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Why clean radiator vents with vinegar?

CLambCLamb Posts: 52Member
I see on this website, and many others advice to clean radiator air vents with vinegar. Why does this work? I know vinegar dissolves scale but I can't see how any scale should make it to the vents. Only steam is fed to the radiator. The dissolved solids stay in the boiler. If the failures of the vents are due to corrosion of the copper or brass working parts wouldn't something like ammonia be a better cleaner?


  • You are right that in a well maintained steam system only steam should enter the main, and radiator vents. Not every system is so well maintained as to behave like that.
    Many people with questions here have badly installed, or maintained systems whose boilers throw lots of water up into the pipes. This dirty water soon makes its way to the vents, causing them not to close, and making it necessary to clean them. A bit of vinegar in the water will release the encrusted dirt.—NBC
  • Big Ed_4Big Ed_4 Posts: 1,097Member
    Or just change them , any good steam owner would have an few new vents on the self .. Try soaking the old one for another back up ..
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
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