Monday, June 25, 2012

Cleaning Tip: Air Vents

This tip will work for any vent; I used this on our air intake vent (the most shockingly dirty vent in the house).

Below, my 2/3 cleaned vent is nice and white on the left side, and disturbingly grungy on the right side.  I am convinced that you cannot appreciate the actual level of grime by looking at the picture.  Believe me, it was obvious to anyone walking by.


So, how do you clean a vent without taking the whole grill off?  My dear neighbor, who cleaned professionally at one point, taught me this trick.


First, gather cleaner of choice, a metal butter knife, and a cleaning rag.

Second, wrap the cleaning rag around the knife- if it is a thin rag, double the layer.

Third, spray the vent with cleaner and  insert knife between the metal slats.  Clean side to side.

Fourth, readjust the rag as necessary so you have a clean area of the rag to use.  Rinse and repeat.


Et voila, after less than five minutes: a vent that is spic and span!


This is a particularly good trick for vents that are very difficult to remove, or the paint would be damaged by removing.

13 comments:

  1. WOW! Smart lady and thank you for such a great tip. I'm having a problem, the vents in my house are metal, do you suppose your method will work or will they rust away?

    Irene Jennings (Dentist Keller TX)

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    Replies
    1. I'm guessing you mean unpainted metal? It should still work, and if you have air blowing it should dry pretty quickly! If in doubt, just make sure to wipe it dry and not leave any residue from the cleaner. Good luck!

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  2. Awesome tip! Pinning now :) Thanks!

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  3. This is great, I desperately need to clean my vents. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. A little warm water + a nail brush + dry cloth goes a long way... Spraying chems into my air intake is not OK... who wants to inhale 409? I have asthma, so just saying. If your return air grill is so dirty that elbow grease can't remove it, maybe buy a new one.

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    Replies
    1. You are so right! I was quite turned off by the idea of spraying chemicals into an air vent.

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  5. Why not just unscrew the vent from the wall and wash under running water? Faster, easier and more efficient.

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    Replies
    1. To be fair, the very last sentence does specifically say, "This is a particularly good trick for vents that are very difficult to remove, or the paint would be damaged by removing."

      Delete
  6. Remove them and put them through the dishwasher. Observing the caveat by Genevieve.

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  7. Remove the vents, take them outside & spray them with oven cleaner. Let sit, then rinse clean. Works on those plastic grid panels that "hide" your fluorescent tube lighting, too.

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  8. Using the brush attachment on the end of the vacuum hose works well too. The only difference is to swipe from side to side instead of forward/backward. If you're looking to use a wet cleaning solution, I imagine a wet vac would work with it's matching brush attachment. Occasionally rinse the brush attachment in a pan of hot water (just remember to turn the wet vac off before dipping into the water).

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  9. Great great tip. My vents are not removeable at the bottom.

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  10. Paint brushes work really well for cleaning the vents. You can also dip them in a pan of soapy water/cleaning solution and run over the grill. You definitely need to be careful with the cleaner you use. Some of them can strip the paint off the grills.

    ReplyDelete

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