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topic 27425

Removal of rust ring on cast iron woodburning stove


I have a small Osburn cast iron wood burning stove. Someone put a wet coffee cup on top of stove and now I have a rust ring in middle of stove that looks bad. How do I remove rust ring without making it look even worse.

Doug DiMeglio
- Canton, Michigan


Muriatic Acid [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] would work, but it would probably rust again soon after. If you can get some phosphoric acid it should do the trick.

Ronald Zeeman
Coil Coating - Brampton, ON, Canada


A 'Rust Converter [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]' would likely contain the phosphoric acid that Ronald speaks of. However, such stoves are usually painted, and it will be necessary to repaint yours eventually [Stove Paint [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]]. If the ring is still apparent after you've done the conversion treatment, it may be a good time to do the repainting as well.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey


We just bought a cast iron woodburner. Is there anything we should do to preserve the cast iron from wear or rust?

Paula Lundberg
- Valparaiso, Indiana

October 8, 2009

I am wondering about the use of Naval Jelly [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] for rust removal on old wood burning stoves. I have never used it and don't know anything about its nature. Does it work and is it safe for old stoves?

Rita Attkisson
hobbyist - Delia, Kansas

October 9, 2009 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Hi, Rita. Naval jelly and rust converter are essentially the same thing, a phosphoric acid solution that converts red rust to the more stable black rust. I don't see why it wouldn't be safe to use on a stove, but I think you'll need to paint that stove to deter future rusting.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

June 18, 2011

Thank you for all of the helpful information on your site.

I am temporarily living off of the digital grid and have hopefully not ruined the old wood cookstove.

I used CLR and the stench was unbearable. I then rinsed with boiling water and soap. Then I tried Bar Keeper's Friend which resembles baking soda but is not the same...
I used non soap brillo pads and a wire brush from the discount store. This was effective but it seemed like I was spreading the rust around...
The rust at worst made the backing under the warming oven thin and at best was superficial and came right off. I wanted to do this for Father's day... Three days later I was still removing the drips from the brick hearth underneath... If only I was online before I started. A tarp underneath had crossed my mind but I was lazy and also wanted to use the detergents on the brick...
The Rutland Stove Polish was the final step and really was what made the sore elbows and fingers proud.

I believe it was pretty old too. But I stepped on it to get the last of it out of the tube.

I will post a picture when I complete the top and front as I lost polish spreading it in the nooks and crannies atop.

Rebecca Holske
- Boscawen New Hampshire

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