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Cleaning vents

Pat H
Pat H Member Posts: 5
How, specifically, do you folks typically clean radiator vents? I searched the wall archives for info and found few references to either soaking or boiling in white vinegar. If one of those is what you suggest, how long do you do it for?

The reason I ask is, I recently followed the advice of one old post and tried boiling in vinegar for 15 minutes and got some surprising results. I left them alone for a few minutes, and when I came back they were nearly completely covered in what looked like rust. It didn't wash off, but I was able to mostly get it off and back down to the chromed finish (which was in tact) with some 600 grit sand paper. While I was (very finely) sanding the substance off, it polished up to look like copper. Maybe that's a red herring, but my working theory is maybe the vinegar dissolved some copper and managed to somehow plate the vents with it?

In any event, I'm curious if boiling in vinegar is a bad idea because stuff like this happens, or if this is an abnormality. See attached picture for an example of how one came out of the pot.


  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    edited November 2015
    Soak them in vinegar or CLR for a couple hours and then rinse them out well. If they continue to stick, replace them.
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    That's some strong vinegar you are using there. You've managed to etch the plating off. When using CLR I don't leave the vents in the water/CLR solution for more than 30 minutes or so.