Soot blowers are used to clean heating surfaces of boilers – they get soot deposits on them as a result of the heating process. Why do they need to be cleaned? The soot deposits reduce the efficiency of the boilers and it is more cost effective to employ a cleaning system than to allow for lower efficiencies. From a safety perspective, soot buildups are at risk of catching fire. Soot blowers come in many shapes and sizes. Some are manually operated, some sit in place and clean a specific area, some are deployed when cleaning is necessary and retracted when they are not. The most common method is for the blower to direct steam at specific tubes or spots within the boiler to knock the soot down and out of the system. The soot is either collected and removed or may be burned and exit the system through the chimney.