How to Clean Wrought Iron Railings

Wrought iron patio furniture, gates, chandeliers, railings and other decorative pieces can make a space look grand and elegant. Luckily it is easy to clean, which you must do to inhibit the formation of rust spots. Wrought iron left outside will develop rust more easily than items kept indoors. In fact, you may not be able to remove older rust but may have to paint over it. That's also easy.

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Wrought iron gate

Step 1

Remove cushions if there are any, and clear the area of items you don't want to get wet.

Step 2

Move a garden hose near the wrought iron you wish to clean, or move the wrought near a garden hose. If neither is an option, fill a second bucket with plain water to use for rinsing.

Step 3

Fill a large bucket with water and add three squirts of mild dish soap like Ivory or Dawn. Do not use the kind with bleach or antibacterial ingredients. Mix the soap into the water with your hands until suds form.

Step 4

Dip a rag, sponge or soft scrub brush into the bucket of sudsy water and wipe down your wrought iron. You don't need to wring out the sponge or rag--just let the soapy water drip onto the ground as you scrub.

Step 5

When the piece of wrought iron (or a section of a larger piece) is cleaned to your liking, rinse the soapy water away with a garden hose. Don't use the strongest setting on a spray attachment, which could damage the wrought iron. If a hose is unavailable, dump a second bucket of clean water over the soapy wrought iron to rinse it.

Step 6

Let the cleaned and rinsed wrought iron air-dry.

Step 7

Cover rust by wiping it with sandpaper of the type and grade recommended for your wrought iron (ask a professional at a hardware store if unsure); then, clean the area following the steps above, let it dry and use touch-up paint recommended by the manufacturer of your wrought iron (or suggested by, again, a professional at a hardware store).

Step 8

Mix water and a mild dish soap in a small bucket until sudsy.

Step 9

Dip a clean rag into the solution and wring it out.

Step 10

Wipe down the indoor wrought iron item with the sudsy rag, making sure you get all the nooks and crannies. Consider using a soft-bristle toothbrush for those hard-to-reach bits.

Step 11

Wet a second rag with water and use that to wipe the wrought iron of the soapy water. Then let the cleaned and rinsed wrought iron item air-dry.

Step 12

Cover rust by wiping it with sandpaper of the type and grade recommended for your wrought iron (ask a professional at a hardware store if unsure); then clean the area following the steps above, let it dry and use touch-up paint recommended by the manufacturer of your wrought iron (or suggested by, again, a professional at a hardware store).