How To Remove Rust From Radiator?

How To Remove Rust From Radiator

How to remove rust from radiator ? This is a question that many of us have thought about, but never taken the time to do anything about. I’m sure you’ve seen it in your home or neighbor’s home. The cast iron radiators are usually located in the living room and they are dark brown with rust spots on them.

Unless you live in an extremely humid climate, this is probably caused by neglect rather than any type of water damage.

Rust will not only make your house look dirty, but can cause potential safety problems if it deteriorates enough. So how do we get rid of this problem? If you want to know more then read below!

The simple solution would be to repaint them all, but this isn’t usually practical for most people for several reasons. First, not everyone wants to have every square inch of their home decorated at once, so changing your radiator covers may have to wait for several months.

Secondly, repainting the radiators is extremely labor intensive, which makes it very expensive. It can take several coats of paint to completely cover up all of the rust spots so that they are not visible from a distance.

There are many different types of commercially available chemical rust removers and some work better than others depending on what type of metal you have in your home. There are also some store brand versions of these chemicals that will work just as well for half the price if you look around enough.

Before you go ahead and just buy one of these, consider that most of them are formulated to remove rust from metal surfaces. The last thing you want to do is spray the chemical on your floor or carpeting, which may result in discoloration.

So what should you use?

There are many types of commercially available rust removers but two I’ve seen used frequently are Naval Jelly and Evaporust. Both will work well on cast iron radiators so it really is just a matter of personal preference as to which one you choose.

They both have pros and cons but if I had to recommend one over the other then I would definitely say that Evaporust would be my choice. You can get it in liquid or gel form and the best part about this product is that it will not cause rust to spread after you clean it off. This means no damage to your metal, which makes it worth every penny.

Why is my radiator rusting?

One of the reason home radiators rust is because it is exposed to air with high humidity. Most people may not realize but the air in your home actually has a higher humidity than outside. Besides changing your radiator covers, you can also decrease this problem by periodically turning off the heat in your home when you aren’t using it; especially at night when nobody is in there.

Another reason why your radiator may rust is if it becomes exposed to moisture. The only way this can happen is if there is a hole in the radiator and water leaks out, which will cause the rest of the unit to rust. If this has happened, you should replace your heater immediately because it can pose a major safety hazard.

Last but not least, if you live in an area where there is very low humidity, it can cause your radiator to rust. When the air has a lower than normal concentration of moisture in it, water droplets will form on any metal surface and this will speed up corrosion.

How To Remove Rust From Radiator?

The first thing that you need to do when you want to remove rust from home radiator is to gather all the necessary equipment.

You will need:

  • Goggles and gloves (safety first)
  • Rags or paper towels -Rust paint remover such as Naval Jelly or Evaporust (mentioned above in article)
  • Old clay-type bar soap
  • Clean water in a spray bottle or old bucket with a sponge.

To use the chemical rust remover that you have chosen, simply apply it to all of the parts that are heavily rusted and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping off any residue with a scouring pad. Once this is done, simply rinse the whole radiator with water and allow it to dry completely before you go ahead and put your covers back on.

After you have removed the rust from your home radiator, you will need to repaint it so that it looks as good as new. The first thing you should do is consider if you want to paint it the same color as before or if you would like to use a bright color instead. If your favorite color is red then that is what you should use; but keep in mind that any scratches will show up more with this type of paint because it does not have an even surface to adhere to.

Last, but certainly not least, be sure to properly clean your radiator before you repaint it and in the future when using the heater.

Why do radiators go rusty at the bottom?

One of the reasons radiators go rusty at the bottom is because the bottom of the radiator is colder than the top. As water flows through, it drops in temperature and that causes rust to form under the surface.

Another reason for this is that many people do not take time to maintain their homes or notice when something needs attention right away. If your radiators are located near an outside wall where you can see rust then it is probably not a good idea to wait too long before getting rid of the problem. The quickest and best way to get rid of any rust on your radiators is to use a chemical rust remover, which you can find at any hardware store or online.

Rusting Tips       

If you don’t want your radiator to rust, then ensure that there are no leaks in it.       

Regularly check the air vents for any rusted areas and give them a quick spray with lubricant oil until they are shiny again.         

Regularly drain your radiator of any rusting water, which can seriously damage your heating system if not dealt with.  

Do you want to know how to remove rust from radiator? In this guide, I will be explaining how you can do it easily and on your own.

How To Clean Your Radiator?

So what should you use to clean your home radiator?

Many people choose dishwashing detergent because it is made with grease-cutting agents that will dissolve dirt and oil, which can then be wiped away.

To clean your radiator simply use the same method you would for washing your dishes by adding your dishwashing detergent to warm water in an old bucket or spray bottle. Once this is done, dip a sponge into the soapy solution and wipe down all of the components until it is completely clean. You may even want to use a brush in the small crevices in order to ensure that they are clean. Once you have taken all the necessary steps, rinse your radiator with water and if needed wipe it down again to dry before repainting it.

If you don’t want to use dishwashing detergent for this specific task then you can also use a simple mixture of vinegar and water since it has the same properties as dishwashing detergent.

In addition, you can also remove rust from home radiator by using an all-purpose cleaner that is suitable for sensitive metals such as CLR or Kleen King which is available in most grocery stores.

One last tip before your radiator is completely clean, make sure no small parts are left inside the unit.

Following these steps will ensure that your radiator is both rust free and looking as good as new before you begin to repaint it.


I am John Oakley. I love to share tips and reviews on products to keep our homes warm and comfortable.

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