The Importance of Keeping your Radiator Clean
In addition to boasting favorable aesthetics compared to a dirty one, a clean and dust-free radiator can also assist in keeping your heating bills down.
A build-up of dust in between convector radiator fins can stop the heat from escaping. In turn, your radiators would need to work harder to adequately warm the room.
So it is imperative to take the correct measures – properly clean your radiators at least annually and stay on top of any congregation of dust. It’s an even better idea to include radiator maintenance as part of your weekly or daily cleaning routine.
Your piggy bank won’t suddenly be bursting at the seams, but frequent cleaning will add up. Eventually, you could enjoy significant savings on your home heating costs over the full lifespan of your appliance.
What causes Radiators to gather dust?
Dust travels throughout the air constantly. It’s floating around even as you read this. It gets everywhere in the house and mixes up with all sorts of residue such as pet hair, which you might not want to imagine.
It clots together and convenes in and around your radiator for good reason. The current of air emitted from the appliance that aids the circulation of air around the space.
Warm air ascends while cool air falls. So while the air descends, it gathers and transports dust along with it. As it travels up through the radiator, dust will start to assemble at the back and along the fins of your radiator.
You may not have even noticed it previously. Not many folk go pawing around the inner depths of their radiators on a regular basis to be perfectly honest.
If you are someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time scoping out the fins down the back of your radiator, you’ll probably find a large amount of dust when you do get round to it.
What is required to Clean a Radiator?
Before you dive straight into the radiator cleaning process, make sure you have each of the following items easily accessible.
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Sponges & Cloths
- Bucket of Soapy Water
- A long stick (such as a yardstick)
- Towel or dust sheet
Cleaning your Radiator
Tread the steps listed below to get your radiators looking sparkling clean and make sure they’re operating to their optimal capacity. In turn, this will help you to save money and stay warm.
Step 1 – Switch off your Heating
Before beginning to clean your radiator, you need to ensure that your heating is switched off.
As well as being safer than attempting to clean a hot radiator, it makes sense to clean a cold radiator in other ways too. Namely, in that it will prevent the convection current from drawing further dust up behind the radiator during the cleaning process.
Step 2 – Use the Vacuum Cleaner
As a starting point, you should clear as much dust as possible from in, around and underneath your radiator.
If your vacuum cleaner includes the necessary attachments or technological features, you could even be able to clean inside the fins. But don’t be concerned if this isn’t possible, there are means for getting around the problem.
Step 3 – The Yardstick Approach
Specialist radiator cleaning brushes are always a viable option, but that might remove some of the fun from the situation!
You’re bound to get more satisfaction from completing the work with tools you’ve crafted yourself. And it’s quite simple to do this in all honesty.
Just use a long piece of wood. A yardstick or a meter ruler will suffice. Wrap a cloth around the end and use sellotape to secure it in place. Take care not to cover too much of the cloth with the tape.
Catch any excess dust by placing a towel underneath your radiator. You can then start to push the stick down the back of your radiator, from top to bottom, ridding it of dirt and dust until properly clear.
Complete this process on every section of the radiator, until most or all the dust has been removed.
Step 4 – The Hairdryer Method
One of the simplest means for ridding the inside and the back of your radiator from dust is via the use of a hairdryer.
All you need to do is aim the hairdryer nozzle at the grooves atop your radiator and switch it on to the highest power setting possible.
That should enable you to remove plenty of leftover dust from inside and behind your radiator. Just make sure you stick a suitable towel or sheet on the floor before starting.
Step 5 – Soap your Radiator up
Fill your bucket up with warm water.
Add some washing up liquid or your preferred household cleaning fluid. You don’t have to go for anything too extravagant or expensive.
Swish around the water until you create a decent amount of suds, stick your sponge in the water and wring it out until it is only slightly damp.
Use the sponge to wipe down your radiator’s exterior, taking care not to splash too many excess drips on the carpet or floor. Then, wipe the radiator down with a dry cloth to prevent the possibility of rust.
And finally, examine the wall above your radiator. In some instances, the heat can cause dust and dirt to stick to the wall. Simply wipe down the marks with your soapy water, being careful to avoid damaging your wallpaper or paintwork.
Extra Radiator Cleaning Advice
- Make sure you vacuum your radiators on a regular basis. This will provide you with protection against allergies and help make sure that your heating is operating to its full potential all the time.
- With regards to making alterations to your radiators, such as installing new appliances, summertime is the best time of the year to complete a proper clean.
- Compressed air is a viable alternative option if your radiator panels are too tight to push a duster or a cloth through.
- If you want to completely transform your radiator with a thorough clean and makeover, you can remove it from the wall completely, or even consider
- painting your radiator!
What to remember when Cleaning a Radiator
Cleaning a radiator is quite easy to do when you’ve got the hang of it. But there’s a few things to consider when you’re undertaking the work.
Make sure that you’re careful with the types of materials you choose to clean your radiator. Avoid selecting abrasive options such as Brillo pads for instance, as these can damage and scratch the surface.
If your radiator features stubborn stains, apply a spray solution for a few minutes longer than usual and vigorously wipe away using a sponge or cloth.
Be sure to never attempt to remove the panels on an electric radiator for cleaning, as the heating mechanism could be damaged as a result. Instead, protect yourself and the integrity of your radiator by cleaning around the panels.
Smokers should be wary that nicotine can easily attach itself to warm appliances, wearing away at them to leave them looking discolored over time. If you’re experiencing this, you might require a cleaner that is specifically designed to tackle that sort of stain.
In certain instances, you might need to completely remove your radiator to guarantee a full, deep clean is undertaken.
Should you enlist the services of a Professional Cleaner?
Some cases might necessitate the services of a professional cleaner.
Usually, this can prove to be if your radiator hasn’t been cleaned for a lengthy period. Or, if you have recently moved houses and aren’t keen on the idea of blasting out other people’s dust.
A professional cleaner will also have a better idea of whether there’s any real point to cleaning your radiator, or whether it would be a better idea to paint it or invest in a new one altogether.
Extremely dirty heaters can prove a health risk and will provide a limited heating capacity only. So if you feel as though the job is too big to take on yourself, hire a professional annually to do the work for you.
By this means, you can be confident of achieving a ‘proper’ job. Essentially, one that will see your radiator free of allergens and have it looking sparkling shiny and brand new in rapid fashion.