Cleaning your radiator is an important activity to help ensure it continues to heat your home effectively, and always looks its very best. There are lots of great ways to get the task completed – many of which require only minimal disruption to your routine.
In this blog, we’ll explore some top tips for ensuring a gleaming radiator which looks brand new…
Why Should You Clean Your Radiator?
There are lots of great reasons why you should keep your radiator clean, and not all of them are purely aesthetic. In addition to ensuring your home looks great, a clean radiator is much more efficient than a dirty one – and can help you reduce household bills significantly, clearing away dirt and grime to ensure more heat reaches the air.
When your radiator is filled with dust and dirt, it has to work much harder in order to keep the warm room – whilst still costing just as much to run as a regular radiator system.
Why Does the Radiator Get So Dusty?
Dust is constantly in the air, and all radiators are susceptible to this dust getting trapped in the smaller parts of the system. The warm air current which comes from your radiator helps to attract dust, and cause it to clump together in your radiator. Many people don’t even notice that their radiators are filled with dust – after all, its unusual to spend too much time gazing at the inner workings of the system.
Most of us simply buy radiators online and expect them to remain functional – though unfortunately as with anything else, they do require a little TLC and maintenance.
Tools for Radiator Cleaning
Before you get started on cleaning your radiator, you’ll need to compile a few key tools. These will help to make cleaning any type of radiator, including double panel radiators, much simpler and more straightforward.
A vacuum cleaner is essential, and a duster, soapy water and a series of cloths or sponges will also be useful. We also recommend keeping a towel handy, to help prevent damage to surrounding carpets or furnishings while you work.
To help make things even easier, ensure you have a stick which can reach between the grates in your radiator, and some sellotape. Even a radiator can prove helpful during this process. With these items assembled, you’re ready to go!
Tip One: Turn the Heating Off
Don’t start cleaning your radiator(s) until you’ve turned off all the heating, as this is the safest way to get started. This approach is important regardless of the type of radiator you’re cleaning, from electric radiators to double panel plus radiators.
One of the main reasons we recommend turning off your heating system is that it eliminates the chance you will be burnt whilst cleaning. In addition, a cold radiator is less likely to attract more dust in the middle of the cleaning process, saving you time and ensuring your cleaning efforts don’t go to waste.
Tip Two: Use the Vacuum Cleaner
The next step is to try and clear as much of the dust and dirt around your radiator as possible, to help prevent any cross-contamination and ensure the surrounding area is as clean as it can be before you begin cleaning everything else. If you have added attachments, you may be able to clean parts of the radiator system (particularly underneath), though if not, don’t panic – just move on to tip three.
Tip Three: Makeshift Radiator Brush
There are radiator cleaning brushes available for sale, but this DIY option uses a stick and a cloth, attached with sellotape. It is as effective as any shop-bought alternative, though checking your favourite radiator shop for a ready-made version is an understandable approach if you’d rather simplify things.
Whatever brush you use, first place a towel underneath your radiator unit and start to push the stick behind the radiator, helping to release trapped dust and grime. You’ll probably be surprised at how much is trapped there – so simply continue until there’s nothing else emerging from the system.
Tip Four: Use a Hairdryer
It may sound eccentric, but a hairdryer can prove surprisingly effective at dislodging some of the unpleasant dust in the middle sections of your radiator. As with every other tip, be sure your system is switched off before you begin.
Point the nozzle of the hairdryer between the grooves of the top part of your radiator, and using the highest setting, remove some of the dust which has been left behind by your earlier cleaning. Again, be sure there is a towel ready to catch the dust as it falls, or you will simply be spreading it over a wider area.
Tip Five: Use Soap
If all else fails, fill a bucket with warm soapy water. You might want to use your favourite household detergent, or even soap itself – either way, it’s an inexpensive and efficient way to help get rid of dust and residue which is still lurking in your radiator.
Use a sponge and place it in the water, before wiping down the radiator. Keep your towel handy to ensure you don’t damage your carpet, and check the walls surrounding the radiator for any additional dirt which has been attracted to the system.
Be sure to dry off the radiator when you’ve finished, to help prevent it from rusting later.
To ensure long-lasting results, perform regular radiator maintenance by continuing to vacuum the area regularly, and carrying out some of the tips on this list whenever you see dust start to settle. This will not only help make sure your initial clean last longer, but will also make sure you combat any allergies which could occur as a result of compacted dust.
For a more comprehensive clean, you’ll need to remove the radiator from its current placement – though this is only really necessary in extreme cases.