Top Upkeep Tips for Clean & Pristine Floor Registers

When it comes to keeping your home neat and tidy, there are certain tasks that we often focus on first, like vacuuming the floors or dusting the furniture. Since these tasks can be time-consuming and even strenuous at times, it’s easy to overlook the upkeep of smaller details in your home – such as the registers.

Registers, which are also commonly known as grilles or vent covers, add a classy touch to any floor and make them a little more decorative. However, they can also be havens for dust, dirt, and grime, meaning it’s important that you keep your registers clean.

Whether you choose to install low maintenance register covers so that you don’t have to worry about deep-cleaning them, or you have more ornate grilles that require a little extra TLC, here are our top upkeep tips for maintaining your floor registers.


Floor vent with ornate cover in a kitchen.

1. Wipe them down with a mild cleaner

The easiest and quickest way to clean your registers is to wipe them down with a mild cleaner and a rag or sponge. Once you wet the rag with your soap or cleaner, work your way in between each of the slats on the register for the deepest clean.

You will probably be amazed by all of the dirt that is hidden away beneath each slat, so take your time and really get as deep down as you can manage! If the grime is particularly sticky or gooey, you may be tempted to use other products like a degreaser, but this may remove the powder coating on the register.


Register up high on a wall over a dresser.

2. Repair any scratches with handy paint pens

The beauty of being a modern homeowner is that there are quick fixes for almost any blemish or scratch you encounter. If your registers see a lot of foot (or paw) traffic, they may have some visible scratches that need to be touched up. Lucky for you, Reggio Register has a new paint pen available in eight different colors that will make touch-ups a breeze.

Simply paint over the scratches or signs of discoloration and let the paint dry for about an hour before touching it. Your existing registers will look good as new, all without having to replace the vent covers in full.


Dirty vent up high on a wall.

3. Change the filters at the start of each new season

If you’ve waited a little too long to change out the filters in your HVAC system, dirt and dust will start to creep up and visibly show on the exterior slats. This usually happens because the filter is overloaded and can no longer contain the dust it’s meant to catch and conceal.

One of the simplest things you can do to ensure proper vent cover maintenance is to change your filters several times per year. Getting on a regular schedule – like at the start of every new season – is a good strategy. Not sure what type of filter to use? Read over the manufacturer’s guide to your heating or cooling system to see which type of filter will last longest and work best.


Vacuum hose cleaning an open heater vent.

4. Vacuum the interior of your registers

You probably already vacuum the floors and carpets of your home on a regular, if not weekly, basis, so why not add your registers to the cleaning routine? If the cleaner-and-rag is too messy for you to manage, vacuuming is an alternative way to maintain your registers. (Better yet, you could combine the two methods for the truest, deepest clean!)

Using a vacuum attachment that is thin and bendable is best, allowing you to really go down into the depths of your vent system and get rid of any lingering debris. You can also remove your registers to get at dirt you can’t reach with your tools.

Now that you know the ins and outs of vent cover maintenance, you may be thinking about replacing your existing ones with low maintenance register covers. Check out our guide to the best register covers and the materials that support easy cleaning.

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