Friday, 21 March 2014

How to: Remove rust from a cast iron fireplace

...remove rust from a cast iron fireplace 

When we first viewed our terraced Victorian cottage just over 2 years ago, one of the things that made us choose the house was the cast iron fireplace in the bedroom...
...however, this was one of the first things I "ruined" after moving in: I cleaned it with a wet(??) rag!!
Stupid, I know!!
Rule number 1 when it comes to cast iron fireplaces: Never EVER clean it with a WET rag!!
(In my defence: I had never lived anywhere that had a cast iron fireplace before)

To be honest, at the time, I put it down to one of life's little lessons and soon forgot about it...I mean: Our bedroom had some bigger, and more obvious the lack of storage!
It wasn't really until the other day, when I had finished painting the walls and was taking pictures of my concrete stool , that it started to nag me!!

So, I asked my mother-in-law what to do....
And today I want to share with you her wisdom!

 My mother in law said what I needed was something called !zeebrite
But a quick google search revealed that Zeebrite had been discontinued, as it contained led...But a new (and led-free) version of black grate polish, called Hotspot serves the same purpose..
So I got some of that!!
I also got some fine wire wool to remove most of the rust with before using the magic stuff...

So armed with wire-wool , willpower and elbow grease I set to work!
I scrubbed off most of the rust..
I put an old towel on the floor first, which was good as there was a lot of black dust...that went everywhere!!
Note: You should be wearing a dust-mask and gloves...or you risk ending up looking like a chimney sweep!! (Not a good look when you are going out with friends that night...let me tell you!! LOL)

So much so that I actually ended up getting the hoover at the ready, sucking up the dust as I went along...

The wire-wool was great at removing the dust on the surfaces, but even after a good scrubbing there was still rust in the details...
 Time to get "hotspotting":


I used an old, clean paint brush, and applied the grate polish sparingly...brushing it into the details with circular motions..

This really was a miracle cure for my beautiful, but rusty cast iron fireplace!!

I then used an old tea-towel to polish off any excess...I didn't want Little Miss Moo to get black fingers, should she happen to touch the fireplace! (We can all guess what the result would be: Black fingers and white painted walls = not good!!)

...But actually by buffing off the excess grate polish, the detail got a lovely highlighted sheen to it!

Let me just remind you how rusty and horrible looking the fireplace was before: The picture below is of the exact same spot before the treatment:

I am so pleased I managed to clean up my beautiful cast iron fireplace...
And it only took me about 40 minutes in total!
Maybe using grate polish to remove rust from cast iron is common knowledge, but to me it was a eureka I had to share!
And I can already think of a few more uses for my tube of Hotspot....

I think I have fallen in love...all over again, with my fireplace!!

My bedroom makeover is moving along nicely: The walls are painted and our new curtains and bedspread is on their way (thanks mum!) The custom made built in wardrobes should be with us soon and this weekend we are getting started on putting up wood panelling on the wall behind our bed...

I am so excited about all the changes we are (finally) making to our house this year!
We have some BIG changes planned in the near future, that I am really itching to tell you all about!
...all in good time!

I hope you find this post useful!

I Wish you all a great weekend!



Unknown said...

What a beautiful fireplace! It looks beautiful after getting all cleaned up.

june olsen said...

Thanks Alexis! Appreciate you popping by and leaving sweet comments!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for this - I did exactly the same, wiped down with water and in the morning had a mini meltdown when I saw the rust! Wish I could show you some before and after pictures but pleased to say the hotspot polish has done a perfect job x

Anonymous said...

Great stuff that Zebrite! However, to dispel a popular misconception, like "lead" pencils Zebrite did not contain lead but graphite, an altogether different substance.

klotylda said...

Great tip, I didn't know it could be done so easily! In my case, it took me over a week to clean the old thing, but it looks quite good now. Now I'm about to start my kitchen makeover with - I'm beyond excited for the change to come!

StevenHWicker said...

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