How to Clean Baseboard Heaters

Cleaning your baseboard heaters is a snap for any DIYer.

Time

An hour or less

Complexity

Beginner

Cost

Free

Introduction

Baseboard heaters, a.k.a. fin tube radiators, are an efficient way to heat your home. They transfer heat by convection. Cold air flows from the bottom of the radiator and up through the fins, heating the room. Fins can get clogged with dust and dirt. so it’s a good practice to clean your baseboard heaters yearly. Here's how.

Tools Required

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Shop vacuum with brush-tip accessory

Project step-by-step (5)

Step 1

Lower the Heat

  • To avoid burning yourself, turn down the thermostat so the heat doesn't come on while you're trying to clean.

mechanical thermostatGerald Bernard/Shutterstock

Step 2

Remove the Cover

  • Remove the front cover of the baseboard heater by lifting it up from the bottom and pulling it out toward you (see photo).

Step 3

Clean the Fins

  • Vacuum the fins with a brush nozzle, removing any dirt and dust gathered on and in between the fins.

Step 4

Straighten Fins

  • Straighten any fins that are bent using needle-nose pliers.

Step 5

Re-install the Cover

  • Re-install the front cover by aligning the top of the cover with metal tabs protruding from the front of the baseboard. Push in on the front of the cover near the bottom to lock it in place.