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Cleaning Cast Iron Rads

JakeCKJakeCK Posts: 138Member
Do any of you have suggestions for cleaning CI radiators in place? Mine are pretty filthy and I'm willing to bet they have never been actually cleaned in their 90 years. My thoughts were maybe a hand held steam cleaner and a shopvac to suck up water before it can get to the floor?


  • TimcoTimco Posts: 2,947Member
    I have put down painter's drop cloths and towels and pressure washed a few. Very clean but doesn't remove paint unless its loose and cracking. Then you can paint in the same manner. MUCH easier to pull them and take them outside to clean and paint. When you sandblast them they look absolutely brand new. It's a great look and a huge improvement to see all the details.
    Technical Support Manager, HTP Comfort Solutions.
  • JakeCKJakeCK Posts: 138Member
    edited August 2019
    Pressure wash them in the house? ehh Sounds risky? And Believe me I wish I could take them out and have them sandblasted but most of these radiators won't even fit through the door. Luckily only a couple have been painted more then once and the paint is in good condition on all of them. They're just really dirty from years and years of dust and dirt build up. Also my old cat who was sick puked on a few of them. nasty.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,366Member
    Do a search for cast iron radiator brush. I have 2, one is like an oversized bottle cleaner and the other is a long thin whisk broom. The round one has stiff bristles and does a good job of cleaning in place.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • JakeCKJakeCK Posts: 138Member
    edited August 2019
    I use a dryer vent cleaning brush that works good on the loose debris but I need some thing to clean the caked on crap.
  • mikespipemikespipe Posts: 6Member
    a furnace cleaning brush with stiff bristles and a softer brush that can go in from the sides. then you can put down some old towels and cover them with a plastic drop cloth and use either a spray on bathroom cleaner or window cleaner and brush the first time then either let drip dry the second time or rinse either with a sponge or a spray with a spray bottle of clean water. you can wipe dry with a clean cloth as well. if you use a crevise tool and vacuum as you do the first brushing you will get most of the dirt and cobwebs that way.
  • mikespipemikespipe Posts: 6Member
    Also make sure you put a plastic sheet behind the radiator to protect the wall . and you should consider putting a reflective sheet behind it when your done to radiate the heat back away from the wall. I use insulated boards with an aluminum coating.
  • KiwiKiwi Posts: 2Member
    Yeah mate. Best solution is to turn the room into a tiled bathroom with a sloping floor with a drain in it. Then bring in the water blaster and give it hell.
    If that doesn't work so good, turn room into a sand blasting bay and bring in the sand blaster.
    Then all ya gotta do, is remodel the house around the new rooms.
    Maybe turn the house into a workshop and convert the workshop or your dog kennel into a small luxurious pad. Just buy an electric heater to warm it. Forget the new boiler & fancy radiator system. By then you would have found that they get WAY TOO expensive to maintain.
  • JakeCKJakeCK Posts: 138Member
    Um... ok then.
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