Garden Advice

How to Remove Rust from Metal Furniture

Metal furniture can bring a pleasant look to your garden. Many have chosen ornate wrought iron chairs and tables to decorate their green space. As convenient, beautiful and durable as metal furniture can be, however, it requires some maintenance to keep it looking its best.

British weather can be one of the biggest enemies of metal garden furniture. Air humidity and rain create the perfect conditions for rust to form. This can severely impact the durability and appearance of your furnishings. So, how do you get rid of rust and can you prevent rusting in the first place?

Table of Contents:

If you have ever:

  • Found that your metal outdoor furniture has started rusting;
  • Wanted to know how to get rid of rust and rust stains,

Then this post is for you!

How to remove rust stains

Sometimes what you see on your garden furniture is simply a rust stain. These are far easier to remove than heavy rust and usually don’t require more than a simple scrub. However, if you want to make dealing with them even easier, there are several household products you can use.

Here is how to remove surface rust:

Cleaning spray

This method works on lighter rust stains and requires only some spray detergent.

  1. Spray
    Evenly spray the affected area with the detergent.
  2. Wipe
    Scrub the stains off with a clean cloth or a sponge.
  3. Repeat
    If there is still some rust visible, repeat the process until it all comes off.
  4. Dry
    Thoroughly wipe the metal furniture with a dry cloth. Make sure you remove every drop of moisture from the surface to prevent the rust from returning.

Baking soda

Baking soda is an all-around great cleaning agent that you probably have in your house. It works wonders when it comes to cleaning the kitchen, ovens and stovetops. Unsurprisingly, it’s also effective in the battle against rust stains.

  1. Prepare a cleaning solution
    Mix the baking soda with water to form a thick paste. For more stubborn stains, you can use hydrogen peroxide instead of water.
  2. Cover the rusty area
    Apply the mixture to the affected spots with a clean cloth, spreading it evenly.
  3. Let it sit
    Leave the paste on the surface for about an hour.
  4. Wipe off
    Scrub the area using a cloth or sponge until all the rust comes off.

White vinegar

Just like baking soda, white vinegar can be used to clean almost anything around your home, from washing machines to windows. Removing rust with vinegar is easy and effective, too.

  1. Add salt
    Add a pinch of salt to a cup of white vinegar and stir well.
  2. Apply to the surface
    Apply the mixture to the rusted area. For easier application, you can put the solution in a spray bottle and spray it directly onto the surface.
  3. Let it sit
    Leave the mixture on for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Scrub
    Wipe the rust stains away using a clean cloth. For more stubborn stains, you can use something abrasive, such as a rough sponge or scouring pad.
  5. Repeat
    Keep spraying and scrubbing until all the rust stains come off.
  6. Dry
    Thoroughly dry the surface to remove any excess moisture.


Yes, that’s right. A can of coke can be just as effective, if not more, when removing rust from metal.

  1. Rinse
    Apply cola to the rusted area.
  2. Wipe
    Scrub the rust stains off, using an abrasive sponge or scouring pad, or a cloth, depending on how heavily stained the furniture is.
  3. Repeat
    Keep wiping away the rust until it is completely gone.
  4. Dry
    Dry the surface completely with a clean, dry cloth.

Salt and lemon

For this method, you can use either lemon or lime, both are equally effective. The salt acts as an abrasive, while the acidic lemon juice will eat away at the rust.

  1. Prepare a cleaning solution
    Squeeze a lemon or lime and mix the juice with plenty of salt.
  2. Spread
    Evenly spread the mixture on the affected area, using a cloth.
  3. Let it sit
    Let the solution work its magic for a couple of hours.
  4. Wipe
    Scrub away the rust with an abrasive sponge or a cloth.
  5. Dry
    Wipe any moisture off the surface with a dry cloth.
You may also like:
Cleaning Guides
Erase Rust Stains: Your Quick Guide to Pristine Carpets

Aluminium foil

This method works wonders when removing rust from chrome and stainless steel. It may require a bit more elbow grease, but it’s sure to solve your problem.

Time needed: 15 minutes.

  1. Prepare aluminium foil

    Crumple up some aluminium foil in your hand.

  2. Dip in cleaning solution

    You can use just aluminium foil, but if you want to increase its rust removal power, dip the foil in a mix of water and salt, some white vinegar, or cola.

  3. Scrub

    Using the foil, wipe away the rusted area, occasionally removing the rust flakes with a clean cloth.

  4. Repeat

    Keep scrubbing until all the rust comes off.

  5. Dry

    Wipe any moisture off the surface with a dry cloth.

How to get heavy rust off metal

If what you’re dealing with is not simply a stain, but the rust has penetrated deeper into the metal, you may need to use some heavy-duty rust removal methods. You can opt for the manual way, sanding and grinding it off, or you can choose commercial chemicals.

When using rust-removing chemicals, keep this in mind:

  • Follow the instructions on the label exactly.
  • Always wear protective gear, such as gloves and a face mask.
  • Opt for gel products when dealing with rust on larger objects that can’t be soaked in a liquid solution.

How to prevent rusting

Naturally, the best way to deal with rust is to prevent it from appearing in the first place. If you take proper care of your metal garden furniture, you can halt or significantly slow down the rusting process. So, here is how to prevent rusting:

  • Protect your garden furniture from the weather.
    This is important, especially during moist winters. Keep your patio furniture in a sheltered spot or use protective coverings.
  • Keep your furnishings in good shape.
    Regular maintenance, cleaning, wiping away moisture, and touch-ups of scratches can help prevent rust on metal.
  • Wax the surface.
    A coat of wax or oil can protect your metal objects from moisture.
  • Paint the furniture.
    Use high-quality, water-resistant paint for an extra layer of protection.

Want your garden to look its best?

If you want your patio furniture to be in top shape, you might be thinking the same about the rest of your garden. Maintaining a beautiful, clean and fresh yard can be time-consuming, however, and not all of us look forward to hours of hard work.

Well, Fantastic Services has the solution! The garden maintenance experts can make sure your green space looks neat and lush, and you won’t have to lift a finger. From weeding to lawn mowing, to hedge trimming, we can do it all.

Need a gardener?

Find a professional to take care of your garden today!

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  • Removing rust stains is far easier than dealing with heavy rusting.
  • You can remove rust stains using household items.
  • Aluminium foil works great when removing rust from chrome.
  • For deeper, heavier rust, you may need to use commercial rust removal chemicals.
  • Prevention is key when dealing with rust on metal.


Did you find this post useful? Have you ever dealt with rusty patio furniture? Let us know in the comments below!

Image source: shutterstock / Iuliia Khabibullina

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