How to Clean Oxidized Metal Patio Furniture. 7 Quick Methods

Oxidized patio furniture ready to be cleaned

Metal furniture is usually a long-term investment by homeowners. The furniture enhances the appeal and value of your home. It is important that you protect the furniture from damage. Rusting or oxidation of metal furniture can be a big problem. This is dominant in outdoor patio furniture because they are constantly exposed to moisture and air.

Despite big efforts, rust still occurs because the phenomenon is unavoidable. Once your metal furniture gets oxidized, you have to take some measures to clean it. You could seek professional help or do it yourself with some simple hacks. Professional help is often expensive and takes more time.

In this article, there are few tips on how rust can be removed from metal surfaces. You should remember to check the type of metal before deciding on a method. Also, the amount of rust and scrubber available, determine the method used. 

Ways to Remove Rust/ Oxidation Layer from Metal Patio Furniture

  1. Applying a Mild Cleaning Agent

This is one of the simplest ways to get rid of the brown coloration on metal surfaces. Once you see the metal patio furniture gets oxidized, look for a mild cleaning agent. You will also need a rag or sponge. Spray the cleaning agent on the metal surfaces. You can then use the rag or sponge to apply the agent evenly. With continuous scrubbing, the brownish-red color slowly disappears. 

The method is considered a preventive measure. It will help you get rid of rust in the early stages. After using the cleaning agent, clean the surface thoroughly. Make sure you dry the surface with no particles of water remaining. 

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  1. Using Baking Soda

Can you imagine baking soda could be your savior? This popular household compound can be used to clean oxidized surfaces. You need to mix the baking soda with water to form a thick paste. Use hydrogen peroxide when dealing with hard rust. Gently apply the thick paste on rusting metal patio furniture and wait.

The process takes 15-20 minutes. You can then scrub it off using an abrasive brush. You will do this until the rust wears off. You could repeat the process several times depending on the amount of rust. Be careful when dealing with such acid-base solutions.

  1. Using White Vinegar

Vinegar is a well-known natural cleaning agent in the world. The antimicrobial and acidic properties make it well suited for this purpose. Adding salt will make it even stronger by increasing the acidic intensity. You can then apply the solution to the rusting metal surfaces.

Give the solution 10 minutes to do its work. You can then wipe it off using a rag or a scrubber. The rust will dissolve in the vinegar thus being easily removed. With this simple procedure, you should be able to keep the metal patio furniture cleaner. 

  1. Using Coca-Cola Drink

Yes, you heard that right. This is a DIY you can use to dissolve metal oxide on your patio furniture. This is because the drink has carbonation properties that help in this process. Pour the Coca-Cola drink on the rusted surface and start scrubbing. A clean piece of cloth should then be used to wipe it off. Clean your hands thereafter so that you do not stain your clothes with rust or the drink. Your favorite drink could save you.

  1. Using A Potato

The oxalic acid in potatoes can help dissolve the rust on your metal patio furniture. It is suitable for smaller amounts of rust stains. Cut a potato in half while you add dish soap or salt to the rusted surface. You can scrub the potato on the surface. A chemical reaction will occur that will weaken the rust.

A piece of cloth can be used to clean the rust off the metal surface. If the job is not satisfactory, you can repeat the process. Remember that the method works well with smaller amounts of rust. Also, for large rust amounts, you will need a lot of potatoes. This increases the cost eventually.

  1. Using Lemon and Salt

This is another homemade method to help clean oxidized metal patio furniture. It involves using lemon with plenty of salt. The salt will act as an abrasive for the action. The citric acid in lemon reacts with rust to make it soluble. Another way is squishing the juice out of lemon and adding salt. You can then apply the mixture to the metal surface.

After about 2 hours, you can wipe it off to bring out a clean shiny surface. It is a cheap method that you should try out for your metal patio furniture. You can also use it when the rust falls on the pieces of cloth on your furniture. 

  1. Using Aluminum Foil

Aluminum reacts very well with rust thus it can be removed easily. You will need to create a mixture of water and salt first. The aluminum foil is dipped in the mixture before being used to scrub off the rust from metal surfaces. The rust residue will be loosened and wiped off using a piece of cloth.

The methods above are simple solutions to your rust problems. You will clean the patio furniture easily with little cost. If the rust persists, you will need to seek professional help. 

How To Restore Oxidized Patio Furniture

Outdoor patio furniture can add beauty and functionality to your outdoor living space, but over time, it may become dull and oxidized due to exposure to sunlight and weather. Fortunately, restoring oxidized patio furniture is a simple process that can be done with a few household items and some elbow grease.

Here are the steps to restore oxidized patio furniture:

Step 1: Clean the furniture

Before you begin the restoration process, it’s important to thoroughly clean the furniture to remove any dirt, grime, or debris. You can use a mild detergent or a solution of water and vinegar to clean the furniture. Rinse it off with water and allow it to dry completely.

Step 2: Sand the furniture

Once the furniture is dry, use a medium-grit sandpaper to sand away the oxidized layer. Sand the furniture in the direction of the grain, and be sure to wear gloves and protective eyewear. Sand until the furniture is smooth and the oxidation is removed.

Step 3: Clean the furniture again

After sanding, clean the furniture again to remove any dust or debris left over from the sanding process. Use a damp cloth to wipe the furniture down, and then allow it to dry completely.

Step 4: Apply a coat of metal polish or wax

To protect the furniture from future oxidation, apply a coat of metal polish or wax. Use a soft cloth to apply the product in a circular motion, and then buff it off with a clean cloth. The polish or wax will help to seal the surface of the furniture and prevent further oxidation.

Step 5: Maintain the furniture

To keep your patio furniture looking its best, it’s important to maintain it regularly. Keep the furniture clean and dry, and cover it when not in use to protect it from the elements. Apply a fresh coat of polish or wax every few months to keep the furniture looking shiny and new.

How to Prevent Rusting in Metal Patio Furniture

Metal patio furniture can be oxidized anytime. The act is unavoidable as your furniture is outdoors where the rust-causing elements are available. Here are some preventive measures you can use to reduce the amount of rust occurring;

  • Regular maintenance is important in keeping the quality of furniture high. Wipe off the water on metal furniture especially during wet seasons.
  • Use coverings to protect your metal patio furniture from the rain.
  • Apply paint, paste wax, oil, or grease that will act as water-repellents and thus prevent rusting.
  • Choose furniture made from coated and galvanized metals.


Prevention is always better than cure. Take proper care of your metal patio furniture to avoid incurring the cost of repairing them. If it happens, choose one of the home remedies to help get rid of the rust. Professionals are important if the oxidized metal surfaces are beyond your means. You can do more research on cleaning such surfaces.