Corroded iron with 50 shades of rust

Why is my wood stove rusty and how do I clean it?

You have had your wood-burning stove in your living room for several years now and you are very satisfied with it. It has served you well and saved you money. However, you have noticed for some time that it is starting to oxidise and you are wondering why.

Where does the rust on my wood stove come from?

If you have a wood stove, you may have noticed that rust can build up on exposed metal surfaces. Rust is a type of corrosion that occurs when iron is exposed to oxygen and water. Exposure to air is the most common cause of rust on wood stoves. Other possible causes of corrosion on wood stoves are exposure to heat, moisture and chemicals.

Rust can be eliminated by using a cleaning product specially designed to remove rust. If you have a wood-burning stove in good condition, you can prevent rust by cleaning it regularly with a suitable cleaning agent.

How do I remove rust from my wood stove?

Rust can build up on your wood stove over time, but fortunately, with a little patience, it's fairly easy to remove the corrosion. Here are a few simple and proven steps to effectively remove them from your wood stove and keep your appliance in good condition:

1. Sand the rusty surface

Rust build-up on a wood-burning stove not only spoils its appearance, but can also reduce its efficiency. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to remove:

  • If the rust is superficialTo do this, simply sand your stove lightly with fine-grained sandpaper. You can also use a soft wire brush. Scrub the surface of the rust with the sandpaper or wire brush, then wipe the dust off with a cloth.
  • If the corrosion is more severeIf the stove is not in good condition, you will need to scrape off as much as possible with a suitable tool before sanding. Do not hesitate to use a stripper if necessary. There are many commercially available strippers, but you can also use citric acid or white vinegar. For best results, leave the stripper on for about 30 minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush.
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2. Rinse and dry the wood stove

To rinse the surface to be treated, use a hose or a bucket of water. First, remove all visible rust with a cloth, then hose down the surface of the wood stove to remove any remaining rust. The wet area should then be dried with a clean cloth.

If any rust remains, repeat the stripping process.

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3. Apply a protective product

Once the rust is removed, apply a protective product such as beeswax or WD-40 to prevent rust from forming again.

Alternatively, you can apply a rust fixer to the corroded area. Its curative treatment will stop, coat and fix the oxidised surfaces. The effect is immediate and protects the iron of your wood stove from further damage.