If you live in an older home, your porch may have iron railings lining the area and steps that have started to show signs of corrosion. If so, use the following tips for removing the surface rust on your porch's iron railings.
Dab Heavily Rusted Areas with Vinegar
Before you start removing rust off of your railings, examine the surfaces to see if there are any thick areas of heavy rust. If you find any, treat these areas first by dabbing white distilled vinegar on them.
White vinegar contains acetic acid that penetrates the rust and softens it. After applying the vinegar and allowing it to soak into the oxidized areas for about an hour, the rust is easier to remove without having to wear out your arm from applying a lot of pressure.
Remove Excess Rust with a Wire Brush
After treating any areas with thick rust, you can start removing the rust, which involves two steps. The first step is to get rid of the looser, excess rust from the top layer using a wire brush. The wire bristles also help break up the sublayers of rust to it easier to remove during the next step.
When using the wire brush, start by using a back and forth sawing motion in one direction. Then, brush the railings in the opposite direction. Going at the rust from different angles helps ensure that you reach all of the surface rust.
Once you have brushed an entire section of railing, wipe the loose rust with a snag-free cloth. You can use a dampened cloth to help pull up more rust but make sure you ring out the excess water to avoid adding more moisture to the iron material that could contribute to corrosion.
Finish with Steel Wool
Once you have brushed the iron railing with a wire brush, finish off the job by rubbing the surface with steel wool. The steel wool not only removes any remaining surface rust, but it also helps smooth the surface.
Use the same multi-direction method discussed in the previous section to ensure you clean the entire surface. After wiping the railing with a damp cloth, spot clean any remaining rust with the steel wool.
While cleaning the rust off of your iron railing, you may notice areas that may have sustained damage. If so, contact a contractor who specializes in iron railings so they can inspect your rail's condition and discuss your options for either repairing or replacing the damaged areas. To learn more, contact a company like Anvil Iron Works, Inc.