Radiator key maintenance and care
There is really no maintenance involved in looking after radiator keys.
Practically all radiator keys are made from materials that will not rust, or are coated with a material such as zinc or nickel that is resistant to corrosion.
These bleed keys are made from nickel-plated iron.
Wipe your keys dry with an old rag if they are wet after use and keep them where you can easily locate them.
They are not really repairable, so if a key does get damaged, it's best to buy a new one.
You should try to keep bleed keys in the house along with utility and other keys.
Some people tape a key behind each radiator so they are always to hand should the need arise to bleed any of the radiators in the house.
However, it's more likely that a key will damage a radiator part than be damaged itself, so take care and make sure your key fits perfectly before undoing or tightening fittings.
Be particularly careful when using a bleed key. If the key is not located perfectly on the square head of the bleed screw, or is not held very firmly, it's easy to damage the the square head.
The bleed screw may need to be replaced if the corners are accidentally "rounded" by the key.
If you use a ratchet spanner when removing and installing radiator tail valves, occasionally applying some light oil to the ratchet mechanism can extend its life.