Please help... Rusty Antique Iron Molds!

Hello to all. 

I have purchased an antique brass and iron flower mold. It was dirty and had some rust. I cleaned with vinegar, baking soda and salt according recommendations found on internet. The mold looked clean and free of rust, but when I heated it and tried to shape a flower, there were rust/dirty dark spots all over my white fabric flower. I've repeated the process several times, but I get the same results. The metal continues to tarnish, rust even looking green. One half of the mold is brass and the other half is iron.

I really want to purchase more beautiful molds, but many of them are extremely tarnished and patina. If so many flower makers are using these antique tools, there must be a remedy... Are they re-coating the molds or is there another secret that I need to know? Please share the answer if you know. Thank you


Tags: antique, brass, flower, flowers, iron, molds, press

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Hi Terie

i have acquired a huge number of these tools from England some time back. A lot of them were really rusty and needed a lot of work. You an remove the rust with a bit of steel wool or a wire brush…being gentle so you don’t damage the mould. I then gave them a quick spray with WD 40, wiped off the excess and then painted them with Penetrol to stop them rusting again. This should solve your problem. If they do rust again, spray again with WD 40 or something similar and wipe off well. It sometimes helps to do a dummy run on some cheap fabric to make sure you have removed all the dirt/rust before using on your good fabric. If you are looking to purchase any more of these irons, I have heaps for sale here in Australia. Contact me Good luck! 

Hi Brenda

Thank you so much for your helpful response. Sounds like there is hope!

I was afraid that steel wool would be too harsh, but I will try it. Thank you for the WD 40 and the Penetrol tip. I'm assuming its safe to use heat on the tool after the Penetrol is dry. 

I'm definitely interested in more irons now that I have a solution for cleaning.....I am interested in cutters and a flower press as well.

Will be in touch soon.


Hi Terie,

You are welcome! Good luck!




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