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How to Clean Office Radiators

As we leave summer behind and start to approach the autumn and beyond, it’s time to start thinking about preparing your office for the months ahead. And cleaning office radiators is part of that prep.

Yep, you read that right. Radiators. They need cleaning, too – just like any other surface! There’s good science behind why you should clean office radiators, which we’ll get to in a little bit. Let’s get started!

Why do you need to clean office radiators?

Have you ever put the heating on and noticed a musty smell – almost like a burning smell? That is how you know you’re in close quarters with a dirty radiator, and it’s not just the smell that’s bad.

Dust buildup on radiators can lead to poor indoor air quality, as the hot air frees trapped dust, allowing it to circulate around the room. This can dry out people’s airways more than unusual, and cause infections to spread much faster around an office. That should be reason alone to clean them, but dust buildup can also impact your building’s heating efficiency.

Okay, not by much. But over time, it all adds up. A clean radiator heats your office more effectively, saving energy and money – what’s not to like about that?! As an added bonus, regular cleaning can prevent the finish on your radiators dulling and tarnishing over time, meaning fewer licks of paint.

All in all, cleaning office radiators is beneficial, and you should definitely be doing it. So how’s it done? Well, that depends on the types of radiators in your office.

Types of radiators

There are a few types of radiators commonly found in office spaces:

Panel radiators

These are the flat, rectangular radiators that were popular in the 80s and 90s. They’re everywhere – in homes, offices, hotels… You name it. They are versatile and efficient, and probably the most common kind of radiator as a result. They are really easy to clean due to their accessible surfaces, and can be done with just a cloth and a duster most of the time.

Cast iron radiators

These are still around, especially in “trendier” office buildings – or old, repurposed ones. Known for their durability and classic appearance, cast iron radiators can take a bit more effort to clean due to their gappy and bulbous design, and their rough surface can snag on cloth and rags.

Convector radiators

These radiators are less common, and ultra-modern looking. They distribute heat effectively but can be a bit tricky to clean.

Now we know the types, let’s look at how to clean each kind of office radiator.


How to clean panel radiators

First, turn off the heating and make extra sure that the radiator is cool.

Remove as much dust as you can from the outer panel with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. Next, use a radiator brush or a long duster to reach those tight spots on top of the radiator and in between the panels.

Once all loose dust is removed, use a clean cloth and domestic cleaning spray to polish off any baked-on dust and grime.

How to clean cast iron radiators

Again, turn off the heating – and remember that cast iron retains heat for a long time. Wait for it to cool fully before getting to work.

Use a soft brush to remove dry and loose dust from the surface, and to really get into all the crags. For intricate details, a toothbrush works well. If your cast iron radiator has stubborn dirt, be careful using anything acid or base on it (like vinegar or baking soda), as these can corrode iron. And we all know that water makes iron rust…

But here’s a tip: try GT85 (similar to WD40, but it smells better). It polishes, protects and cleans metals, without damaging their finish.

How to clean convector radiators

One more time for the people in the back: turn off the heating and wait for the radiator to cool before attempting to clean.

Dust the fins carefully, with a soft brush or a brush vacuum cleaner attachment. Pay attention to the spaces between the fins – that’s where the dust likes to hang out. You could also use a radiator brush or thin profile duster for this.

How do you clean behind a radiator?

This is where long-handled radiator brushes and dusters stop sounding like a silly idea, and start looking like an investment. In a pinch, use a rag on a stick – but be prepared to get frustrated with it!

Simply slide the brush or cloth between the wall and the radiator, to collect dust and debris.

And if you’re done with cleaning between the radiator and the wall, using a radiator reflector panel prevents dust buildup (it’s not as grippy as a bare wall) and it saves on heating bills. Double win!

So, there you have it – the hows and whys of cleaning office radiators. But if you’d rather be doing your job than doing the cleaning, let us have a crack at it…

Office Cleaning in Cardiff

When the weather changes and the office windows stay closed, air quality can drop – and so can morale. Don’t let it happen to your workspace! Call The Abbey Cleaning Service on 029 2067 9323 for professional office cleaning in Cardiff. Get your office freshened up ready for the autumn – without disrupting your work day.

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