Cast Iron Fireplace Cleaning, Care and Maintenance
Cast iron fireplace cleaning, care and maintenance will go a long way to obtaining years us of your fire. A little care and simple maintenance of your cast iron fireplace will guarantee your fire will retain its natural beauty. This is so important to cast iron, keeping it looking and performing at its best.
Initial Cleaning After Installation – Fireplaces, Inserts and Baskets
After manufacture, matt black cast iron fireplaces and baskets are protected from atmospheric moisture by applying Iron Paste. Similar to the carbon found in a pencil, it buffs up to a silver/black shine. Initial cleaning simply requires a light polishing with a dry cloth or soft brush similar to a shoe brush. This will help protect the fireplace and highlight the detail of the cast iron. The natural light in the room or light from the fire illuminates the decorative relief work of your fireplace.
The protective layer of iron paste should last for many years. Be aware that cast iron like any ferrous material is susceptible to moisture. This could be through direct contact from a spilt drink, a damp cloth or moisture present in the atmosphere from condensation or damp. Never use a damp cloth to clean your cast iron fireplaces. Any contact with moisture will result in surface rust appearing on your fireplace or other cast iron product. Be aware a freshly plastered room or chimney breast will raise the humidity levels within a room considerably. The same goes for water based paints. Therefore it is wise to air or dry the room thoroughly immediately after plastering or painting.
Regular Cleaning Maintenance
It is recommended you lightly dust over the fireplace with a lint free cloth and then polish with a soft brush.
Rust, Stains and Marks
For more stubborn stains and marks eg. minor surface rust or ring marks from a glass or cup, it is possible to rub over a larger area of the fireplace to re-distribute the iron paste particles over the stain, rust or mark. The iron paste particles, not dissimilar to pencil lead, can be re-distributed from one area or surface to another even when completely dry. Products such as Liberon Iron Paste or any other proprietary stove or grate black, which is essentially graphite, can be mixed with white spirit to a creamy consistency and applied to the cast iron. Once the stove or grate black is completely dry, polish the fireplace back to a shine with a soft brush. Do follow the manufacturers’ instructions when using such products, wear gloves, and cover the surrounding area with dust sheets, it can be a messy business.
For very stubborn marks, you can use very fine wire wool or a fine grade scouring pad (the type of pad used to clean non-stick pans) to lightly scour the affected area polishing the surface back to the required shine. Where applicable you must work of the metal gently removing the mark and again re-distributing or re-applying the iron paste
Any accidental spillage of food or drinks should be mopped up immediately with an absorbent cloth. The affected area must be cleaned and polished with a soft brush to reinstate the shine and the protective layer to prevent surface rust appearing.
Follow these simple instructions on cast iron fireplace cleaning to protect your appliance. It will retain its distinctive natural beauty and aesthetic appeal and provide you with many years of trouble free service.