Radiators can add a vintage flair to any space, while also keeping you and your family warm all winter long. For some people, they’re a convenience, for others they’re an eyesore. But one thing’s for sure — you’ve got to keep your radiators clean!
Radiators are designed to have as much surface area as possible to help heat your home. A dust-free radiator looks nicer and prevents additional dust from circulating around your home. Even better, keeping your radiators clean and free of dust can help you save money on your energy bills.
Whatever your reason for cleaning in, under, and around your radiators, here are some important radiator tips to get your home ready for the hardest working months of the year:
Before You Start Cleaning
Make sure your radiators are turned off and have cooled before you start to clean, to avoid burning your hands or arms. What’s more, a hot radiator can cause any cleaning products or materials made with plastics and synthetic chemicals to sizzle and melt — creating spots that are more difficult to clean and releasing the scent of burned plastic. You don’t want that in your home!
If your radiators are particularly dirty or dusty, we recommend covering the floor underneath them with newspapers or a drop cloth before you start cleaning. You can lightly tape the paper or fabric down with painter’s tape to keep your floor covering in place. You’ll also want to move any nearby furniture, to avoid blowing dust onto your clean fabric surfaces.
How To Clean Inside Your Radiators
It’s best to start by cleaning the area inside your radiators. You can use a brush with a long handle or a fluffy dusting cloth attached to a long handle, such as a ruler or a stick. Run the brush or cloth in and out of each section of your radiator to dislodge and push out any dust and dirt. Then, use a long, narrow vacuum attachment to suck up any dirt or dust that has come loose, but not yet fallen to the ground.
If there is dust in very small places that your brush or duster can’t reach, you can also use compressed air, similar to the cans used to clean computer keyboards. This will help dislodge any large dust bunnies from the radiator. Or, you can use a hair dryer!
How To Clean Painted Radiators
Use a mild solution of dish soap and warm water to gently wipe down your radiators and keep them clean. If there are spots that are difficult to remove, use a light, non-scratch sponge to scrub. You can let painted radiators air dry before turning them back on, or use a cloth to dry them first.
How To Clean Cast Iron Radiators
Cast iron radiators are the standard, and yours may or may not be painted. If they are not painted, you can use a damp microfiber cloth or earth-friendly sponge to wipe away dust. There is no need to use soap. If there are spots that are difficult to get off, you can use a light paste of baking soda and water to scrub them off. Be sure to wipe off the baking soda with a damp cloth. Cast iron radiators can rust quickly, so no matter which method you use, be sure to be gentle, avoid using excess water, and dry them thoroughly right after cleaning.
How To Clean The Spaces Around Your Radiators
For a complete clean, you’ll want to be sure to get to that hard-to-reach area behind your radiator. You can do this using your long brush. Sweep it along the back of your radiator and the wall behind it. Once you’ve done that, you can use a damp cloth in the same way and wipe it along the wall. Be sure to wipe down the baseboards, too.
If your radiator is connected to a pipe through the floor, use your damp cloth to wipe down the visible section of the pipe. This tends to get fairly dirty, so if you’re having trouble getting it clean, use a sponge or a toothbrush to get rid of particularly stubborn grime.
How To Clean the Floors Under Your Radiators
Once you’ve cleaned the inside of your radiator and removed any dust, use the long, narrow attachment vacuum attachment to reach the floorboards underneath the radiator. Vacuum up any dust or dirt that fell from the radiator while you were cleaning. If you covered the floor with newspaper or cardboard, you can put all of it — paper and dust — into the compost bin!
Next, use a mild soapy solution and a soft cloth to wipe down the floor underneath the radiator. It’s unlikely you’ll have a carpet underneath your radiator, but if you do, be sure to skip this last step.
Looking for Help Keeping Your Space Clean, All Winter Long?
Looking for a partner in making sure that your cleaning regimen meets your cleaning goals, even during the frostiest months of the year? We’re here to help!
At Sweeping Dimensions, we bring old school professionalism and customer service and new school cleaning techniques, to always ensure that you get the results you want for your Chicago home. We train our cleaning crews to the highest possible standards. We’re known throughout the city and suburbs for our care, professionalism, and attention to detail.
At the same time, we’ve got every aspect of your cleaning service covered, including bringing all of the cleaning products needed to reinvigorate your space, with a focus on green, environmentally sound cleaning supplies. Plus, our convenient online tools make scheduling and communication a breeze!
Ready to get in touch about your Chicago home cleaning needs? Curious about what sets Sweeping Dimensions apart? Contact us today for your free service estimate!