A Little Bit of Spring Cleaning - Air Return Register Grill

5 Materials
$2
1 Hour
Easy

Ahhh, springtime! I finally feel fresh and energized again. I have had some items that I have needed to take care of for some time now. My air return register grill has been bugging me for some time. No matter how often I vacuumed it, it still looked dirty. Cleaning was simple and very satisfying. The hardest part was getting a break in the rain so that I could wash it and let it dry outside.

a little bit of spring cleaning and a little bit of home maintenance

First, the top edge has bothered me for a long time. See by my finger? Looks like dirt, right. No, the paint on the walls must have been sprayed on and that is overspray.

a little bit of spring cleaning and a little bit of home maintenance

I used a cotton pad and rubbing alcohol to remove the dried in paint. Whenever I have white trim that needs cleaning, I usually use this method. Not very often, just when it is stubborn grime. Test a small area first to make sure you won’t remove the trim paint. I also use this to clean light switches and stair handrails, especially when we’ve had the flu.

a little bit of spring cleaning and a little bit of home maintenance

That paint is history!

a little bit of spring cleaning and a little bit of home maintenance

Here is a shot that shows some still on and some that was cleaned away.

a little bit of spring cleaning and a little bit of home maintenance

This picture shows the stubborn dirt in the grooves. This is even after vacuuming with a brush attachment.

a little bit of spring cleaning and a little bit of home maintenance

I used a grease cutting dish soap and water.

a little bit of spring cleaning and a little bit of home maintenance

First, I tried a dish wand from the Dollar Tree. It worked so-so.

a little bit of spring cleaning and a little bit of home maintenance

Then, tried a little green scrubbie. It work well but it was slow and when I scrubbed, the grate hurt my fingers.

a little bit of spring cleaning and a little bit of home maintenance

So finally, I ended up wrapping the dish wand with a thin cloth and this was the fastest way to get in the grooves.

a little bit of spring cleaning and a little bit of home maintenance

I gave it a good rinse and left to dry thoroughly in the sun.

a little bit of spring cleaning and a little bit of home maintenance

It is super clean. Shadows might appear on those top rows but in real life it is squeaky clean and no repainting necessary! Yay!! I can not tell you what a difference it makes to wash this grate! Do it, you’ll be happy you did every time you pass by it.

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Edric
    on Apr 17, 2019

    how do you get cooking grease off your kitchen cupboards?

    • Deb
      on May 3, 2019

      Murphy's Oil Soap & hot water




  • Mary
    on Apr 24, 2019

    There is over “spray” from my kitchen cabinets on the kick plate for central vacuum. It looks gross. I’m going to try but what the chances it will work on hard plastic?

  • Scotty
    on Apr 26, 2019

    How do you repair wood scratches

    • Stacy Davis
      on Apr 27, 2019

      Are we talking about on floors, cabinets or furniture? And what color? I have some different methods for different things. On floors I like to tape it off and fill with tinted resin to match floor. For furniture, I like the furniture scratch “crayon” for touch ups.

Join the conversation

2 of 25 comments
  • Sherry
    on May 22, 2019

    I've use the Swiffer duster and

    found it gets in without dust flying everywhere. No muss, no fuss.

  • Debbie Ventimiglia
    on Jun 1, 2019

    I will definitely try this cleaning fix on my vent grates I have in my kitchen, right above my stove. But I can't remove the grates because the cabinets were installed over a quarter of the vent grates. (I live in an apartment.) These grates get especially grimy from the air ducks in the wall that goes throughout the building. I'm going to try this solution on them. Thanks for sharing.

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