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13 Apr 2021

Warning: Avoid this dangerous radiator TikTok cleaning hack

Which? advises against using Fabulosa Air Freshener & Sanitiser on radiators as it can cause explosions.

Cleaning 'influencers' on social media are more popular than ever, but a recent viral hack on TikTok showing how to clean radiators using Fabulosa could be incredibly dangerous and cause serious injury.

One homeowner reported trying the hack to dust the inside of a radiator, which caused an explosion that burnt her ankles and blew out her window.

Read on to find out what the hack is, why it's dangerous and what to use instead to clean your radiator safely.

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What is the radiator cleaning hack?

The cleaning hack explaining how to dust the inside of your radiator first popped up on social media a month ago. One fan, @cleaningwithcharl on TikTok, went viral after sharing it.

The dangerous hack involves using Fabulosa Air Freshener & Sanitiser, which can be found at B&M and other retailers for less than £2, to spray dust trapped inside the grills of your radiator and fragrance your rooms.

Why it's dangerous

We investigated what could be the cause of the fireball reported in someone's home after using this product.

The Fabulosa Shock safety label says, 'Keep away from heat, hot surfaces, sparks, open flames and other ignition sources.'

Dr Neal Rimmer, Which? scientific advisor, explains why this is a risk:

'These types of products contain butane, propane and ethanol, all of which are highly flammable. These should be kept away from hot surfaces, sparks and open flames, such as a radiator.'

'Butane and Propane are both denser than air, and can settle in low ventilated areas posing a risk of explosion. Igniting just a small amount of these chemicals can lead to a fire or explosion with a substantial blast wave being generated.

'Radiators tend to be installed under a window in UK homes, so if you used the TikTok hack, this would be close enough to the window to receive a lot of force from any explosion generated by an ignition.'

If you want to clean your radiators, turn it off, wait for it to cool and use a long brush to dust inside. You can even buy special brushes for this.

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What Fabulosa says

We contacted Fabulosa for comment. The company told us:

'Our customer's health and safety is of utmost importance to us and we take any reported incidents seriously. We have contacted the customers concerned so we can investigate.

'Fabulosa and its packaging is fully compliant with all safety regulations on how to safely use them and any associated risks.

'In line with this, our Shock Can states quite clearly that it is extremely flammable and it should therefore be kept away from heat and all sources of ignition.