How to Remove and Prevent Rust on Deck Cable Railings

How to Remove and Prevent Rust on Deck Cable Railings


Cable railings provide a modern look without obstructing your view. But installing a cable railing system can cost thousands of dollars, and without good maintenance.

When it's time to update your deck or patio, cable railings are some of the most attractive and functional options. They provide a modern look without obstructing your view. This aesthetic and functionality don't come without a price, and installing a cable railing system can cost thousands of dollars, depending on your installation.

Rust and corrosion

However, when there is metal (even stainless steel), it rusts and corrodes. Most cable railing systems are made of aluminum or stainless steel. Specifically, the most common stainless steel alloys are Type 304 or Type 316, Type 316 tends to offer higher corrosion resistance, but no metal is immune to nature. 

Cable railings will rust in any environment but are especially susceptible in saltwater environments where corrosion is accelerated. If your cable railing shows early signs of rust, it's a good idea to remove it and apply a rust inhibitor as soon as possible.

Rust removal

Usually, rust starts in the area where the cable comes in contact with the fitting. If it's too late and your cables/accessories are already showing early signs of rust progressing, don't worry - there is a solution. The first thing you need to do is get a good rust remover. Then start working:

1. Clean the affected area with degreaser or soapy water, then dry.

2. Apply the rust remover to the affected area - let it penetrate for 30 to 60 seconds (depending on the severity of the rust).

3. Take a scotch Brite pad and scrub until all rust is removed.

4. Neutralize acidic rust remover with soapy water and dry.

Remember: protect your eyes and skin from the rust remover. Direct spraying can cause speckling on steel and cast iron surfaces. Immediately rinse off any accidental overspray on painted surfaces and clean thoroughly with soap and water. Do not use on anodized or black oxide hardware.


To make sure you no longer need to remove rust from your deck cables, it's time to use a rust and corrosion protectant. There are many rust inhibitors on the market, you can choose a suitable rust inhibitor yourself. After applying the rust inhibitor, follow these steps:

1. Clean cable railings, posts, and tensioning parts.

2. Just spray rust inhibitor on all metal parts (balustrades, posts, tensioning parts).

3. Wipe off excess and let dry.

4. Repeat this process every 6-12 months. If you are in a coastal environment or an area with a high risk of acid rain, we recommend every 6 months.

The above are some tips to prevent cable railings from rusting, if you plan to buy cable railings, please contact us.

Terada Hardware is a professional custom cable railings and accessories manufacturer, and we treat our customers as part of the team and provide support as a partner. For non-standard hardware. We listen carefully to customers' requirements and provide some professional advice and technical support. Follow the new designs to make the most suitable hardware for your project.
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