How to Remove Rust from a Radiator

Radiators all over your house are susceptible to rust internally and externally. Rust can cause damage to your radiators and potentially cost you a fortune if not kept on top of. To help, here we’ll discuss how to remove rust from a radiator and what you can do to prevent it in the first place.

Importance of Removing Rust from a Radiator

Radiators can be susceptible to corrosion from external influences, especially in rooms where moisture and condensation are rife, such as with bathroom radiators and kitchen radiators. Moisture in these environments can rise and always affects radiators, especially along the bottom edges. The warm air in a bathroom will also condense onto a cooler radiator when the radiator is turned off and run down the bottom which inevitably creates rust.

If you notice rust starts to build up, it’s important that you begin removing rust from the radiator to prevent it from causing deeper damage to the material as it progressively worsens. When removing rust from a radiator, it’s vital to do so correctly to prevent any damage in the process. Read on to find out how to remove rust from a radiator.

Steps on How to Remove Rust from a Radiator That is Painted

Throughout the seasons, your radiator can go through a lot. From being constantly working in colder months to being cooler in warmer months with the added heat from showers and baths that cause condensation. It can be your first thought to call in a professional to help in removing rust from the radiators or to just buy completely new ones. However, you can actually remove rust from your radiator yourself. Rust is a type of corrosion that occurs when irons and alloys (like steel, cast and iron) reach oxygen and water. This reaction is known as oxidising.

Step 1: Clean the Radiator

First things first, turn off your central heating so that you can clean your radiator without burning yourself. Next, grab a bucket and some hot, soapy water and a clean cloth to remove any dirt, grease or dust that may be there as this can interfere with the rust removal process. If you have a minor rust problem, then the initial clean may be sufficient in removing rust from the radiator.

Step 2: Work on The Rust

If there is a small amount of rust, you will need a sponge, a soft-bristled brush and a mild cleaning product like white vinegar mixed with water (half and half). Other pre-made cleaning products will also be efficient like white vinegar sprays. Spray the solution onto the areas that are affected by rust and start with the sponge to remove as much of the rust as you can before moving onto the soft-bristled brush for more stubborn parts. Be sure not to use harsh products like wire wool to remove the rust as this could worsen it over time. Clean the radiator again and dry with a towel. If the area of the rust is large, it may be worth considering stripping the radiator completely and repainting.

How to Remove Rust from a Radiator (Chrome)

Chrome radiators are a modern choice for most homes around the UK as they stand out against modern interior décor and bring some brightness to your home. However, just like standard radiators, they accumulate rust in areas where there are a lot of moisture and the highly polished look that you fell in love with can diminish. Here are a few tips on how to remove rust from a radiator made with chrome finishes, such as a chrome towel rail.

Step 1: Remove Dust and Debris

As with any radiator maintenance task, make sure to turn off your central heating so that you don’t burn yourself. Once cooled, you can use any cleaning solution to clean your chrome radiator to remove any dust and debris.

Step 2: Removing Rust from The Chrome

There are a couple of different options for removing rust from your radiator. The first is white vinegar. The acidity of white vinegar can help keep your chrome super clean and shiny whilst also eating the rust that’s built up. Add a small amount of white vinegar to a clean cloth and rub it onto the affected areas for almost immediate results.

Another option for how to clean rust off a radiator with a chrome finish is aluminium foil. The foil is a softer metal than chrome and, when rubbed against it, creates a chemical reaction that removes dust. Create a few strips of aluminium foil and dip them into the water to create lubrication between the foil and the chrome which then facilitates the aluminium oxide which helps remove rust. Rub the aluminium foil onto the chrome and you should start to see results quickly without needing to put in much effort.

Step 3: Clean the Chrome

Now you’ve been successful in removing rust from your metal radiators, you may find some brown marks where the rust once was. You can use a white vinegar solution to remove this and then shine up your chrome radiator back to its original condition.

How to Remove Rust from a Radiator on the Inside

Over time, rust and other debris can build up inside your radiator system and you may notice your radiator begin to get cold at the bottom whilst being hot at the top. If this happens, your radiator may need to be flushed by removing it from the wall, taking it outside and connecting to a hose pipe which should remove any sludge that’s built up inside. Do this from each side until the water runs clear. If you’re still experiencing issues with your radiator, you can call a professional to conduct a power flush which includes special chemicals to remove rust from the inside.

How to Prevent Rust from Building Up

To prevent your radiator from rusting, you should carry out regular checks for leaks and other issues. You should also wipe down your radiator every day to reduce the risk of condensation forming which can cause rust.

You should also carry out regular flushing of your radiators to keep on top of any build-up. Maintenance of your radiators can save you a fortune in the future.

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