Eco-Friendly Solutions For Cleaning Your Wrought Iron Fence
Used in a variety of indoor and outdoor structures, wrought iron is a popular option for homeowners. From functional fencing for their backyard to ornamental railings on their staircase, wrought iron increases the value and appeal of a home. While it is an incredibly durable option for indoor and outdoor use, iron requires a bit of cleaning to maintain its attractive look. Unfortunately, certain cleaners are too harsh to use on wrought iron. Not only will these toxic cleaning solutions deteriorate the finish of your ironwork, but they can also pollute the environment and affect your health. Using this guide, you can clean and maintain your wrought iron fence in a natural, eco-friendly manner.
Dirt, grass clippings, debris, and various weather conditions will also affect your wrought iron fence, decreasing its appeal and increasing your risk of developing rust. Thankfully, an annual cleaning will prevent any heavy residue on your fence.
Each year, consider pressure washing your fence. Opt for a light-duty pressure washer, which offers enough water pressure to remove dirt and debris. After attaching your washer to your outdoor spigot, hold the sprayer nozzle a few feet from the fence. Use side-sweeping motions to rinse off one section of wrought iron at a time.
Utilizing a high-pressured spray of water will effectively remove residue from your fence without a great deal of effort or harsh cleaning chemicals.
If you still notice the buildup of dirt on your fence, consider using a cleaning solution made from natural ingredients. In an outdoor sprayer container, add the following:
- 3 gallons of warm water
- 2 cups of baking soda
Make sure the baking soda dissolves into the water by mixing the container. Then, douse the baking soda solution onto one section of iron fencing at a time. Allow the solution to sit and soak the iron for 30 minutes, dissolving away dirt, dust, mud, and other stubborn residue. After the time, rinse off your fence with the pressure washer.
Due to carbonation it creates when encountering moisture, baking soda eats through stubborn residue without affecting your health or the environment.
Rain, sleet, snow, ice, and even humidity cause a buildup of moisture on your wrought iron. While unavoidable, this moisture can eat through the coating on your iron fence. Over time, this can lead to rust. Fortunately, you can prevent rust from taking over your wrought iron fence.
After cleaning, apply a coat of traditional automobile wax to your iron fence. The wax adds an additional layer of protection to your wrought iron, reducing the risk of rust accumulation. If your fence surrounds a pool or you live in a humid climate, consider adding a protective sealant to the fence to reduce its exposure to moisture.
Even with proper maintenance, your wrought iron fence may develop rust, but removal is possible. After cleaning your wrought iron fence, allow it to dry for overnight. Then, complete the following steps to remove the rust using molasses:
- Combine 6 cups of water with 1 cup of molasses in a bucket. Stir thoroughly.
- Soak steel wool in the solution.
- Remove and wring out the excess solution.
- Using circular motions, move the steel wool over the rusty sections of your wrought iron fence
- After scrubbing away the rust, wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Fill a second bucket with 3 gallons of water and ½ cup of molasses. Remove any rusty hinges and hardware from the fence and place in the bucket to soak for 30 minutes. If there are stubborn areas of rust, scrub with a piece of steel wool. Wipe the hinges and hardware clean with a damp cloth before reinstalling.
A wrought iron fence by a company like Anvil Iron Works, Inc. is a beautiful, functional, and valuable addition to your home, but proper care is essential. Using these non-toxic, simple solutions, you can clean and protect your wrought iron fence.