How clean wall heater vents?

My two-sided wall heater 's vents are dirty and some have lost paint. They look terrible. For years I have been resolving to Do Something About It. I even bought a spray can appropriate for a heat-emitting device.
But I need to clean the vents before spraying over.
Somebody suggested I take down both vent covers and do it out in the yard. Not being very handy, I sorta balked. Still open to the idea faut de mieux, but would rather not to through the hassle.
Any suggestions for cleaning in situ?
TIA
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On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 23:06:00 -0700, aspasia wrote:
-snip-

Your goal is to make them look good. You've spent some money on paint, and will spend some time doing the job.
Do it right the first time. In painting- prep is 90% of the job.
Take them down and to a carwash. Scrub front and back. Dry well. Sand or steel wool as necessary. Prime; back- then front. Paint- back then front.

Don't waste your time.
Jim [BTW- all that said- if these are just standard air vents from a heating system, price new ones- might be worth your while to just replace them.]
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take the covers off, have them sandblasted, THEN paint.
s
<aspasia> wrote in message

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aspasia wrote:

1. Use a razor and cut the paint that's holding them on. 2. If your hand fits a screw-driver, you're golden. 3. Take the vent outside. Use paint remover to remove the original paint. 4. After that noxious episode, scrub down with steel wool. 5. Apply several thin coats of your spray paint - front and back. Let dry super-hard in the sun between coats. Don't forget to similarily treat the screws you removed. 6. Reinstall.
A lazy Saturday job. The results will be rewarding.
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<aspasia> wrote in message

. Spay painting a dirty vent in place is sort of like not wiping your ass. You get brown stains in your underwear. Your choice, take them down or watch for the stains.
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On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 23:06:00 -0700, aspasia wrote:

Honestly, after reading your post, it sounds like you are too lazy and too stupid to even know how to walk and chew gum. Do yourself a favor now and put the gun to your head. Bubba
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replying to Bubba, Polly Positive wrote: No one wants your kind of honesty
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