How to Clean Electric Towel Rails

Author: Rointe

Electric towel rails are amongst the dirtiest parts of the bathroom! Are you one of the 6 out of 10 who clean them less than once a week? Here’s how to clean them...

Do you find yourself picking and choosing which areas to wipe down when it comes to cleaning your bathroom? If you’re someone who just focuses on thoroughly scrubbing your toilet, sink, and shower, it might be time to consider adding your radiator or towel rail into the mix too. That’s right, we’ve discovered that these areas are often neglected in people’s deep clean routines and that they’re, notably, some of the dirtiest areas of the bathroom!

Towel rails are amongst some of the dirtiest parts of your bathroom – here’s how to clean them

According to our survey*, 69% of Brits say they feel more conscious of the cleanliness of their home and personal hygiene since the Covid-19 pandemic, so we wanted to find out how often Brits say they clean their bathroom and which parts they clean the most.

Unsurprisingly, the toilet seat is the most cleaned item in the bathroom, followed by the toilet basin and sink with an average of 30% of homeowners cleaning these every day – followed by an average of 51% opting to clean these items between 4 days to once a week. 

Despite 24% of people saying they clean their radiator once a week and 29% of people saying they clean their towel rails once a week as well,  we discovered that 6 in 10 bathroom heaters we assessed, including towel rails, were actually really dirty

We used surface hygiene swabs on 5 bathroom items to detect spoilage or pathogenic bacteria to indicate biological contamination, revealing whether the surfaces were clean or not. Of all the bathroom items swabbed, the dirtiest was the heater (radiator or towel rail), followed by the toilet seat and sink plughole. The cleanest items were the sink taps and the showerhead.

Experiment results

Colour indicator Towel rail or radiator Toilet seat Showerhead* Sink taps Sink plughole
Green – Clean30%20%50%60%30%
Light purple – dirty10%70%40%40%20%
Dark purple – really dirty60%10%0%0%50%

*10% – Result not clear and discounted.

As the bathroom is notoriously a moist environment, one that is used regularly by households and their visitors who splash water and leave damp towels to rest on their towel rails, over time, towel rails become a hotspot for dirt and bacteria. Therefore, it is important to clean them as often as possible to avoid contamination; we recommend cleaning your bathroom radiator or towel rail at least once a week.

Our top tips to deep cleaning your towel heater or radiator

  1. Turn it off! 

Safety always comes first, to avoid scolding yourself or creating an electrical risk, make sure your heater is turned off and be sure to thoroughly dry the appliance at the end of the cleaning process.

  1. Use a cloth or soft brush to remove dirt. 

Over time, dirt and dust will build up on your heater. Make sure it’s brushed away before getting the wipe out! 

  1. Apply cleaning solution and wipe clean.

Most marks will come out with a bit of elbow grease. If you have watermarks, use a glass cleaner to get rid of them. Use warm PH-neutral soapy water or a good non-abrasive cleaning spray to do this so it doesn’t damage the surface.  

  1. Use a toothbrush to reach tricky areas. 

To remove grime from the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, use an old soft-bristled toothbrush and get scrubbing.

  1. Dry and polish with a microfibre cloth.

Use a soft cloth to dry the appliance, making sure any streaks are wiped away. If your radiator or towel rail has a chrome or metallic finish, take extra care to polish it working in circular motions using a tea towel. 

We recommend you repeat this process at least once a week. 

Most frequently cleaned items in the bathroom:

RankItemHow often is it cleaned? %
1Toilet seat:33% clean the toilet seat every day (most cleaned item)
2Sink:29% clean the sink every day
3Toilet basin:28% clean the toilet basin every day
4Bathroom floor:37% clean the bathroom floor once a week
5Towels:35% clean towels once a week and 15% clean them every day
6Bathmats:34% wash their bathmats every week, followed by 14% who clean them every 2 – 3 weeks
7Shower area:33% clean the shower area once a week
8Mirror:2% clean mirror once a week, followed by 14% who clean it every day
9Windowsills:32% clean window sills once a week, followed by 12% who clean them 2 – 3 days a week
10Taps:32% clean taps once a week
11Bathtub:30% clean the bathtub once a week
12Plughole:30% clean the plughole once a week
13Showerhead:29% clean the showerhead once a week
14Towel rail:29% clean the towel rail once a week, followed by 11% who clean it once a month, and 9% clean it every day
15Bathroom tiles/walls:28% clean the bathroom tiles or wall once a week
16Door handles:26% clean door handles once a week, 13% clean them every day and 6% have never clean their door handles
17Radiator:24% clean the radiator once a week, followed by 17% who clean once a month, 7% say they never clean the radiator, and 6% clean the radiator every day
18Bathroom cupboards:18% clean bathroom cupboards once a week, followed by 15% who clean them once a month
19Blinds:15% clean blinds once a week, followed by 13% who clean them once a month