During the melting and solidification of cast irons, certain trace (minor) elements may unintentionally accumulate to an extent that they have a detrimental effect on the microstructure of castings. This article discusses the residual elements, trace elements, and tramp elements in cast irons. Elements that influence the matrix structure of cast irons are commonly classified as ferrite-promoting elements or pearlite-promoting elements. The article describes the effects of minor elements on microstructure and properties of cast irons. It discusses the use of a combination of tools to control the effects of minor elements on the structure and properties of cast irons. The article concludes with information on allowable levels of trace and tramp elements in cast irons.