How to Clean Metal Outdoor Furniture

Oxley’s Furniture Barrington dining chairs and table set, made from recycled aluminium.

Metal furniture is a great addition to any outdoor space, which is why it is important to keep it looking good all year round. There are a variety of different metals that can be used for your outdoor furniture. Each of which have their own advantages and disadvantages, and each are susceptible to dirt and weather in different ways. The most popular metal for outdoor furniture is aluminium due to its numerous advantages, as well as the simple fact that it looks great in any setting.

Different types of metal

Aluminium is the most durable metal to use for garden furniture. It can be left outside all year, every year and needs very little maintenance. The main problem that can occur with aluminium outdoor furniture is oxidation. This mostly happens when it is exposed to high levels of salt, such as sea water, and happens because aluminium has a strong affinity for oxygen. If your aluminium furniture is painted or powder coated, this will be less of a worry as it acts as a protective layer.

Steel is both a very affordable and durable metal, however it is very susceptible to rust and therefore requires lot of maintenance. Rust occurs from oxidation which then starts to break down and peel off. It can start as a rust stain, which is easy to clean, but if left unattended the rust can start to penetrate deeper into the metal and cause problems.

Wrought Iron
Wrought iron is a very stylish metal to use for outdoor furniture and can withstand very harsh weather. However, similarly to steel, wrought iron is very prone to rust. Which means it needs a lot of routine maintenance and continuous upkeep.

Care and Maintenance

The best way to maintain your outdoor furniture and keep it looking good is to take preventative measures against corrosion.

With aluminium, the best thing to do is paint your outdoor furniture or to get it powder coated. This will act as a protective layer and stop oxidation occurring. Ensure that all areas of the furniture are covered as one small hole can be enough to cause corrosion. There are also specific coatings that can be bought to prevent oxidation.

When trying to prevent rust on your steel or wrought iron furniture, there are a number of ways you can can achieve this:
1. Protect your furniture from the weather, keep it covered in bad weather conditions and when not using it for a long period of time.
2. Regular upkeep and cleaning to stop rust stains.
3. Paint your wrought iron or steel furniture, it will act as a protective layer.
4. Using wax can protect your furniture from moisture.


– Wash the furniture frame with a soft rag and very occasionally car soap.
– A very occasional waxing will also help to maintain the finish.
– Avoid using dish-washing detergents and abrasive sponges or sponges.

Steel and Wrought Iron
– Use water and dish soap and a scrubbing brush.
– For intricate areas use a smaller scrubbing brush.
– Rinse with water
If there are rust stains on your furniture, try one of the following methods:
1. Rinse the furniture and dust with baking soda. Leave for an hour, then scour with steel wool or metal brush. Rinse and leave to dry.
2. Soak your furniture in vinegar overnight, scrape with steel wool or metal brush.
3. Salt and lemon, dust salt over the affected area and squeeze lemon over it. Leave for a couple of hours then scrub off.

Regular upkeep of your outdoor furniture is always beneficial but sometimes your metal furniture may be beyond home repair. If this is the cast, why not apply for a quote with Metal Furniture Doctor. All you need to do is send us some photographs of your furniture and we’ll do the rest.

2 thoughts on “How to Clean Metal Outdoor Furniture

  1. Leonardo Paul says:

    I was really puzzled about how to clean my garden furniture, but after reading this blog, I finally found the solutions I needed. It’s a comprehensive guide that clears up the confusion, especially when it comes to different types of metal furniture. The tips on maintenance and cleaning are practical and easy to follow. Thanks for the clarity and help!

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