Furnishing garden, patio or backyard with wrought iron or other metal furniture is a long-term investment that enhances overall look and curb appeal of your property. So, it is extremely important to protect your valuable furniture from rust damage, especially in the monsoon and winter seasons, since the rate of rusting is higher due to excessive moisture in the air.
Despite continuous efforts, most homeowners fail to prevent their garden furniture from rusting and corrosion as it is an unavoidable phenomenon.
Once a metal object starts catching rust, you’re forced to take some effective measures. Getting rust off the metal furniture isn’t as difficult as you might have thought.
Instead of taking expensive professional help or using some chemicals, you can give a try to certain household items to remove rust from metal furniture or any metal surfaces.
Here are some methods to remove rust from metal chairs, tables, outdoor umbrellas, window frames, and metal tools. The type of metal surface and the amount of rust built up on the item decides which method and tools will work the best.
Type of scraper you use to scratch off the rust is also important. In some cases, it’s better to use a dish scrubber or toothbrush, while for serious rusting, you need a hard brush with metal bristles. You need gloves and safety glasses before trying the following homemade rust cleaning methods.
Homemade Remedies to Get Rust Off Metal Furniture
Method 1: Use baking soda
Baking soda, a popular chemical compound found in almost every household, is very effective in removing rust from metal surface. Just apply a thin layer of the wet mixture of baking soda and water and scrub it off.
Mix baking soda with water or hydrogen peroxide (for hard rust) and prepare a thick paste.
Gently apply this acidic solution using a cleaning cloth or pad on the rusty metal surface and leave it for about 15-20 minutes.
Now, scrub off the area with an abrasive or scruber until rust particles are removed. You may need to repeat the process twice, depending on how bad rusting is.
This simple technique is very effective in cleaning rust from any metal surface, patio furniture, and garden tools.
Method 2: Use white vinegar
Due to acidic and antimicrobial properties of vinegar, it is known as a natural cleaning agent and a home remedy. You can add a pinch of salt to increase its acidic intensity, resulting in the creation of a more powerful rust cleaning solution.
Not only metal, but you can also clean almost everything inside your home with vinegar.
When rusting off metal patio furniture, you need to rinse each metal furniture with vinegar and leave for about 10 minutes or more. Later wipe off along the dissolved rust using a scrubber and rag. You can also neutralize the acid with baking soda.
With this simple method, you can easily remove rust furniture pieces made of metals like cast and wrought iron, even stainless steel.
Method 3: Use Coca-Cola
Yes, you read that right. Your favorite cold drink can be used to remove stubborn rust stains from metal furniture. The carbonation properties of Coca-Cola make it perfect to dissolve metal oxide.
This makes it a good cleaning solution to do away with those stubborn rust stain on your patio furniture.
You just have to pour Coca-Cola on the rusted surface and then rub it clean with a soft cloth or sponge.
Just make sure to clean your hands thoroughly after the job is done to prevent staining your clothes with the drink.
Method 4: Use potato
Potatoes contain oxalic acid that can dissolve rust. It can be used to remove dirty brownish stains from metal.
You need to cut a potato in half and add some salt or dish soap to the surface and rub it on the rusty surface to initiate a chemical reaction that weakens rust.
Later you can clean it off with a piece of cloth. You can use this method if you have a pair of scissors or pliers with a little rust on them too.
Method 5: Use salt and lemon
Another homemade method to get rid of rust on metal surfaces is using lemon coupled with plenty of salt. Salt acts as an abrasive while citric acid in lemon creates a chemical reaction that helps remove even stubborn rust stains.
In this method, you can either squeeze a lemon in a bowl with some salt and apply the mixture on stained areas or use them separately one by one.
Finally, after a few hours, you can scrub it off to bring back the lost shine.
This method can be used to remove rust stains from clothes as well.
Method 6: Use aluminum foil
Everyone uses aluminum foil but only a few homeowners know that it can be used to clean rust from iron and stainless/chromed steel.
Aluminum reacts with the rust and creates a material that can be scrubbed off easily.
You need to create a mixture of salt and water or a cold drink. Now, dip aluminum foil ball in the solution and apply it on the rusted surface.
This helps loosen the rust residue which you can clean using a cloth later. You need to repeat the process a few times to regain the lustrous look.
The softer form and composition of aluminum make it perfect for removing rust from chrome.
Method 7: Use mild cleaning agent
Another simplest way to get rid of rust is to wipe the early stains and signs of wear before they become a threat. All you need is a cleaning agent and a rag.
Spray it directly or use a cloth to gently apply the agent on the rusted surface. Now clean the entire surface thoroughly.
The rust stains will start turning brownish-red and will slowly come off with continuous rubbing. Wipe off all wet areas with a dry clean cloth to remove every single particle of water. It’ll help keep your metal furniture rust-free.
These are some easy, homemade methods for removing rust from metal furniture. However, these tips can also be used to clean rust from garden tools or other metal surfaces that come in direct contact with water.
If you’ve got these simple ingredients at home, you never have to worry about a metal surface catching rust.
How to prevent furniture from rusting?
With the passage of time, rust automatically starts forming, ruining the appearance of garden furniture. However, there are certain preventive measures you can take to lower the speed of rust formation.
Protect from moisture: Cover your patio set when not in use to keep it dry. You could also store it inside, such as in a shed or your garage, if you have the space.
Dry off furniture: Regular maintenance keeps metal furniture away from the danger of rusting. Wipe every part of the furniture with a clean dry cloth regularly, especially in moist weather.
Use a rust-resistance paste wax: Apply a thin coat of paste wax, paint, grease or oil as a water repellent layer for rust- proofing.
Use coverings: Use coverings to protect from rain and direct sunlight.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q. Which is the most effective homemade rust cleaner?
A. White vinegar in combination with salt makes a powerful rust remover. It dissolves rust but needs time.
Q. How long does vinegar take to loosen rust?
A. Vinegar needs time to break down the rust and can take anywhere from one hour to one day, depending on the severity of rust.
Q. What to use for scrubbing rust off metal furniture?
A. You can use fine sandpapers ranging from 100- to 220-grit as per the amount of rust. Keep in mind that it can also can take off paint or the surface finish. Steel wool and brush can also be used to remove heavy rust.
Q. How to remove rust from painted metal furniture?
A. You can try both, vinegar or baking soda methods to remove rust from painted metal outdoor furniture. There are chances it will take off the paint when scrubbing the rust. Try a gentle hand over the painted surface.