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How to clean cast iron radiators

Updated April 17, 2017

Old-style cast iron radiators are still used in many homes for heat or as an attractive period feature. Cast iron retains heat longer than other types of radiators. The intricate design of most cast iron radiators makes it easy for dust and grime to accumulate and contributes to a dirty, dull look to the radiators. Prevent dirt from building up with regular dusting and clean radiators regularly to keep them looking smart.

Vacuum as much dust and dirt from the radiator as possible. Use a brush attachment to prevent chipping paint on the radiator.

Wrap a dry, clean cloth around the end of a long stick, such as a measuring stick, and secure the cloth with tape. Lay a dust sheet or old towel under the radiator. Insert the dust cloth on the stick through the top of the radiator and push to the bottom, dislodging and removing dirt and dust.

Fill a bucket with warm water and three to four squirts of household or dishwashing detergent. Dampen a clean, soft cloth with the solution and thoroughly wash the exterior of the radiator. Twist the cloth into a point to access crevices and hard-to-reach locations. Give the radiator a second wash, if necessary.

Wipe the radiator dry with a soft cloth or old towel. Removing the moisture helps prevent rust.

Tip

Regularly vacuum or dust cast iron radiators to prevent dirt from accumulating.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • Brush attachment
  • Dust sheet or old towel
  • Long stick
  • Clean cloths
  • Adhesive tape
  • Bucket
  • Detergent
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About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.