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How to Clean Iron Doors

Iron doors are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, strength, and customizable design. However, to maintain their beauty and longevity, occasional cleaning is essential. Learn how to clean iron doors and get our recommendation for the best iron door cleaner.

Why Should You Clean Iron Doors?

Unlike a factory-built product or a mass-produced door, our fully-custom iron doors and windows are individually hand forged to suit every client’s vision. Each piece is a unique work of art, with various marks contributing to its character and authenticity. To keep it looking its best, it’s important to clean your door and seal any small surface scratches at least twice a year to help prevent potential rust issues as your door ages.

Cleaning Instructions

  1. Gather Your Materials

To clean your iron door, you will need a few non-abrasive wash cloths, mild soap, warm water, and a bucket. You can also use a specialized iron door cleaner, which we will discuss later in this article.

2. Remove Loose Debris

Begin by gently wiping away any loose dirt, dust, or cobwebs from your iron door using a dry, soft cloth. This will make the cleaning process easier and more effective.

3. Mix Cleaning Solution

Fill a bucket with warm water and add a few drops of liquid castile soap, and mix until suds begin to form. You can buy castile soap at most grocery stores including Whole Foods. Avoid liquid dish soaps, such as Dawn and Ajax, as they can damage the protective finish on your door and accelerate the oxidation process.

4. Clean the Door

Dip a clean cloth into the solution to dampen, then gently scrub the door’s surface. Focus on areas with visible dirt or stains. For iron doors with intricate designs, you may need to wipe more vigorously around crevices and corners. For best results, work your way from the top of the door to the bottom.

5. Rinse and Dry

After cleaning, get another clean cloth and wet it with plain water—use this fresh cloth to wipe away the soapy solution. Make sure to remove all soap residue, as it can cause streaks or damage the iron surface if left to dry. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any excess water from the grooves, hardware, and hinges. This will prevent water spots and help maintain the door’s finish.

Touch-Up Instructions for Scratches

  1. Gather Your Materials

After you have cleaned your door and let it dry completely, you will need to gather your touch-up paint and a cotton swab. A touch-up kit may be requested for your doors and windows. The touch-up paint is a proprietary mix of copper and acrylic paint that’s specifically formulated for your selected finish.

2. Apply Paint

Be sure to shake up the vial of touch-up paint well to evenly distribute any copper that has settled. Using a cotton swab, carefully dab the scratch with touch-up paint until it is completely covered, and let dry. For an ideal color match to your current finish, let the copper in the paint vial settle a bit before application. Keep in mind, “less is more” when touching up. To achieve the best results, we strongly suggest limiting the touch-up area to the smallest size necessary.

Maintaining a scheduled cleaning and touch-up routine will help your doors last a lifetime and keep them looking beautiful. And after you’ve cleaned your doors, read our blog, “10 Welcoming Front Door Decor & Lighting Ideas” to keep your door looking fresh. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for further cleaning instructions or to schedule a consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you use Windex on wrought iron doors to clean?

We do not recommend using materials like window cleaners, toothpaste, nail polish remover, or caustic cleaners to clean your iron door as they could ruin the finish. 

What is the best iron door cleaner?

Choose a vegetable-based soap, like castile soap, and mix a teaspoon of it into a bowl of warm water until a small amount of suds form. Vegetable-based soap is gentle and can be used for a wide variety of cleaning processes. 

How often should I clean my iron door?

Cleaning frequency depends on environmental factors and your door’s exposure to dirt, dust, and moisture. In general, it is recommended to clean iron doors at least once every three to six months to maintain their appearance and prevent rust and corrosion. However, if your door is exposed to harsh weather conditions, you may need to clean it more frequently.

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