February 1, 2023
How to remove rust from metal furniture

How to remove rust from metal furniture: Keep it safe and clean!


Rusting and corrosion is the most frequent and nasty issue with metal garden furniture. No secret that rusting is unavoidable for outdoor furniture. So, what can you do if it happens?

Don’t worry! Although rust damage is nasty and stubborn, there are lots of effective remedies that you can try. In this article, we will share some smart tips on how to remove rust from metal furniture.

How to remove rust from your metal furniture?

Before you start struggling with rust, you need to understand what rust is and what measures can work effectively against it.

What is rust?

Rust is metal damage that forms under the moisture and oxygen in the air. The rusted area on the metal surface is orange-brown, rough, powdery, and pitted.

Rust formation is destroying your metal furniture and degrades its appearance. That’s why it is so important to remove rust stains when they just start appearing on your metal furniture. Don’t think that you should just throw the rusted furniture away! You can deal with it, and this is much simpler than you can imagine.

How to prevent rust on your garden furniture?

It is always much better to prevent the problem than to deal with it. So, take care of your metal garden furniture and protect it from rust!

Cover your outdoor furniture with a coat of metal paint or clear varnish. It will help you to prevent rust formation on metal surfaces. You can use some rust resistance paste wax, oil, or grease as well.

When it is raining, keep your metal furniture covered. You can take it to the shed or garage, or just hide it under the good quality covering.

If your garden furniture gets caught in the rain, dry out its surface as soon as possible. Take an old, dry towel and remove all the moisture from the metal surfaces.

To keep the moving parts rust-free, use some WD40 or mineral oil. Apply it on the hinges or folding chair legs to cover them with a protective thin coat, so they can work smoothly.

Is it difficult to remove rust from metal furniture?

You can choose between multiple ways to clean your metal furniture. Some of them are just a piece of cake, and some others are more fiddly. Anyway, try several of them and decide which one works best for you!

A good rule of thumb is to start with natural rust removal rather than use any harsh chemicals.

How do you remove rust from metal patio furniture?

As we have mentioned before, there are multiple ways to remove rust stains from metal furniture. And the best of them are the natural solutions that can help you to clean your patio furniture without any extra chemicals.

#1. Salt and lemon

No, it isn’t a cooking recipe! This natural way is really effective in removing rust from your metal furniture. Couple some lemon juice with a lot of salt, and you can remove stubborn rust stains.

While salt acts as an abrasive, citric acid reacts with the rust and breaks down its integrity. In addition, the acidic and antimicrobial properties are good for metal surfaces as a disinfectant remedy.

Take a bowl and squeeze the lemon juice into it. Add a great amount of salt and mix it with lemon juice into a thick paste. Then, apply this solution to the rusty surface. Let it sit for a few hours, as the citric acid is going to work and dissolve rust. Then, scrub the rust remains off the furniture. Use an abrasive kitchen sponge and keep scrubbing until the metal surface is shiny.

#2. White vinegar

This is one more natural cleaning agent with great acidic and antimicrobial properties.

To clean your rusty metal surface with white vinegar, add some salt to it. In this case, you don’t need lots of salt, add just a pinch for better acidic intensity.

Rinse the rusted surface with this cleaning solution, and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes to dissolve metal oxide. Then, wipe the rust residue off with a scrubber and an old clean rag. Now, you can see how good this powerful rust-cleaning solution works.

#3. Baking soda

A tub of baking soda is a great, versatile remedy in your kitchen. And guess what? Yes, it is also very effective at removing rust from metal furniture!

Mix baking soda and water to create a thick paste. For the hard rust, add some hydrogen peroxide. Apply the acidic solution on the rusted surface with a cleaning cloth. Let it sit and work for about 15-20 minutes. Then, use a wire brush or an abrasive scrubber to scrub off the affected area and remove all the rust particles.

In case of more stubborn rust stains, repeat this process some more times until you remove all the heavy rust.

#4. Potatoes

No kidding, potatoes can really work in removing rust! As they contain oxalic acid, they can help you to dissolve rust and remove brownish rust stains from your patio furniture.

Cut a potato in half. Then, add some salt or dish soap to the potato’s surface. Take half of the spud with salt or dish soap, and rub it on the rusty surface to speed up a chemical reaction with oxalic acid that dissolves rust.

After you clean all the metal surfaces of your furniture, take an old cloth and remove rust flakes.

#5. Coca-Cola

You may be surprised when finding out how many food products are good for removing rust! And yes, Coca-Cola is one more of these cleaning solutions! This fizzy drink has enough carbonation properties to dissolve the stubborn rust forms. This remedy works similarly to baking soda.

Moreover, it is the simplest way to clean rust on metal furniture! Just pour some Coca-Cola on the rusty surface, and let it sit and work for a few minutes. Then, scrub the dissolved rust off with a sponge, soft cloth, or a hand towel. Rinse with some clean water and dry the metal furniture.

#6. Aluminum foil

Aluminum foil is good at rust removal from stainless/chromed steel.

Start with making a mixture of salt and water in a bowl. Then, roll a piece of aluminum foil into a ball. Dip this ball into the saltwater mix, and scrub the rusted surface to clean it off.

This will make a chemical reaction that loosens rust on the metal furniture. If you need, you can repeat this procedure several times. Then, take a clean cloth and wipe off the rust remains from the metal surface.

#7. Steel wool and other abrasives

You can also use a piece of steel wool, sandpaper, or a wire brush to scrub the rust off the rusty area. However, this method works best only with bare-metal furniture.

If your patio furniture is painted, using abrasives is not the best idea. You should try to be extra careful so as not to destroy the paint layer with a wire brush or a piece of steel wool in the process.

The best idea is to use fine sandpaper from 100- to 220-grit. Choose the one per the amount of rust on your metal furniture.

#8. Mild cleaning agent

If you have just the first signs of rust on your outdoor furniture, then you can use a mild cleaning agent to deal with it. All you need to remove the early rust stains is just a cleaning agent and a soft rag!

You can spray the cleaning agent on the metal surface or the rag. Then, gently apply the cleaning agent to the rusty furniture. Clean the entire surface thoroughly with a soft rag. With continuous rubbing, the rusty stains will slowly disappear. Keep this procedure until your furniture is clean and shiny.

#9. Commercial rust remover

How do you remove old rust from metal? For particularly neglected and rusty furniture, you can use a commercial rust remover from your local DIY store. These solutions are heavily chemical-based, so they can quickly remove stubborn rust stains.

However, don’t forget about the precautionary measures! Wear protective gloves and goggles when working with commercial rust removers.

Always read the instruction carefully before you start using these chemicals. The application method and the product composition can vary, so you need to follow all the manufacturer’s instructions. The wrong use of these products can damage your metal furniture.

What is the fastest way to remove rust from metal?

How to remove rust from metal furniture

If you need to clean rust as fast as possible, or just don’t want to fiddle with other methods, try more aggressive ways of cleaning rust.

Use such power tools as sanders, angle grinders, or rotary drills to remove all the rust from the metal furniture. But keep in mind that you can destroy a coat of paint under the rusty layers.

Opt for a rust converter. It is one of the most dynamic and effective rust removal agents. A rust converter is a synthetic substance that converts the rust into a black paintable surface. In other words, a rust converter also acts as a primer on the metal surface. Doesn’t it sound magical?

WD‑40® Rust Remover is one more cool tool for cleaning rusty metal furniture. Spray this cleaning product on the rusted area, and let it dissolve the rust. Then, you can use a scouring pad or a wire brush to scrub the dissolved rust from the metal furniture. Moreover, keep in mind that you can use WD‑40® as a lubricant to prevent rusting on metal surfaces.

How do you remove rust from metal indoor furniture?

How to remove rust from metal furniture

Cleaning indoor furniture requires some different methods.

The most important clue is to avoid using abrasive cloths and detergents. They can scratch and destroy the appearance of your furniture. In addition, it can expose the metal to more moisture. As a result, you will face even more rusting and corrosion.

Remove all the fabric parts before cleaning. Dust the surface with a soft brush or cloth.

Use such solutions as dish soap or other mild detergents, and scrub them gently with a soft sponge or cloth. When you are done, rinse your furniture down with clean water.

Final thoughts

As you can see, you have a wide spectrum of remedies that can help you to clean rusty metal furniture. No matter what type of metal you have, always start with natural remedies, like citric or oxalic acid, some baking soda, or white vinegar. They don’t contain any harsh chemicals and can’t harm your health or destroy metal furniture.

For more stubborn rusty issues, use abrasive tools, like a piece of steel wool, or a wire brush. Opt for a rust converter or a commercial rust remover in case of old and stubborn rusty stains.

A good idea is to cover your furniture with a thin layer of paste wax or other lubricants to prevent rusting issues.

Anyway, remember that you always need some elbow grease and patience if you want to keep your metal furniture rust-free!

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