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Keeping Column and Cast Iron Radiators clean

Column radiators offer an excellent means to bring traditional designer styling to a home. They boast beautiful design aesthetics and premium performance quality.

However, the typical design features of column radiators can make them susceptible to a build up of dust and dirt. Nobody wants a filthy or furry radiator do they?

Thankfully, there’s a relatively simple way to keep your column radiators in tip-top shape, retaining all their glorious classic appeal. And we’ll tell you how to do it in this article.


What you’ll need to clean a Column Radiator

  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Sponges & Cloths
  • Towel or Dust Sheet
  • Bucket or washing up dish
  • Sellotape
  • Long stick (e.g. yardstick)

Cleaning a Column Radiator

Whether you’re looking to clean a cast iron radiator or a column radiator in any other style, you can’t go far wrong in following the instructions listed below.

Then you can rest assured your column radiator is looking and performing to its optimal level…

Step 1 – Switch off the Heating

First things first – switch off the heating! This is always a good idea for safety reasons, first and foremost. It also makes a lot more sense to clean a radiator when it is cold, to prevent the convection current from attracting further dust while you clean.

Step 2 – Vacuum clean a Radiator? Yep!

You’ve probably never imagined using a vacuum cleaner on any radiator in your home, and why would you?

But, especially in the case of column or cast iron radiators, it provides a superb method of extracting dust and dirt.

Delve into every possible crevice, nook, cranny and indentation on your column radiators to scope out whatever grime and dirt you can. Add a brush attachment to avoid potential damage to the radiator surface.

vacuum cleaning radiator

Step 3 – Create your own Radiator Cleaning Brush

Take a clean, dry cloth and wrap it around the top of the long stick, securing it in place using sellotape. You now have your own radiator cleaning brush!

Place a dust sheet or old towel beneath the column radiator.

Now, insert your newly made brush at the top of the radiator and push it towards the bottom, ridding it of dust and dirt.

Step 4 – Get wise and liquidize

Fill a bucket or washing up dish with warm water, adding a few squirts of washing up liquid. Then apply the solution to a soft cloth and wipe down the exterior of your radiator, tackling any stubborn stains you encounter along the way.

Manipulate the cloth to a point so you can reach smaller gaps and difficult areas. If you’ve left your traditional radiator neglected for far too long, you can wash it for a second time until you’re satisfied with a sparkling finish.

Be sure to wipe the rad down with a dry cloth after cleaning to prevent the possibility of rusting.

And don’t ignore the surrounding area of your radiator, either. The heat from your column radiator can sometimes lead dust and dirt to stick to the wall nearby. Use the same soapy water to rub down any marks, taking care not to damage the wallpaper or paint.

soapy water and cloth to clean radiator

Extra Tips for cleaning your Column Radiator

  • Use a vacuum cleaner on your column radiators regularly. This will help to protect against allergies and, essentially, help ensure your column or cast iron radiators will work to their full capacity.
  • If there are especially tight areas you struggle to fit a cloth or duster into, compressed air is a viable alternative to quite literally blow the cobwebs away.
  • Summertime is the best time to make full-scale changes to your home heating, like installing a new radiator or removing your column rad from its floor fitting for a full, thorough clean.

Key Cast Iron Radiator cleaning advice

It’s very much a simple task to clean a cast iron radiator or any other type of column radiator after you’ve done it a couple of times. There is a bit of simple advice you can follow to make your life even easier, though…

Take care with the materials you choose to clean your column radiator. Stay away from Brillo pads and the like, as they can leave scratches on the surface.

For especially tough marks or stains on a radiator, apply the spray solution for longer than you might usually, and wipe vigorously with a sponge or cloth.

And if you have a heavy cast iron radiator that hasn’t been cleaned for some time, it might be worth removing it from the floor so you can get properly stuck in.

wiping underneath column radiator

Contact us for extra Radiator cleaning advice

If you would like any further tips regarding how to clean a cast iron radiator, or advice on cleaning any other type of column radiator, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can leave a comment below, or reach us via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Stay Safe and Happy Heating