Iron is a source of interference in the spectroscopic analysis of dissolved organic matter (DOM); however, its effects on commonly employed ultraviolet and visible (UV-vis) light adsorption and fluorescence measurements are poorly defined. Here, we describe the effects of iron(II) and iron(III) on the UV-vis absorption and fluorescence of solutions containing two DOM fractions and two surface water samples. In each case, regardless of DOM composition, UV-vis absorption increased linearly with increasing iron(III). Correction factors were derived using iron(III) absorption coefficients determined at wavelengths commonly used to characterize DOM. Iron(III) addition increased specific UV absorbances (SUVA) and decreased the absorption ratios (E2:E3) and spectral slope ratios (SR) of DOM samples. Both iron(II) and iron(III) quenched DOM fluorescence at pH 6.7. The degree and region of fluorescence quenching varied with the iron:DOC concentration ratio, DOM composition, and pH. Regions of the fluorescence spectra associated with greater DOM conjugation were more susceptible to iron quenching, and DOM fluorescence indices were sensitive to the presence of both forms of iron. Analyses of the excitation-emission matrices using a 7- and 13-component parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) model showed low PARAFAC sensitivity to iron addition.