How to Clean a Radiator: Steps to Remove Dust and Grime

Cleaning the radiator well and thoroughly before turning it on in the fall-winter season is the first step to take to avoid having problems with whiskers on the wall or bad odors in the house. There are many methods to clean it quickly, but after months of turning it off, you need to run water all over it. And how to do it without flooding the house and over-wetting the floor? Simple, with the watering can method! Let’s see together how to use it to clean the whole radiator inside and out!

Before you start

Thoroughly cleaning the radiator takes time, but most importantly, a lot of patience! There are some steps you need to do, let’s see what they are:

  • Turn off the heater to carry out everything safely;
  • If there should be too much dust, remove it first with an electrostatic cloth or an appropriate feather duster;
  • Put a basin or large container under the radiator so you don’t flood the house or damage the floor.

Well, once all these steps have been taken, we can proceed with cleaning the radiator!

Watering can method

The watering can method is widely used when you have to turn the radiators back on because you are sure that the dirt will go away effectively. Why exactly a watering can? Well, because it has the right size to get the water into the cracks of the radiator without dropping an excessive amount. So, let’s see together what are the ideal ingredients to use it!

With vinegar

Vinegar can only be in first place when we talk about clean! It is also great if there are accumulated bad odors given by dust. You will simply need to fill the watering can with warm water and 1 glass of vinegar, you can choose any type, if you don’t want too strong an odor use apple cider vinegar. Drop the water into the cracks and let it run down to the last drop, then wipe it off with a microfiber cloth and the radiator will be as good as new! This method is suitable for aluminum or metal radiators.

With bar soap

Regarding clean, we can never overlook an ingredient that takes us back in time! Bar soap was much loved by our Grandmothers, and we still to this day can’t help but have at least a lump of it in the house. Then its scent is ideal in our case because when you turn on the radiators, you will also smell soap! Put 2 tablespoons of the product in the watering can filled with hot water and do the same process as described for vinegar. Use the method for cast iron radiators as they are more delicate.

With lemon juice

Similar to bar soap, lemon is also a trick that combines great effectiveness with a fantastic scent! What you will need to do is to strain a large lemon well and pour its juice inside the watering can. Then fill the latter always with hot water and proceed with the washing of the radiator. The cleanliness and smell will be fantastic and you will smell it all over the house!

With baking soda

Let’s finish the list of ingredients to use with the watering can method with the star of natural remedies, baking soda! By now it is an indispensable and powerful ally in the home that facilitates many chores in an environmentally friendly and economical way. You will need to do the same steps as described above, but putting 1½ tablespoons of baking soda in the watering can. As you pour it into all the crevices, shake the watering can a bit because the baking soda tends to settle to the bottom.


We always recommend having the radiators checked by an expert before putting them back into operation.

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