How Do You Get Rust Off Cast Iron?

Cast iron is prone to rusting and requires special cleaning techniques.
Cast iron is prone to rusting and requires special cleaning techniques. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Cast iron is a heavy metal used for cookware, furniture, tools and more. If you notice reddish-brown flakes on the cast iron, it means that it has rusted. Getting rid of rust on cast iron can be more time-consuming than removing it from other metals. This is because cookware is the most common cast-iron object a person needs to clean, and that needs to be seasoned in an oven after cleaning.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine steel wool pad
  • Mild dishwashing liquid
  • Kitchen towel
  • Vegetable oil or cooking oil
  • Paper towel
  • Aluminum foil
  • Wire brush or sandpaper
  • Rust-proof primer
  • Touch-up paint
  • Paint brush
  • Automotive wax

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Cast Iron Cookware

Scrub off the rust with a fine steel wool pad. The fine steel wool prevents scratches on the cast iron.

Wash the cast iron in a sink. Use mild dishwashing liquid and warm water. Rinse off the soap and dry the cast iron with a kitchen towel.

Apply vegetable oil or cooking oil to cookware with a paper towel. Coat the cast iron inside and out.

Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the oven’s lower rack. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven. Let the cookware season for at least one hour. The seasoning adds a protective rust-proof coat to the cast iron.

Turn off the oven and let the cookware cool. Store it in a cool, dry area.

Cast Iron Furniture

Wash dirt, grime and rust flakes off the furniture with a garden hose.

Scrape off the rust with a wire brush or sandpaper. Scrub down to the underlying metal.

Apply a rust-proof primer to the cast-iron furniture with a paintbrush. The coating lasts for several months.

Repaint the areas of the cast iron with touch-up paint in the same color as the furniture. Allow paint to dry completely.

Apply automotive wax to the cast-iron furniture to protect it from moisture.

Cast Iron Stove

Scrub off the rust with a steel wool pad or scrubbing pad.

Put on rubber gloves before pouring rust remover onto a steel wool pad. Apply the rust remover.

Leave the rust remover on the stove for about 10 to 15 minutes. Rust removers dissolve rust.

Use a damp cloth to wipe away the rust remover. Dry stove with paper towels.


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