They’re powered by water and they’re made of metal, why should you ever have to think about a cleaning your radiator?
Their piping flows with hot water and their stainless steel frames are just that – stainless. So why should you have to think about cleaning your home radiator? The radiator is part of the home which is often overlooked until it stops working. At that point we realise how they can be taken for granted, often severely neglected in the home comfort ecosystem. Radiators get little to none of the attention during the routine weekly clean that other parts of the home do, and that’s because they often fall into the background as just another clockwork and basic cog in the home machine. In reality, designer radiator maintenance is an essential part of keeping your home spick and span. Think about it, you’ll definitely regret ignoring your radiator come winter!
Why should you clean your radiator?
The main point here is one of efficiency. Keeping your radiator in good condition, both inside and out will maximise the heat output of your system. This means that you’ll be making the most out of your investment and keeping your radiator and saving energy at the same time.
Many radiators, especially aluminium ones, are highly reactive to oxygen and water. This could lead them, over time, to lose their sheen and begin to succumb to oxidisation. This leads to rust, which makes the metal brittle and prone to damage. Cleaning your radiator to keep it free of rust could be necessary, especially if you live in an area with a high level of salt in the air, such as the seaside.
It’s not just the facade of your radiator which needs to be kept in shape. Gunk and limescale can build up in your water pipes, causing blockages and a lot of problems in your central heating system.
Many horizontal radiators have convector fins inside them. These are the ridges, between which heat transfers and is radiated out into the room. If these become dusty, less heat will be transferred between them. This could lead to blockages between your radiator panels as well as increased inefficiency.
How to clean your radiator
So what do you need to clean your radiator? Although you may think that radiators would require specialist equipment and expensive shopping trips, the contrary is the truth. With a range of DIY materials and items already in your home, you can clean your radiator till it’s as good as new.
Using a vacuum cleaner is the best way to get rid of dirt in and around your radiator. Dust can build up exceedingly quickly and especially due to the convection occuring around the heating unit.
Sometimes a vacuum cleaner isn’t malleable enough to get into those nooks and crannies and there may very well still be areas untouched. That’s where the duster comes in, able to unsettle and absorb dust from the areas unreachable by a vacuum cleaner. Dusters usually come on flexible plastic sticks, making them easy to get into those forgotten areas.
If your designer radiator is quite tall, perhaps of the vertical species, there may be areas you can’t reach with a duster. That’s where a yardstick or metre stick come in. Using tape, wrap a rag around the end of the stick so that you can reach higher places, creating a larger duster. If you don’t have a metre ruler or yardstick, there are plenty of long tools in the everyday home which you can utilise for the job.
What to keep in mind when cleaning your radiator
Below are a few handy tips you can use to ensure your radiator cleaning goes smoothly.
Turn off your heating first
Turn off your radiators before you begin to clean them. This will stop the spread of dust through the process of convection and also minimise any heat damage to your skin or equipment. Radiators can get hot, it’s their job, so make sure you take precautions if it’s been on especially high that day.
Turning off your radiator will also help when unblocking your pipes. Applying central heating cleaner will help to clear any debris and keep the inside of your radiator clean and block-free. This will allow for not just your radiator to withstand damage, but your entire central heating system. Nobody wants a burst water pipe in their home.
Hair dry that extra dust away
A hair dryer can help to get any of that extra dust lying around. There are always areas you can’t reach with any device, whether a vacuum cleaner or duster, so an extra burst of hot air from a hair dryer can help to finish off that dusty radiator once and for all.