How to Clean Wrought Iron Gates

What You'll Need
Garden hose
Mild detergent
Warm water
Soft bristle brush
Old towels
Touch up paint

Wrought iron gates are one of the best choices you can make for your home. Quality, resilience, durability and style are some of the benefits of this type of gate. Wrought iron is one of the more costly materials for outdoor features. However, iron gates can last a lifetime. Given the good investment that your gates are, you want to be sure that you maintain them well. A guide on how to clean is given below.

Step 1 – Wash with Soapy Water

Place some warm water and mild detergent in a bucket. Mix with your hands until plenty of suds form in the water. Dip a sponge in the bucket and apply onto the gates. Follow with a good scrub with your scrubbing brush. This will help to get rid of dirt, grime and bird droppings. It is best to begin with one gate first, wash both sides then proceed to wash the other gate.

Step 2 – Rinse

Use your garden hose to rinse both gates thoroughly. You want to be sure you don’t leave traces of soap behind. Soap residues can cause discoloration on the gate. Towel dry both gates. Allow them to air dry for several minutes.

Step 3 – Inspect for Rust

Rust is one of the biggest problems on outdoor iron features. You need to be alert for incidences of rust on your gates. It helps if you inspect the gates from time to time to check for rust. Rust removal from the gates is easier in the initial stages of its occurrence. If you leave it unattended it develops more extensively and becomes harder to remove.

Step 4 – Remove Rust

Use a piece of sandpaper to rub away the rust affected areas of the gate. Work steadily so that you’re able to successfully clear all rusted spots. Be sure to remove rust from both sides of the gates.

Step 5 – Wash and Rinse

Wash the gates once more as outlined in the first step above. Follow with a thorough rinse with water from your garden hose. Take up another couple of towels and dry the gates. Wait about 30 minutes for the gates to air dry.

Step 6 – Apply Primer

It is best to use a primer that is suitable for iron. Be sure that it contains rust inhibitors. You may wish to get one that has a spray mechanism to enable easier application. Open up the gates and begin to spray at the top on one gate. Proceed across and spray until you reach the bottom of the gate. Do the same for the other side of the gate. Proceed to the second gate and work in the same manner. It is best to apply 2 coats of primer for higher protection. Allow the first coat to dry well before you apply another coat.

Step 7 – Paint

As a final step of the cleaning process, you may want to paint your gates with paint that is suitable for wrought iron. This will provide further protection to your gates against rust. Apply 2 coats in the same manner as you did for the primer.


  • It helps if you clean your wrought iron gates regularly. The more dirt they accumulate, the more likely they are to attract rust and corrosion.