How to Clean Metal Patio Furniture

how to clean metal patio furniture

Stainless steel, wrought iron and aluminum patio furniture frames may look beautiful; however they may become stained with fingerprints over time. Most of these marks can be removed by following some basic cleaning steps.

Regularly apply car wax to metal outdoor furniture to protect it from oxidation and other forms of degradation.


Though metal outdoor furniture is durable and can withstand the elements, regular cleaning is still required to preserve its beautiful appearance. Bird droppings, pollen and dirt can quickly stain or dull its surface; metal furniture also tends to form rust spots over time that must be quickly addressed or else they could start pitting and ruining its aesthetic appearance. Early identification usually allows removal with just soapy water and scrubbing brush. A periodic waxing will also help preserve the finish on patio furniture.

To clean metal outdoor furniture, all that’s usually required to get its surface looking its best is using damp cloth or sponge and mild soap, along with some sort of scouring pad if any stubborn spots remain. A nylon scrub brush or even toothbrush may also come in handy for reaching hard-to-reach spots if necessary. Rinse thoroughly afterwards, allowing time for full drying.

Identifying rust spots early can save your aluminum or wrought iron furniture from further corrosion, so take precautionary steps if they appear. Cover it when not being used to keep it clean and protect it from rain, snow and sunlight; wipe down wet pieces as soon as they occur with a dry cloth to avoid moisture interacting with metal and beginning to oxidize it further.

Wrought iron and rusted metal furniture can be more challenging to care for. Rust can quickly spread from small areas of furniture, so the best way to prevent its formation is wiping regularly and covering it when not in use; car wax may help protect it further and keep its look.

Wood furniture should be cleaned using a combination of mild dish detergent and warm water, rinsed, and left to air dry before placing back into its proper place. If rotten or severely rusted wood furniture needs repainting with specific spray paint for metals or wicker furniture.


Patio furniture takes a beating from sun, rain and extreme temperature changes. Regularly cleaning it to protect its longevity is key if you want it to hold up longer over time. Plastic, metal and wood patio chairs all need to be kept clean in order to prevent rust and mildew build up, so this task should not be neglected. There are a number of cleaning solutions available depending on its material or condition of furniture that will sanitize it effectively – the one chosen depends entirely upon their material or state.

If your aluminum furniture has become rusted, removing excess gunk and using soap and water to scrub can help restore it to its former glory. A wire brush may also work but be wary not to scratch the material when using. Finally rinse and dry your furniture before repainting any large areas with steel wool before repainting if required. Wrought iron furniture tends to be more fragile and is vulnerable when exposed to scrubbers; to maintain its beauty over time refinishing can help protect it and preserve its look over time.

Fabric portions of outdoor furniture can be washed either by hand-washing with gentle detergent (follow the manufacturer’s instructions) or machine washing, and line drying afterwards. Some pieces can even be degreased using nontoxic degreaser such as rubbing alcohol. If mold or mildew appears, soaking it in white vinegar may help dissolve it more effectively.

Plastic and fiberglass outdoor furniture can be easily cleaned using a mixture of mild detergent, hot water, sponge scrubber or scrub brush, power washer and silicone spray lubricant spray lubricant spray lubricant spray to relubricate swivels/glides on chairs as well as the ribs/poles of umbrellas. A power washer may also help in the removal of deep stains but be careful with its force application as plastic/fiberglass can easily be damaged by excessive force applied. A power washer may help remove deep stains but beware as plastic/fiberglass can easily become damaged with heavy use; alternatively silicone spray lubricant can also be used relubricate/lubricate components to prolong their useful lifespan and avoid unnecessary force applied by use of power washer.

Stainless steel furniture may be resistant to rust, but regular cleaning should still be performed to prevent dirt and grime buildup. A Scotch-Brite pad and general cleaner, such as 1/4 cup mild liquid soap in one gallon of warm water is an effective method; you may also try commercial metal polishing products to renew its sheen.

Rust Removal

If your metal patio furniture or garden tools show signs of rust, it is imperative that it is promptly cleaned off as soon as possible. Rust spreads rapidly, eating away at metal and leaving it vulnerable and weak. Luckily, there are numerous effective solutions available for cleaning off rust from metal patio furniture and garden tools.

Begin by mixing together a bucket of mild detergent and warm water. Next, dip a sponge or soft cloth into this solution and use it to scrub all surfaces of your furniture, paying particular attention to areas with dirt or stains. When finished, rinse with a hose to make sure all soap residue has been completely removed from its surface of metal before drying off with towels and storing in an area safe from rain or moisture exposure.

If the furniture has been allowed to rust for too long, it must be sanded down and painted before being reused again. Wearing a dust mask and safety glasses, begin by selecting an appropriate grit of sandpaper to match its condition. Wire brushes may also come in handy if there are rough or uneven surfaces; once you have this in hand use either a sanding block or pad to gently rub down until its surfaces feel smooth to touch and are free from rust spots.

Baking soda is an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solution for rust removal from metal patio furniture or other metallic objects, providing an eco-friendly option that’s also cost effective. Simply mix equal parts baking soda and water together into a paste that you apply over the rusted areas; let it sit for several minutes; use a scouring pad or steel wool to scrub until all rust has been eliminated, before rinsing and drying your metal furniture afterward.

Regular cleaning and protecting of metal furniture will extend its life for years, so be sure to coat it in clear sealant or wax coat to help keep moisture out and prevent oxidation build-up while making your furniture appear shiny and new! This will also keep moisture at bay and prolong its look!


Metal patio furniture, particularly aluminum and cast iron varieties, is among the most durable available, enduring years with proper cleaning and regular care. If it starts showing signs of wear over time, a fresh coat of paint will revive its appearance while protecting it against environmental elements. You can easily find suitable paint for metal patio furniture at home improvement centers; general-purpose paint will not adhere well.

Choose a light color that complements the rest of your furniture or outdoor decor, as spray paint is particularly handy for reaching hard-to-reach spots that would be impossible with brushes or rollers. Next, follow the instructions for application – some paints require primer while others don’t; Krylon Dual can save steps by priming and painting in one easy step!

Once your furniture has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, take steps to minimize future cleanings by protecting it with protectants or wax treatments that repel dirt and grime. Plastic, resin, wicker and wrought iron should all be coated in special metal sealant products designed to minimize risk of rusting while prolonging its finish.

No matter if it’s made from aluminum, steel, or wrought iron furniture, keeping it looking its best requires regular care and attention to any signs of rust or chipping before they spread. Use mild detergent with water as the best method, while regular scrubbing with plastic scrub brush may help get stubborn stains off too. As soon as any signs of rust or chips appear it should be quickly addressed to protect the frame and preserve its surface; using touch-up paint or pen in its original color is also helpful to safeguard and preserve its surface finish if necessary.