Why It’s Important That We Keep Our Radiators Clean
A clean radiator is about more than just a pleasing home aesthetic and good housekeeping. You may be surprised to know that as well as looking good, a clean radiator will also help to keep heating costs down. When you look down the side of your radiator you might not be happy with what you see. Dust, cobwebs and other mysterious debris can quite easily find a home in the crevices of your radiator- and it really shouldn’t be there! The dust and dust we find between the fins of the convectors on our radiators can actually prohibit heat from escaping, and this will mean your radiators have to work extra hard to warm your room. You don’t want to be left dealing with an annoyance such as this, especially if you bought designer radiators. It is imperative then that you get into the habit of thoroughly cleaning your radiators at least once a year- though more can never hurt! This way you’ll keep on top of the accumulation of dust and dirt that builds up. Perhaps you could even make it a part of your weekly cleaning routine, and that way you’ll never forget to do it!
Why Do Our Radiators Accumulate Dust?
There is dust everywhere around you and in the air all of the time. It doesn’t matter whether you can see it or not, there’s all sorts of dusts floating around us, it’s the invisible enemy! If you have a pet there’s bound to be pet hair in the air and if you smoke, you can bet there’ll be some nicotine residue somewhere. The reason dust clumps together in your radiator the way it does is because of the air that circulates warmth around your room. As you may know, warm air rises and cool air falls, so as the air sinks it carries all the dust it has with it and as it’s drawn up through the radiator. During this process and over a period of time, dust begins to collect in the fins and across the back of your radiator. You may not have even bothered to look down the back of your aluminium radiator before reading his article and if that is the case, you’ll definitely find that there is a fair of amount of dust down there.
Tools You’ll Need For A Spanking Clean Radiator
Before you snap on your favourite cleaning gloves you’d better make sure you have everything you’ll need for this radiator cleaning job.
- You’ll definitely need a vacuum cleaner
- A duster will come in handy too
- A nice warm bucket of soapy water
- Some clean sponges and cloths
- A large towel or dust sheet
- A yardstick (or any long stick)
- Some sellotape
Now To Clean Your Radiator
Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to get to work on cleaning that dusty, dirty radiator! If you follow the simple steps below you will find that your radiator not only looks the best it can be, but you’ll have some extra coins in your pocket, and your house will be toastier!
Step 1: Switch Off Your Central Heating
Before you even think about putting a single drop of water on your radiator you’d better turn off your central heating system. Cleaning the radiator when it’s cold as opposed to hot make sense as it will prevent the convection current from drawing up dust as you are in the cleaning process.
Step 2: Turn the Vacuum On
Next you need to ensure that there is as little dust as possible under and around your radiator. If you have a vacuum with additional attachments you may even be able to clear the dust away from inside the fins. If you can’t get to the dust then don’t panic, there’s a way around it as you’ll see.
Step 3: The Yardstick method
This first part of this step requires you to take a long piece of wood like a ruler or a yardstick and wrap some cloth around the end securing it in place with sellotape. Next you take a towel and place it underneath the radiator (to catch as much dust as possible) and thrust the stick down the side of the radiator, from top to bottom. Make sure you repeat this on each section of the radiator until the majority of the dust has been cleared. If you can clear all the dust in this step then that’s great!
Step 4: The Hairdryer Trick
You might not think that a beauty tool would come in handy when it comes to cleaning your radiator but you’d be wrong! Using a hairdryer is a very simple way of removing dust from down the back and also inside your radiator. Simply point the nozzle of your hairdryer into the grooves and turn it up to the highest setting. This will help to really blast the dust away from inside your radiator. It’s a simple but effective trick.
Step 5: Time To Soap It Up
This is the part where the water and soap is used: the fun part. Fill your bucket up with warm water and pour in a little washing up liquid. You can use your favourite household cleaner if it smells a little better. Use your hand to swirl the water around until you have a nice amount of bubbles and then plunge your sponge into the water before wringing it out so it’s just a little damp. Next you should begin by wiping down the exterior of your radiator with a sponge firmly but not vigorously. Make sure you don’t create a puddle or too much water on the carpet and wipe extra moisture up with a dry sponge to prevent rusting. You should also check the wall above the radiator as this is often neglected and can carry dust and dirt due to the heat of the radiator. Just use the same soapy water to gently cleanse the area making sure you don’t rub too hard. Doing so may cause the paintwork to smudge.
Some Extra Helpful Radiator Cleaning Tips
- Regularly vacuuming your radiators will help to protect against allergies and will also help to make sure your central heating is working at the best level it can.
- Try to install new radiators and clean current ones in the summertime.
- If you are finding it difficult to clean the panels of your radiator because they are too tight you should opt for compressed air which will do the same job with no hassle.
- If you really want to go all out and give your beloved radiator a brand new makeover you should remove it from the wall altogether, or maybe you could paint it a lovely new colour!
Important Things To Remember When Cleaning Your Radiator
Once you’ve got the hang of it, cleaning radiators is a pretty easy job to do. When cleaning your radiator becomes a weekly or monthly routine, you’ll find it becomes easier and easier to do as the tips above become imbedded into your cleaning routine. It is important to be careful when choosing the materials you’ll use to clean your radiator. Abrasive materials such as brillo pads or scourers may damage the surface or your radiator and leave it with unsightly scratches. If you find that there are annoyingly stubborn stains on your radiator then you should use a cleaning spray solution on the marks for a few minutes longer than usual, before wiping the soap away vigorously with a cloth. Something you must never do in the cleaning process is to remove the panels if you have an electric radiator. In doing so you may damage the heating mechanism which may mean a trip to look at some new designer radiators in the UK. You don’t want to spend unnecessary money on fixing your radiator so these are important tips to remember. Nicotine is one of those pesky substances which attaches itself to warm objects and turns material yellow over time. This can make radiators look unsightly and grotty looking. If this happens to your radiator you might have to invest in a cleaner that is able to get rid of nicotine stains. Another important thing to remember is that you can always remove your radiator from the wall if you want to get a really good deep clean.
Seeking Professional Help
Sometimes the best option will be to contact a professional cleaner and if this is the case you wouldn’t be alone. This may be the case if your radiator has not been cleaned for a very long time or if you have just moved home and need to have your radiator cleaned before you put your own clothes on it. Hiring a professional cleaner will allow you to talk through your options, whether your radiator is even dirty enough to need a deep clean, or whether it’s time for you to get a new one. If you do opt to get a new radiator you should check out the anthracite towel radiators as these are great for keep your fluffy towels warm and cosy.