Radiator Cleaning Methods

Written by rachel terry
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Radiator Cleaning Methods
A clean radiator looks nice and works better. (white radiator image by Ekaterina Sidorenko from Fotolia.com)

Joseph Nason designed the radiator in the 1860s, and many older homes today still use radiators for heat during winter. An old radiator adds charm to a room, and some people even install old radiators they've found at salvage yards to achieve a classic look. Cleaning radiators can be a headache, though, because of all the little nooks and crannies. Fortunately, there are several cleaning methods that can keep your radiator dust-free and looking good.


Vacuuming your radiator is a good way to get rid of dust and household dirt. Use the crevice attachment on your vacuum and run it along all parts of your radiator. If you do this every time you vacuum your floor, your radiator will stay dust-free.

Radiator Cleaning Methods
Crevice and brush vacuum tools reach tough spots. (vacuum cleaner image by vb_photo from Fotolia.com)

Wire Brush

Use a scrub brush with flexible wires to reach down into the crevices of your radiator. A wire brush is especially helpful if your radiator has not been cleaned for a long time. It can help to remove spills or stains and will loosen any caked on material. If the brush's handle is too short to reach into all the crevices, use duct tape to attach it to a wooden dowel so it can reach farther. Wire brushes work best on unpainted radiators because the wires can scratch paint.

Radiator Cleaning Methods
A wire brush can be used on unpainted radiators (drahtbürste image by Frank-Peter Funke from Fotolia.com)

Feather Duster

A feather duster doesn't have the scrubbing power of a wire brush, but it can reach in between the flanges and remove dust from raised, decorative surfaces. As with the wire brush, if the handle of your feather duster doesn't reach some spots, tape the handle to a longer wooden dowel. A feather duster is sufficient for everyday dusting.

Radiator Cleaning Methods
A feather duster can reach inside small crevices. (feather burst image by Adrian Hillman from Fotolia.com)

All-purpose Cleanser

A mild, all-purpose cleanser works well for removing any caked on grime. Turn off the radiator and let it cool to room temperature. Spray the all-purpose cleanser on the radiator and allow it to sit for several minutes. Use a clean, cotton rag to wipe the cleanser away. Repeat this process for stubborn spots.

Radiator Cleaning Methods
All-purpose cleaner restores shine. (glass cleaner image by Randy McKown from Fotolia.com)

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