A blog of www.buyfloorregisters.com
Turning off the heat. Although most heat units do not make the register grate hot, metal registers can retain quite a lot of heat. Work on rust removal while they’re cool.
Pull the register out of the hole in the floor; shake to remove any dust. Most register vents are just pushed into position; check to make sure they’re not secured to the floor with screws or latches.
Take the register outside or to a well-ventilated area, away from pets, children or household furniture. Cleaning rust can create dust that is filled with metal particles. The dust can injure humans and animals and destroy upholstery or scratch woodwork.
Place the register on a piece of scrap cardboard or inside an open box. Protect yourself; wear safety goggles and thick work gloves. The box helps contain the rust-filled dust produced in the cleaning process.
Brush the surface of the register vigorously with a wire brush to loosen or remove the surface rust. Brush the register so the debris falls away from you. Realize that the brush will remove most, but not all of the rust.
Finish the rust-removal by lightly sanding. The sandpaper will help reach all the small pieces of rust the brush may have missed. Concentrate on sliding the paper between the vent slats to ensure all the rust is gone.
Rinse the register with cold water from the hose or kitchen tap to remove any remaining metal dust. Allow the register to air dry outside on a sheet of newspaper. You can wipe the register with a dry clean cloth to aid the drying process.
Paint the dry register vent with spray paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the back of the can. This will cover up any scratches from the rust removal process and prevent further build-up or rust.