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How can you get rid of rust stains on radiators?

It is very important to clean radiators so they do not get rusty. If you have already detected rust stains, here is an easy and quick way to get rid of them.

Rust stains have appeared on your radiators, what can you do?

There are several types of radiators, depending on how they work and what they are made of? If you have central heating, the radiators may be made of steel or iron. Or you may have electric radiators.

 

Why do they go rusty?

Rust appears due to metal reacting with oxygen and water. It appears as a reddish-brown stain that results in corrosion.

That is why it is important to keep radiators in good condition so no rust appears and if it does, to clean them also for aesthetic reasons.

 

Steps to take

To clean away rusts stains from a radiator you should first make sure it is switched off. If this is not possible, wait until it is completely cold before you start.

It is important to protect the wall and the floor during the process, to avoid splashes and scratches. This can be done by lining the wall behind the radiator and the floor underneath and around it with a plastic sheet and fixing it with masking tape.

Then use sandpaper to rub it vigorously to remove the rust stains from the radiator. If the stains are small and spread out, you can concentrate on specific areas until they stains have gone. If not, just sandpaper the whole area to make it even. Always remember that it should end up smooth and even.

Afterwards, clean the area you have sandpapered with a brush, a hairdryer or a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the dust and any remains left on the surface of the radiator.

Then you should apply a rust remover. This is a liquid or spray you can but in specialist shops like an ironmonger or a paint shop and it is used to neutralise the rust and stop it from spreading. It usually comes as a fluid gel, so it needs to be applied with a small palette or brush. After application, the surface will be a black colour. You should remember that this product should be used carefully and follow all the manufacturer’s instructions which usually recommend using gloves and applying it in a well-ventilated area.

Several hours after applying the rust remover (following the manufacturer's instructions), it needs to be rubbed down gently, to remove excess gel. You should also use denatured alcohol to rub the radiator down with a cloth, but we insist, always being as careful as possible.

Now it is time to apply anti-corrosion paint so the radiator does not rust again. You can buy this type of paint in ironmongers and paint shops and there are many types. You need to choose one that is tolerant to high temperatures, is anti-corrosion and suitable for applying on metal surfaces. Apply it with a palette or brush and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

When the corrosion paint has dried, you can then paint the radiator. Aerosol paint is a comfortable, quick alternative because you can get into all the corners.

When the paint is dry then the radiator is ready.

How do you clean a central heating radiator?

As you have seen, maintaining radiators prevents rust from causing problems. But also, by keeping them clean you improve their energy efficiency and the proliferation of mites, that keep illness and allergies.

Before cleaning, we recommend you switch the radiator off, or at least for it to be cold. You can cover the floor with sheets or old papers so prevent stains and scratches. Clean away the dust with a radiator brush which helps you get into all the little corners. You can also use a vacuum cleaner, with the most suitable adaptor.

You can use a mixture of soap and water or perhaps something more aggressive like ammonia, but you should always follow the instructions and safety regulations. Use a cloth to apply the product, rub the whole surface with it and then rinse it off. Another option is to use a steam cleaner. You should not forget to dry it afterwards to avoid rust.

 

How do you clean an electric radiator?

Before you clean an electric radiator, always remember it should be unplugged and cold. Clean of the dust with a feather duster, a cloth or a radiator brush. Use neutral soap and water to clean it. It should then be rinsed and dried.

 

How can you prevent your radiators getting rusty?

Check to see that no rust patches appear, especially around the joints, which is where rust most often first appears.

A simple tip to prevent rust appearing around the joints is to apply a multi-purpose lubricant, which will protect the area and prevent the appearance of rust on the radiator.

 

Tips for maintenance

Always clean your radiators in the autumn, before you switch the central heating on or starting to use the heating.

"Bleed" central heating radiators frequently, as well as controlling the pressure of the circuit and making sure there are no leaks.

Pay careful attention to the radiator's valve: keep it clean, especially the area around the joint. This is where dirt may accumulate which could end up blocking it. It can also get blocked if you use the wrong kind of paint or handle it incorrectly. In that case, you will need to replace it. Always follow the instruction or get the help of a professional.

If you have electric radiators, store them away properly when you are not using them and protect them from damp and dust. Check the cable and the plug, making sure they are in good condition and that no areas have been exposed.

These tips will help you maintain your radiators in perfect condition, prolong their useful life and not have to worry about rust for a good length of time.

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