, something for the cargo, and a cable in the nearest store if you are not at home. But a suitable hairpin will be more difficult to find. Therefore, it is easier to take wire instead. It will need to be twisted several times to get a tourniquet 5-7 mm thick and 10-12 cm long (that is, used instead of a hairpin).

From a plastic bottle for a round chimney

In this case, we will make a brush from an empty plastic bottle with a volume of 1.5-2 liters (suitable for cleaning a chimney with a diameter of up to 200 mm).

  1. A hole is burned out, drilled or punched in the cap and bottom of both bottles. Its diameter should equal the diameter of the stud.
  2. The sides of both bottles are cut. Slots should be made without reaching the neck and to the bottom literally 1-2 cm. Between each slot, make a distance of about 1.5-2 cm.
  3. A hairpin is inserted into the holes made, “pulling” 2 parts of the bottle on itself. The cut sides are bent at the same time, forming a circle of bent ribbons. It is with their edges that the soot from the walls will be cleaned.
  4. Eyelets are wound on both sides of the stud. On the upper eye - the cable is attached. On the bottom is the load.

From a plastic bottle for a rectangular / square chimney

The instruction is suitable for those with a square or rectangular chimney.

To create a brush for such a ruff, we need:

  1. Plywood sheet. Plywood is not very thick, a small sheet with a thickness of 6-12 mm will be enough.
  2. Plastic bottle with a volume of 5 liters or more.
  3. Screws (such that they could fasten both pieces of plywood together) - 5-10 pieces.

The cut plastic protrudes between the plywood sheets, the photo is not very clear

  1. From the plywood you need to cut 2 identical sheets, 1-2 cm smaller in size than the size of the chimney. Example: a hole is rectangular, with a size of 260x130 mm - we cut 2 pieces of plywood with a size of 240x120 mm.
  2. The neck and bottom of the bottle are cut off, after which a cut is made on the side.
  3. The plastic is unbent (a rectangular sheet is obtained).
  4. A piece is cut from an unbent plastic sheet, 3-6 mm larger than the opening of the chimney. Example: the opening of the chimney has a size of 260x130 mm, we cut out a sheet of plastic 26 5x135 mm from plastic.
  5. 5–10 mm long cuts are made along the perimeter of the plastic sheet with scissors (or a knife) with a distance of 1–1.5 cm. It is these narrow parts that will clean the plaque from the walls.
  6. A plastic sheet is placed between 2 cut pieces of plywood - so that the “stubble” sticks out at the same distance on each side.
  7. Pieces of plywood and a plastic sheet between them are bolted together.
  8. A hole is drilled in the center into which a hairpin or a coil of wire is inserted (or any other part on which a cable and a load can be fixed - it is easier to do with plywood).

This option can be improved. To do this, cut out not 2 pieces of plywood, but 3, and 2 sheets of plastic with small cuts. In this case, we get 2 layers of “bristles” (and 3 layers of plywood).

You can make a brush from an old broom. An important nuance: a round broom with synthetic (polypropylene) dense villi is suitable for us.

Broom making

  1. The tip of the broom is removed (or cut off).
  2. Щетина расправляется таким образом, чтобы все ворсины торчали в разные стороны (как у туалетного ершика).
  3. В части, на которую собирается щетина — проплавляется или просверливается отверстие диаметром около 5-7 мм (под шпильку или проволоку).
  4. В отверстие вставляется шпилька с открученными проушинами (или скрученная проволока).
  5. A cable was attached to the eyes (or behind the wire) on one side, and a weight on the other.

From a metal cable (difficult option)

The instruction is suitable for those who have a welding machine. According to this scheme, you can make a fairly effective brush with your own hands, which will not concede

To create a brush you will need:

  1. Metal cable with a diameter of about 10-15 mm.
  2. Welding machine.
  3. Saw for metal.
  4. Pliers.
  5. Wire cutters (optional).
  6. A stud with a thread, about 8-12 cm long (or better, a full-thread bolt, 8-12 cm long).
  7. Nuts per stud (or bolt), 5-7 pieces or more (depending on how dense the bristles need to be obtained).

  1. 2-5 pieces are cut from a metal cable. The length of each piece is about 5-10 mm longer than the diameter of the chimney. You can take more, and then, if necessary, cut the excess with nippers.
  2. Scraps are woven with pliers.
  3. A nut is screwed onto one end of the stud (so that the thread slightly exits it). This will be the bottom "support" for the first row of bristles. If you use a bolt, you do not need to wind the nut: the head will play the role of the “support”.
  4. A piece of wire (from a braided cable) is laid on top of the nut, and twisted crosswise (so that it wraps around the hairpin). The pieces of wire should protrude
  5. More pieces of wire are taken, and wound in the same way, so that a round layer of bristles is obtained. An important nuance: the bristles should stick out evenly, forming an even circle.
  6. A nut is screwed on top, and tightly presses the wire (the brush bristle) tightly against the first nut (or bolt head).
  7. A few more bristle layers are made in the same way. Each subsequent layer is fixed with a nut. It will be enough to do 3-4 rows.
  8. Bottom and top are welded eyes - for securing the load and the cable, for which the brush will fall into the pipe. As an option - they can be mounted on the thread.

What you need to know and do before cleaning: basic rules

Before starting work, you need to know (and observe) the basic rules:

  1. Cleaning is carried out before the heating season (ideally, before each, at least for the purpose of prevention). So you can prepare the stove tube for efficient operation, and you will be sure that there will be no blockages, leaves, debris, soot growths or bird nests in it.
  2. Work is best done on a calm and dry (and ideally also warm) day. Therefore, in the beginning of autumn it is already worth paying attention to the forecast, choosing the right date for cleaning.
  3. Work on the roof must be carried out with insurance (safety belt), in comfortable non-slip shoes.
  4. Prepare a flashlight more powerful - with it you can see the condition of the chimney and the results of your work.
  5. For work, it is better to change into closed clothing, which will not be a pity to stain. Even with the most accurate cleaning, the soot will still get somewhere.
  6. Use eye protection and respiratory protection: wear glasses and a respirator. Naturally, there will not be much harm from soot, but sneezing or rinsing from her eyes is not very pleasant.
  7. Since all debris and soot will fly down - all openings in the chimney (hatches), as well as the firebox - must be closed. If you are cleaning the fireplace with an open firebox, then it should be tightened with plastic wrap.
  8. The cleaning process is carried out from top to bottom. If you clean the bottom of the chimney first (through the firebox), then when cleaning the top, falling debris can again contaminate the already clean bottom.

How to clean the chimney with a brush: step-by-step instructions

Cleaning the chimney with a ruff is as follows:

  1. Overalls, work shoes, gloves, glasses, a respirator are put on.
  2. Before starting work, you can look into the chimney by highlighting it with a flashlight. So you can pre-evaluate its condition and see where it is very dirty.
  3. All chimney hatches and the furnace are closed, except for the hole through which cleaning will be performed.
  4. The deflector (or spark arrester) is removed, if any.
  5. The brush (it doesn’t matter, on the cable or on the handle) is lowered from above, through the chimney outlet. Cleaning is carried out up and down. If there are blockages in the process, it is better to use a weight on the cable (without a brush).
  6. Periodically evaluate the result of work, looking into the pipe.
  7. When the upper part of the pipe is clean, go down to the hatch and work through it.
  8. Upon completion of the cleaning, the firebox opens, and the rubbish that is poured into it is removed.

Ideally, it is worth combining two cleaning methods: mechanical and chemical. First, clean the chimney with a brush, and then use any of the means that is ignited in the furnace.

Advantages and disadvantages of use compared to other cleaning methods

If we consider the existing methods of cleaning the chimney and compare them using a ruff, then this option has several disadvantages:

  • you have to work independently with a brush, while chemical cleaners - you just need to set fire to the furnace,
  • even the most careful work does not guarantee that it will be possible to remove all deposits,
  • the work takes a lot of time, even if the chimney is straight and low,
  • the work is uncomfortable, unpleasant, physically difficult, and if you have to work on the roof - it’s also dangerous,
  • it is safe to clean only in dry (and ideally calm and warm) weather to reduce the risk of falling from the roof.

Among the obvious advantages, one can distinguish more efficient removal of deposits in areas that are easy to reach. These are the first meters from hatches, furnaces and openings of the chimney on the roof. It is most convenient to clean them - you can see the condition of the chimney, as well as the result of your work.