I saw a commercial for the Chimney Sweeping Log, a log that is supposed to reduce the amount of creosote in your chimney and lower the risk of chimney fires, so I decided to hunt around and see if it worked as claimed. Not many people crawl around in their chimneys and can tell you just how much creosote is in there, so how do you know if you've got less after burning the log?
I basically found lots of places willing to sell me a Chimney Sweeping Log, but not so many that offered an unbiased review of them. A tiny blurb in the Detroit News last year (Log helps prevent fires ) suggested they are probably worth the relatively inexpensive (about $15) price tag. A more helpful article entitled The Chimney Sweeping Log: Does It Work? had a less positive outlook. They compared creosote deposits before and after burning the log, and said there was no noticable difference: "So much for the easy way out to cleaning your chimney. 'It still needs to be done the old fashioned way with the steel brushes and a vacuum. No miracle cure here yet.'"