With so much time spent at home during lockdown, many people may feel that they’ve cleaned every corner of their home.
But is this the one area that’s been neglected, leaving dust left by various sources – such as humans, pets, smoking and cooking?
Radiators are often overlooked when cleaning, but they can still be home to an unpleasant amount of dirt and grime.
Aggie MacKenzie, (pictured left), who is best known for the TV series How Clean Is Your House, says dusty radiators are less efficient
They can sometimes be neglected for years on end, even though experts suggest they need to be cleaned at least once a week.
Without doing that, the dirt collected can affect your health, cleanliness, any allergies, and even your heating bills.
This is because removing dust that settles easily on radiators can help lower heating costs as the build-up can prevent heat from escaping.
By removing the dust, it can make your radiators work harder and longer to help keep a room warm.
Aggie MacKenzie, best known for the TV series How Clean Is Your House, where she was teamed up with professional cleaner Kim Woodburn, said: ‘It’s important to clean your radiators – especially those with convection fins – because if they get dusty they become less efficient.
What is a radiator fin?
Radiator fins are surfaces that extend from the radiator to increase the rate of heat transfer to or from the environment.
Spiders and cobwebs can often be found in the radiator fins (pictured)
‘Use a vacuum cleaner and, for the bits you can’t reach, a powerful hairdryer.’
Andrew Collinge, of BestHeating, suggested that a few minutes spent dusting your radiators every time you do a weekly clean could result in a large cost saving over tim – although he doesn’t specify how much.
He said: ‘Summer is the perfect time to give your radiators a really good clean. The amount of dust and dirt that collects in our radiators from things we bring in on our clothes from outdoors, cooking and smoking can often go unnoticed.
‘Set some time aside to push out the dust from the fins inside the radiator and give them a good wipe down on the outside so they look shiny and new.
‘It can be quite satisfying removing all the particles but we’d recommend dusting them down each week to keep on top of it.
‘You’ll find that not only will this help save money on your heating bills, but dust allergies may decrease as pollen and pet hair can be found in dust.’
Here are five steps to cleaning your radiators…
Step one: Turn off your heating
Before beginning to clean any radiators, it’s important they’re turned off as it is not only safer but prevents them from drawing up more dust while they’re being cleaned.
Step two: Begin cleaning with a vacuum
Begin cleaning radiators by using a vacuum to clear as much dust in and around the radiator as possible.
If a vacuum has them, use the smaller attachments to get inside the radiator fins. And don’t forget to clean underneath and behind the radiator, and where it meets the wall.
Step three: Use a radiator brush
Place a towel underneath the radiator and either use a specialist radiator cleaning brush or create your own to push out the remaining dust and dirt from inside the fins.
It is possible to make a radiator brush with a stick or piece of wood and wrapping a microfiber cloth or fluffy duster around it, securing it with tape.
Using a hairdryer on the cold setting is an effective way to blow the smaller pieces that get caught on the radiator fixings out down onto the towel.
Radiators are often overlooked when cleaning, but they can still be home to plenty of grime
Step four: Avoid abrasive cleaning materials
Try to avoid using cleaning materials that may be too abrasive. These include metallic scouring pads that may scratch and damage the surface of a radiator.
‘Some warm soapy water and a sponge to wipe down the outside of the radiator will suffice, explained Mr Collinge.
‘Ensure you have a lot of soapy suds on your sponge and ring it out so that it is damp but not dripping,’ he said.
‘If there are any tough stains, leave a spray solution on for a few minutes and then wipe it away vigorously with a cloth.’
He added that a microfibre cloth can be used to dry the exteriors, making sure to not miss any corners or connection pipes so that the radiator doesn’t get rusty.
Step five: Wipe down surrounding surfaces
Now you have cleaned the radiator, look at the surrounding surfaces like the wall above and the skirting board below.
This is particularly important in bathrooms, where wet areas can cause rust on the radiators.
These may need wiping down too as sometimes the heat can cause dirt and dust to stick to the wall. Give any marks a rub with the soapy sponge being careful not to damage any paintwork.