Cleaning Cast Iron

by April Reinhardt
(last updated August 13, 2018)

Usually when we think of cleaning an item made of cast iron, we think of cookware. However, there are other items made of cast iron that need to be cleaned, as well. Fireplace grates and wood-burning stove grates are made of cast iron and need periodic cleaning. As with cleaning all cast iron, the premise is the same: clean down to the bare metal and then treat the iron. Follow these steps to clean cast iron grates or cast iron yard furniture:

  1. Plan to work outside on a sunny day. Spread newspapers on the ground and weight down the corners.
  2. Working atop the layer of newspapers, scrub all of the iron remove buildup, dirt, debris, and rust. This may be a long, arduous process, requiring hours of time, depending upon the amount of cast iron you need to clean.
  3. Once you've scrubbed the iron down to the bare metal, use a chemical paint remover and apply it to the iron. Use rubber gloves and safety goggles when using chemicals.
  4. Allow the remover to stand for the length of time instructed on the product directions, and then scrub the iron again with a wire brush.
  5. Rinse the iron with vinegar water to reduce the acid and neutralize the caustic remover.
  6. Allow the cast iron to sit in the sun and air dry for at least two hours, and then wipe down with a cloth to remove any rust that may have formed.
  7. Spray the grates with stove paint, purchased at your home improvement store. Use paint specially formulated for high heat, and then allow the grates to dry for the allotted time suggested on the product directions.
  8. Paint the iron yard furniture with paint formulated for cast iron, and then apply a thin coat of wax once it is thoroughly dry.
  9. Reinstall the grates in the fireplace and know that the first few lightings may emit a strange odor.
  10. When not in use, cover your cast iron yard furniture with a tarp to prevent rust.

To clean a piece of cast iron cookware that has heavy buildup, rust, and carbon, spray it with heavy duty oven cleaner, and then place it into a thick plastic garbage bag and tie it shut. Allow it to sit inside of the bag for at least two days and then, using rubber gloves, remove it from the bag and scrub it all over with a wire brush. If some of the buildup won't budge, repeat the oven cleaner process, and then scrub again. Rinse the piece thoroughly, apply a coating of shortening, and place it in a 300-degree oven for forty-five minutes. Wipe it down with a paper towel, and then return it to the oven for an additional thirty minutes. Your cookware is now clean and seasoned, and ready to use.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Installing a Smoke Detector

It is fairly easy to install a smoke detector, and most local fire codes mandate that you have smoke detectors working ...

Discover More

Spring Cleaning Checklist

When people mention spring cleaning, the phrase may evoke feelings of consternation at having to perform hours of ...

Discover More

Replacing Damaged Sections of Carpeting

When replacing damaged sections of carpeting, you'll need a carpet remnant or leftover of the carpet you're replacing. If ...

Discover More

The Power of Microfiber! Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths will become your favorite tool for every cleaning task. This 36-cloth package is perfect for hundreds of uses in the garage, kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and all around the house. Each cloth is tough, streak-free, lint-free, reusable, and washable. Check out Microfiber Cleaning Cloths today!

More Cleaning Tips

Cleaning Bronze

Over time, bronze can become dull and even green. If you prefer your bronze to stay bright and shiny, follow these tips ...

Discover More

Cleaning Pewter

It is easy for beautiful pewter objects to dull and tarnish. Follow these directions to keep your pewter shiny and ...

Discover More

Simple Silver Cleaning and Polishing

Cleaning and polishing silver can be an expensive and time-consuming task. Here are some simple, inexpensive options that ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 + 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.