How to treat rust on a cast iron radiator

Cast iron radiators are extremely hardwearing and long-lasting, but over the years they will need to be treated for rust to keep them looking their best.

If well cared for, a cast iron radiator can last a lifetime. Their decorative, elegant appearance and practical efficiency make them popular features in period properties.

Whilst generally very low maintenance, cast iron radiators can sometimes fall victim to rust. Here are our tips and advice for removing rust and preventing it from returning.

Removing the rust

If the cast iron radiator in question is riddled in rust, then it’s a job best left to the experts. Professionals will use a sandblaster to quickly and efficiently remove very large areas of rust.

If you are dealing with small spots of rust, then you should be able to remove this at home by yourself without too much trouble.

The simplest way of doing so is by using a clean cloth and some white vinegar from your kitchen.

Soak your cloth in the vinegar and then carefully rub away at the rust until is has disappeared and you can see bare iron where the rust once was.

If this method doesn’t work, then you may need to try a more abrasive method.

Use a steel wool brush or sandpaper to sand away the bulk of the rust and then finish the job with white vinegar.

Once you are happy that the rust has been removed, wipe the radiator using a clean cloth and warm water to remove every last trace of the vinegar.

Finally, dry the radiator thoroughly.

Apply a rust-proof finish

You can protect your radiator further by applying a coat of rust-proof primer and paint.

Generally, oil-based primers and acrylic paints give the best finish and water based paints should be avoided.

Using a spray primer and paint, rather than one that must be applied using a brush can give a more consistent and even finish as well as making it easier to get the paint into all the radiator’s intricate and fiddly bits.

Browse the reclaimed cast iron radiators that we currently have in stock here at Beeston Reclamation, they all come with a 10 year guarantee for your peace of mind.