This Is How To Clean A Stainless Steel Heated Towel Rail

Is there anything that a stainless steel coating won’t improve? Maybe, but a radiator isn’t one of them! Rust and stains are costly and ugly, which is why a steel towel rail is a great choice for the humid bathroom environment. Having one, you can step out of the shower to a freshly warmed towel hung and organised within reach. And then, once you’re done, you’ll have the perfect place to put it back to dry. It’s definitely better than on a chair’s back, or on the bed, or even draped over a standard radiator that costs you even more in heating bills. 

Terry towels hang in a bathroom towel rail

The point of a towel rail is to make your life better with minimal fuss, right? That’s why it makes sense to choose one that compliments your purchase with an easy-to-clean finish that needs little maintenance. A heated towel rail is an excellent addition to any house, and a stainless steel one is a perfect addition to your life. But even these can get dirty from time to time or need maintenance to remain effective and look new. This post will show you how to clean your stainless steel heated towel rail in no time for outstanding results. Are you ready?

Cleaning stainless steel towel radiators

Do you want to keep your towel rail radiator in the best possible condition? Although stainless steel is corrosion-resistant and doesn’t need extra protection to keep it in good state, you should take care with cleaning! Here are our top tips to make its cleaning easy and effective.

Basic cleaning

Cleaning your steel radiators is relatively straightforward but does require a bit of elbow grease to be most effective. All you need to do is first wipe it with a damp cloth and then dry it thoroughly. Use a tea towel or kitchen paper so the water drops won’t leave any marks. Use deionised water to clean or rinse the surface for best results. You can buy this product from supermarkets to use in steam cleaners, irons or for car care. Also, keep in mind that if you are dealing with mirror-polished stainless steel, you may use a glass cleaner, but ensure it’s chloride-free.

Stubborn stains

You may find from time to time that there are some stains that you can’t easily remove with just a dry cloth. Here’s what you need to do for each one of them:

  1. Fingerprint marks: wipe down using soapy water.
  2. Watermarks: clean using a glass cleaner.
  3. Grease or oil: if you can’t remove some greasy stains with soapy water, you should use a cleaning solvent such as methylated spirit. Also, you may need to reapply a few times until you remove all traces.
  4. Paint: you should use a proprietary alkaline product or a solvent-based paint stripper.   
  5. Neglect: if you haven’t given any TLC to your steel towel radiator for a while, use a metal polish designed for chromium-plated objects.

and in protective glove with rag wiping chrome heated towel rail in bathroom

Products you should avoid

Some products could scratch or destroy your radiator’s surface. If you want to keep your designer radiators in tip-top condition, avoid using these products:

  1. Scouring powders.
  2. Scouring pads and wire wool.
  3. Cleansers containing hydrochloric acid and chloride, like toilet cleaners
  4. Bleach. If you accidentally spill it on your vertical radiator, you should rinse it off immediately with lots of clean water.

Extra tip: If you wish to avoid accidental scratching, you should keep the microfibre cloths you use to clean steel separate from those you use on other surfaces.

Buffing and polishing your towel rail

Stainless steel is prone to watermarks and tarnishing, so polish your towel rail regularly to restore its shine. You can polish its surface using water, non-toxic cleaners like olive oil, white vinegar, or a specialised steel cleaner. Choose which method is best for you and start polishing your steel towel bar.

1. Polishing with vinegar

Here are the steps to follow to polish your panel radiators using vinegar. White vinegar can also help remove limescale and keep your towel rails clean.

  1. Get vinegar. You may use white and cider vinegar, but remember that cider vinegar leaves a more pleasant smell. Cleaning vinegar is also great for tough stains, thanks to its higher acidity. 
  2. Check the grain direction to reach later the tiny grooves where dirt or grime can get trapped.
  3. Pour your vinegar in a spray bottle and spray your towel rail liberally with it. If you don’t want to use a spray bottle, you may also moisten a cloth in vinegar and evenly rub the rail.
  4. Wipe the steel down with a paper towel or a soft cloth to remove debris and restore its shine. Wipe it down thoroughly so you won’t leave any vinegar marks on, and you’re done! Simple, right?

woman in gloves with rag cleaning polishing heated towel rail

2. Polishing with olive oil

Do you have olive oil handy at home? Here’s how to use it to clean your towel trail!

  1. Pour one or two dime-sized dots of olive oil onto a soft washcloth. 
  2. Coat the entire rail surface in olive oil before you begin buffing it. Continue wiping it until you can see a light sheen across its surface. If you notice one patch is more heavily coated than another, spread the patch around evenly.
  3. Work the olive oil with firm, steady pressure, using circular motions for several minutes until you have moved over the entire rail.
  4. Remove excess oil using a clean cloth or paper towel.
  5. Lightly touch the towel rail after you are done wiping it down. If it still feels oily, you should continue wiping. Use the cloth to wipe off the fingerprints after you have touched it.

Expert tip: Try using another natural cleaner like baking soda, lemon or lemon juice. Since this juice is acidic, it can remove tarnish from steel. All you need to do is simply rub the towel rail with the lemon juice and a cloth.

3. Polishing with specialised cleaners

You can buff and polish your heated towel rail using polishes as well. It’s better to choose a non-waxy steel polish since waxy ones leave behind a film that can gradually dull your steel over time. Here’s what to do:

  1. Use an oil-based or water-based cleaner. For the best polish, use the oil-based cleanser since water-based ones will not remove smudges or fingerprints. They are though healthier for the environment and less toxic. 
  2. Open any doors and windows before you start polishing since some cleaners can emit fumes that are dangerous to inhale in small spaces. You must leave the room if you feel lightheaded or nauseous. 
  3. Spray the cleaner over your towel rail until it is coated. Remember to wear rubber gloves while you spray to avoid getting the cleanser on your hands.
  4. Wipe down your appliance using a dry microfiber cloth. After you have finished wiping it down, it will now be shiny and ready to use.

Why choose stainless steel radiators?

Even in an age where designer anthracite, cast iron, and clean chrome radiators are undoubtedly the height of fashion, most designers and professional plumbers recommend installing stainless steel towel warmers over others. They are available in all shapes and sizes to fit your taste, space and budget! So what is it that makes the steel towel bar a genuinely superior choice for homeowners to any other popular material? Is it worth the extra money? The answer is yes, and the benefits are many! 

man installs an electric heated towel rail in the bathroom

1. Maximum protection and resilience

Once plumbed into the central heating system and positioned in a bathroom, the bathroom radiator will come into prolonged contact with a wide variety of corrosive elements and prolonged contact with water. It simply makes sense to select flat panel radiators made from the most rust-resistant material available. Interior and exterior rusting and corrosion can be caused by harsh cleaning products, scratches and wet environments. Stainless steel is specifically made and finished in such a way as to offer maximum protection and resilience and remain to look new for many years. That’s why most steel towel warmers often come with a 10 or a 25-year guarantee

2. Performance and energy efficiency

Along with durability and resilience, one of the primary arguments favouring stainless steel towel rails is that they conduct heat output better than other standard radiator types. For example, stainless steel has the advantage of running heat 15% better than mild steel. So when it comes to energy efficiency and performance, the steel model is in a league of its own. As a result, while it may be true to say that they may cost slightly more than their counterparts, what you get for the money you give is considerably greater performance and long-term value.

3. Easy maintenance 

Another big bonus of these radiators is that they are easy to look after and keep clean. A quick wipe-down with a mild detergent and warm water is all that’s needed to keep them shiny and spotless. Many models have brushed or polished stainless steel, making it easy to remove mould, mildew, soap scum, watermarks, staining and rust.

4. Eco friendly and versatile

Stainless steel scores well in terms of eco-credentials as well since it’s 100% recyclable. Not only that, but another significant advantage is its versatility. Did you think that all radiators nowadays have to be bland? Contemporary models are available in a vast range of different styles and shades. Steel lends itself well to customisation in terms of both finish and colour. So this material not only performs well but can look super stylish too!

A yellow towel is dried on a heated towel rail

Stainless steel towel radiators are a perfect addition for any bathroom, as they are luxurious looking, easily maintained, non-corrosive, hygienic and versatile. But if you want to keep them working and looking their best you should take care of them, as they do for you. Clean them regularly following our instructions and polish their steel material to protect them and make them look brand new. Keep your towels fluffy, warm and dry, having this stylish addition to your bathroom clean!

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