How to Clean Oxidized Metal Furniture

Before and after of a previous project we have worked on.

Outdoor furniture is a great addition to any garden space however, when it starts to look a bit weathered it can heave a negative effect on the whole garden. Therefore, it is important to keep your outdoor furniture looking great all year round. If you buy high quality furniture this should not be a problem, but some metal furniture needs more upkeep than others as they can suffer from oxidation and rust.

What is Oxidation?

Metal oxidation is a form of corrosion that occurs from a reaction between the metal and oxygen. When the metal and oxygen react, it causes the metal to corrode and form metal oxide on the surface. The most common metal oxidation is the red colour from iron oxide, known as rust. Metal oxidation happens when a chemical reaction occurs on a metal’s surface when oxygen is present. This means that oxidation is inevitable and hard to stop however, there are ways it can be prevented.

Preventative Measures

There are multiple ways in which oxidation can be prevented. Firstly, if you want to avoid oxidation it is best to choose a metal that is resistant to corrosion such as aluminium or stainless steel. These are beneficial as they are likely to look better for longer and need very little maintenance. However, if you choose different metals for your garden there are other ways to prevent corrosion. The most effective is to form some sort of protective layer between the metal and the air so that the oxygen cannot get to the surface of the metal. You can do this by:
1. Painting or getting the furniture powder coated.
2. Using a sealant or repellent to coat the furniture.
3. using wax to form a protective layer.


For general clenaing of your outdoor furniture:
– Use warm water and soap along with a scrubbing brush.
– For smaller, intricate areas use a smaller scrubbing brush (like a toothbrush).
– Rinse with water

If oxidation is still apparent on your furniture use one of the following methods:
1. Rinse the furniture and dust with baking soda. Leave for an hour, the scour with steel wool or a metal brush. Rinse and leave to dry.
2. Soak your furniture in vinegar overnight, scrape with steel wool or metal brush.
3. Use salt and lemon, dust over the affected area and squeeze lemon over it. Leave for a couple of hours then scrub off.

In some sever cases, refurbishing your outdoor furniture at home is just not possible. If this is the case, why not get a quote from us at Metal Furniture Doctor. All you have to do is send us some photographs of your furniture and we’ll do the rest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.