Radiator warning: ‘Never’ use antibacterial cleaners on radiators – ‘huge fire hazard’

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As Britons prepare their homes for the festive period, many are cleaning their property from top to bottom. This includes cleaning out the radiators, to make sure their home isn’t working extra hard to heat the space. One latest trend, which involves mixing anti-bacterial solutions with boiling water, has gained more than two million views across social platforms such as TikTok.

The cleaning method involves pouring the mix down the radiators.

Home heating experts Radiance Fireplaces are warning Britons never to try the trick at home.

Damon Culbert, spokesperson for the company, explained: “There has been a sharp increase in the number of radiator cleaning videos featuring ‘trendy’ anti-bacterial cleaning products such as Fabulosa and Zoflora products mixed with boiling water to pour through radiator fins.

“Antibacterial products, especially aerosols and sprays should never be used on a radiator.

“In this instance that they were, the radiator would need to be fully cold – a detail that is not shown in the TikTok trend.

“If these products are used on a radiator when it is not cool then there is a huge fire hazard and risk of a potential explosion.

“The chemicals in a lot of these popular cleaners will react to heat in a very bad way, and they should in no circumstances be used on a heat source.”

Some Zoflora products state that they must be kept away from heat, hot surfaces and sparks as well as open flames and ignition sources.

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Some Fabulous products clearly say the product is extremely flammable and therefore should be kept away from heat.

Damon added: “Whilst Zoflora does encourage some specific products for use when cleaning a radiator, it does not apply to all their merchandise and therefore users must carefully read the warning message on the back of their product before use.”

Radiator cleaning is encouraged in winter to help make sure it is working properly.

If it isn’t, the radiator will work harder to heat the home, causing an increase in energy bills.

The expert said: “To get the best clean we recommend using a hairdryer, and hot water with fairy liquid to clean out anything nasty lurking in your radiators.

“Firstly, ensure that your radiator has been turned off for a minimum of two hours. 

“Then, blow any excess cobwebs using the cold setting on your hairdryer.

“After that, mix hot water and a gentle fairy liquid and pour it in between the fins of your radiator, catching the water with a bowl beneath.”

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The radiator should then be wiped with a cloth, ensuring that all connectors are dry.

Damon added: “Any of the soap and water mixture entering into your radiator’s system could cause a lot of potential damage if your fittings aren’t watertight.”

Radiators can also be bled during the winter months to ensure they are working efficiently.

This should also be performed when the central heating is turned off due to a risk of scalding.

Bleeding a radiator will help to heat the home more efficiently, especially important during the colder weather.

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