Disclaimer: This information is offered with NO liability or responsibility on the part of PITCA.
The following information is either from our personal experience or gleaned from various conversations and meetings. There are certainly other methods...but it's a starting point! Important Note: Test...Test...Test! Before you risk ruining a good iron, test the methods on this page on a low-value iron. If you have a high-value iron...we strongly recommend NOT cleaning it in any way. Removal of patina or paint can greatly devalue an otherwise high-value iron!
There are three basic schools of thought regarding cleaning irons:
Personally we generally prefer strategy #2, but we know many collectors in both of the other categories. It depends on your personal taste and whether or not you intend to sell the iron in the future.
Use a "brass" wire brush (gently please) combined with a 50/50 combination of linseed oil & turpentine. The brush removes the larger rust and the liquid acts as a lubricant and also changes the remaining red rust color into a nice patina.
Another strategy is to brush the object clean, no oil, and then spray paint it with flat black stove paint. THEN you can use the oil when the paint is dry to give it a more patina/less glossy look.
Use a "soft bristle" brush (such as an old nail or tooth brush) or a VERY fine wet sandpaper combined with a 50/50 combo of linseed oil & turpentine. The brush removes the rust and the liquid acts as a lubricant for either the brush or the sandpaper preventing scratching or damage. The oil also changes the remaining red rust color into a nice patina.
Again...another strategy is to brush the object clean, no oil, and then spray paint it with flat black stove paint. THEN you can use the oil when the paint is dry to give it a more patina/less glossy look.
Using a plastic container such as an athletic water bottle (not metal), fill the container with enough Sno-Bol® to completely cover both fluter rollers, but without the rollers in the container yet. THEN carefully place the rollers into the container, making sure they are completely covered.
Set a TIMER to exactly 1 hour (no more!). You might want to experiment with the time on low value items. It is important that BOTH rollers are placed in the solution at the SAME TIME to ensure identical cleaning levels. The solution will remove the tarnish and grease off of the rollers.
After the allotted time, remove both rollers and place in a bucket of clear water and scrub off the tarnish and residue with a bristle or brass (not steel since the rollers are brass and will scratch) brush and rags. Then dry the rollers and polish with Wenol or other metal polish.