How To Clean Metal Patio Furniture – A Practical Guide

  • By: Mike Hale
  • Date: July 17, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Practical Guide On How To Clean Metal Patio Furniture

Pieces of furniture are crucial elements of your house’s interior design. Aside from the efficient utilization of space, they also provide aesthetics. A house won’t be complete without good furniture. Without them, the house is like a colorless painting. It doesn’t have life or vibrance.

Metal patio furniture is one type of furniture that everyone can afford. Most look simple and fit any patios’ theme. Cleaning metal patio furniture is important. No matter how good-looking, they’ll eventually become ugly if not maintained well. On that note, I’ll be teaching you how to clean metal patio furniture in this article.

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An Important Note Before Cleaning

Metal patio furniture comes in various types. Some don’t mind being cleaned with water, while others are more sensitive to oxidation. You must identify the type of your metal patio furniture before cleaning it. Metal patio furniture can be categorized into the following types:

  • cast iron metal patio furniture
  • cast steel metal patio furniture
  • aluminum metal patio furniture

Cast iron and cast steel patio furniture are vulnerable to oxidization. This means that you can’t clean them with water because they might rust. Rusting is an issue which manufacturers solve by using a waterproof coating. However, the waterproof coating eventually wears. This is why you shouldn’t clean cast iron and steel metal patio with water if you want them to last for long.

On the other hand, you can opt to clean aluminum metal patio furniture with water. Still, this doesn’t mean that aluminum doesn’t develop rust. It’s just that it might take years for it to oxidize. By the time the aluminum metal patio furniture oxidizes, you already have the money to buy a new set.

So how do you determine if a metal patio furniture is made from iron, steel, or aluminum?

It’s easy to identify whether or not you’re using aluminum metal patio furniture at home. Magnet doesn’t stick on aluminum. Therefore, all you have to do is grab one and place it on the metal patio furniture’s surface to determine.

Determining whether the metal patio furniture is cast iron or cast steel is quite tricky, on the other hand. It’s because both weigh the same. Furthermore, you can’t do the spark test or melt test to see which is which. Still, hope isn’t lost. Cast iron is less shiny than cast steel. Thus, all that you have to do is find an unpainted part of the metal patio furniture and see whether it’s shiny or not.

Iron Patio Furniture

What Are Abrasive Cleaners?

Abrasives are materials that remove dirt from a surface with their roughness. Examples of abrasives are sandpaper, plastic mesh, nylon mesh, and steel wool. Some liquid cleaning detergents also act as abrasives. Manufacturers achieve this by mixing them with non-soluble particles that wear dirt through rubbing. Water can also be abrasive so long as it gets mixed with sand and similar particles.

Abrasive cleaners do well in removing dirt. However, I don’t think it’s good to clean metal patio furniture with them. Using abrasive cleaners has several drawbacks. Firstly, they remove the coating that protects the metal patio furniture against rusting. Secondly, they leave horrible scratch marks. Thirdly, using them requires more effort and hurts the hands.

Vinegar isn’t abrasive. However, some websites recommend using this, so let me emphasize. Vinegar makes iron and steel rust faster than water. Therefore, never use this to clean your metal patio furniture.

Essential Items That You Need Before Cleaning

What You Need For Cleaning Steel and Iron Metal Patio Furniture

What You Need For Cleaning Aluminum Metal Patio Furniture

  • a large bucket of water or garden hose if you opt to clean through spraying
  • 2 soft cloth
  • non-corrosive soap
  • metal polish liquid or wax

Step By Step Guide On Cleaning Metal Patio Furniture

Cleaning Steel and Iron Metal Patio Furniture

Step 1: Remove All Cushions

  • Be sure to remove all the cushions first. Underneath the cushions are specks of dust that have accumulated. If you’re unfortunate, you might even find stains. Apart from this, you have to remove the cushions to reduce the metal patio furniture’s weight. After all, you might have to turn, pull, or lift while cleaning.

Step 2: Remove Dust Through Brushing

  • Use the large brush to remove dust that didn’t stick on the steel or iron metal patio furniture. For secluded spots, you might have to use the small brush for a thorough clean. You don’t have to brush meticulously. After all, you’re just brushing to make the dust thinner and make wiping easier.

Step 3: Start Wiping With The Soft Cloth

  • Mix the dishwashing liquid, fragrance powder, or fragrance oil with the lemon juice. After this, dip the soft cloth on the mixture and start wiping. Don’t worry because the lemon juice won’t rust the steel or iron metal patio furniture you’re cleaning. Lemon juice doesn’t contain a lot of water. In fact, it contains a lot of citric acids and natural oils that do well in loosening stains and picking off dust.

Step 4: Wipe Dry then Follow With Metal Polish Liquid

  • You can opt to dry under the sun. But I recommend that you wipe the steel or iron metal patio furniture with a new soft cloth for drying to be faster. After drying, spray the metal patio furniture with metal polish liquid and then wipe again. The metal polish liquid will reinforce the coating and make the metal patio furniture more durable against the elements.

Cleaning Aluminum Metal Patio Furniture

Cleaning aluminum metal patio furniture is the same as cleaning iron or steel metal patio furniture. However, one key difference is that you can clean it with water. It’s fine to spray it with water, rub non-corrosive soap, and wipe it with a soft cloth. After this, wipe the aluminum metal patio furniture dry and then follow with metal polish liquid.

How To Clean Cushions?

Most cushions have polyethylene foam inside. That’s why you shouldn’t toss them directly into the washing machine. Doing so might get the foams damaged. Here’s the correct way of cleaning cushions:

  • Separate the cover from the foam of the cushions
  • Put the foams aside and zip the covers shut before tossing them into the washing machine (forgetting to do so might get the zippers damaged)
  • Take a mini-vacuum cleaner and clean the foam with this.
  • If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, you can opt to slam the foams against each other to get the dust-out.
  • Put the foams on a sunny spot outside to kill bedbugs, mites, ticks, or fungi.

After doing the above-mentioned steps, insert the foam once the covers are dry. You can then opt to store or put them back on the metal patio furniture.

Final Words: How Often Should You Clean Metal Patio Furniture and Cushions?

It would help if you cleaned the metal patio furniture every three months. You don’t have to clean frequently because it does more harm than good. Too much cleaning leads to the quicker development of rust and wearing of the protective coating.

On the other hand, you should clean the cushions at least once a month. Doing so ensures that the covers don’t get permanent stains, and the foams don’t get infested with parasites.

I hope that my tutorial on how to clean metal patio furniture helped. Always remember that cleaning is essential. After all, a dirty home isn’t good for your well being.