Q&A Cleaning cast iron stove body

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QandA

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Nov 27, 2012
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Question:

I have a cast iron kerosene stove that heats my small house in the mountains outside Jerusalem (yes, Israel). The manufacturer (local) tells me I need only wipe the exterior with a cloth to clean it, but dust just seems to get pushed around this way. Also, there are some rust and water spots on the top from someone's glass being set on the stove last summer. Is there any way to remove them without refinishing the entire thing (the stove is less than a year old); and what is the best way to dust the darn thing? Any kind of conditioning-type treatments available? Thanks a bunch!



Answer:

It depends on whether the stove is painted, or just plain brushed or oiled cast-iron. Most stoves are the former, that is painted with hi-temp paint. In this case, you can simply use a bit of fine sandpaper or steel wool on the rust spots and touch them up with the paint. The usual color is flat black.

If the rust is on parts of the stove that are machined cast-iron - like the cookplates on a cooking stove, then you must use a bit more care. A wire or brass brush will usually work well on small rust spots, then you must coat the plate with a light coat of cooking oil or similar protection. Some people claim rubbing them with wax paper does the job.

Dust is hard to remove from a flat black painted surface. If you want to freshen up the look of the stove, try placing a small amount of the hi-temp paint in a clean, lint-free cloth and rubbing it on the stove. Another tip is to use fine steel wool and no point...the wool will even out the surface.
 
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