Abstract Iron-ore sintering gas cleaning residue is an emerging type of hazardous waste due to its enrichment of heavy metals. Beneficial reutilization as secondary construction material is supposed to be a possible solution, if volatile components, mainly K and Na chlorides could be removed to acceptable level. This study investigated the effects of water-washing process on the removal of alkali chlorides, as well as heavy metal. The water-washing condition was optimized as L/S=10, t=10∼30min. 95% of Cl and 90% of K and Na could be removed, meanwhile most of the eluted heavy metals were satisfied to the relevant discharge standard. The washed residue could be reutilized in cement production as alternative raw calcareous material or retarder.