Wire brush on metal chimney -- how bad to use once more?

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New Member
May 17, 2022
We moved into a house with a woodstove three years ago. We've had a chimney sweep come twice, and I'd like to try taking that on myself this year. The chimney is metal (shown in photos), and I've read here that a wire brush isn't recommended for metal chimneys (and that a SootEater is). But I'm thinking it might make sense to use a wire brush this time because...
- I have one that the prior owner left behind. Presumably, he used it, though I don't know how many times. So I'm wondering whether whatever additional damage I might cause would be insignificant.
- I've never DIYed this before, and depending how it goes, I'll decide whether to do it repeatedly or to go back to using a pro. I'd rather not buy a tool to use just once. If I am going to DIY going forward, I'd buy a SootEater then.

What do you think? Is it a bad idea to use the wire brush even in this case?

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It'll be ok. The metal chimney is a lot tougher than most flex-liners in a chimney. Bottom-up cleaning is easy and straightforward. Be sure to also clean the connector pipe.
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The wire brush is fine for rigid chimney pipes. He is not going to damage it and he already has the brush. Poly is fine too.