Tips for Removing Rust From Outdoor Metal Furniture

You’ve been putting off those outdoor chairs for a while now. You know they need to be cleaned, but you just can’t find the time to do it. Well, you can put that time off no longer. Those chairs are starting to rust and look pretty shabby. If you don’t get them cleaned soon, they will be ruined before the summer has even begun. Here are some tips for removing rust from outdoor metal furniture.

Don’t let that happen! Read on for our tips for removing rust from outdoor metal furniture. 

Gently Scrape the Rust Away

Use a wire brush and start with the rustiest piece of furniture first. If you have rusted metal garden furniture, gently scrape away as much rust as possible using a wire brush. Then look at the options you have for preparing the metal, so it is ready for painting or staining. The next step would be to use sandpaper to refine the surface further to create a key for the paint or stain. Finally, wipe down with a clean cloth and apply a primer coat of paint or lacquer. If you are using oil-based products, make sure they are compatible with whatever topcoats you choose.

Baking soda 

Use baking soda to get rid of rust from your furniture. It’s easy to do. 

First, mix three parts baking soda with one part water. Then use an old toothbrush to apply the mixture directly onto the rust stain or problem area. Let this sit overnight, and in the morning, spray off any residue with a hose. You may need several applications before you are completely satisfied with your results.

Iron Out the Problem

You can buy a rust remover like Iron Out at your local hardware store and use it to remove rust from outdoor metal furniture. Just follow the directions on the label, and you should be able to make your garden furniture look new again in no time! Make sure to test Iron Out in an inconspicuous area before applying it to the whole chair, just in case.

You may need several applications of this product, but it should do the trick eventually.

Concrete Acid 

The rust from metal furniture can be removed with concrete acid as well. Just read the label to determine how much acid you will need and how to apply it safely, so you don’t damage your furniture or yourself! Use soap and water to rinse the acid thoroughly and then dry with a clean cloth. Let sit for a few minutes and then rinse off with water.


Cola is a very effective cleaner, and if you have some old rusted garden furniture, then coke might just do the trick. You can pour the coke directly onto the rust, or you can put your piece of furniture in a garbage bag with it. Leave overnight and then rinse with hot water. The acidity of the coke will break down the rust, so you should see some significant improvement.

Make sure you use regular Coca-Cola in this one. Diet or caffeine-free drinks won’t work because they don’t have the same types of acids that will remove rust from metal furniture.

White Vinegar 

Try using white vinegar. Vinegar is an excellent acid that will help to remove the rust from your metal garden furniture. You can use this method on a small or large section, and basically, all you need to do is apply the vinegar directly onto the rust with an old toothbrush. Let it sit for 15 minutes and rinse off. Follow up with soap and water to altogether remove the acid from the metal garden furniture, then dry thoroughly before using it again. 

Citric Acid 

Another acid that can remove rust from your garden furniture is citric acid. This will likely be found in the baking goods section of your grocery store and can be applied with a toothbrush, just like vinegar. It also needs to sit for about 15 minutes before you rinse it away, so make sure to check the label for further instructions. For citric acid, you may need to repeat several times to eliminate all of the rust.


You might even be able to remove rust with WD-40. The WD-40 will get deep down to the rust and help to dissolve it without damaging your furniture. Spray it on your piece of furniture and let it sit overnight (or longer if needed).

In all of these cases, you should be safe if you do a spot check on an inconspicuous area before going ahead with the whole piece of furniture, just in case! Make sure everything has dried completely before using the metal garden furniture again.


One of the cheapest and safest ways to remove rust from your garden furniture is with a potato. All you need is a regular white potato, peel it and then cut it in half. Rub the inside of the vegetable back and forth on your rusted outdoor furniture until all of the rust has been removed. This might take some time, but you should see some improvement with each stroke. When you are finished, just wipe down the furniture with a cloth to remove any excess vegetable matter and then dry it well before using your garden furniture again.


You can even use chalk to remove rust from outdoor metal furniture. Just rub some of the chalk onto the rusted area like you would with a piece of chalk at school. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe off with a cloth. This method will take some time, but the rust should be gone when you have finished wiping. You can even try using white or blackboard chalk to save yourself from buying something else in the store!

Cream Of Tartar

Cream of tartar is another acid that you can use to remove rust from outdoor metal furniture. First, mix it with lemon juice and brush it onto the rusted area with a toothbrush. Let it sit for 15 minutes but check the instructions on the cream of tartar before you start so you know how long to leave it on. Just rinse with clean water once the time is up and then dry. You can follow this up with a light coat of oil to protect your garden furniture from future rusting.

Salt and lemon juice

Mix salt and lemon juice into a paste that can be applied directly onto the rust with an old toothbrush. Rinse off carefully to not damage your metal garden furniture, and then dry thoroughly before using it again. This is another method where you will need to leave it on for about 15 minutes but may have to repeat several times before all of the rust has been removed.

Vinegar and Salt Solution

Another way that you might be able to remove rust from outdoor metal furniture is with a vinegar and salt solution. In a small bowl, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water along with a couple of tablespoons of table salt. Apply the mixture to your rusted garden furniture and let sit for about 15 minutes. Rinse off carefully, dry thoroughly, and then oil your garden furniture to protect it from future rusting.

Denture Cleaner 

A final method of removing rust from any metal garden furniture is with a denture-cleaning tablet. Just dissolve the tablet in water and use an old toothbrush or paintbrush to brush the solution onto your rusted garden furniture. Leave for 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Once again, dry completely before using your garden furniture.

Ensure to oil your outdoor metal furniture after doing this to prevent future rusting.

Aluminum Foil

If you are lucky enough to have some aluminum garden furniture, then chances are it is made of anodized aluminum resistant to rust. If this is the case, you can use foil to remove rust from outdoor metal furniture. Just wrap up your rusted piece and leave overnight. It should come up clean and shiny the next day, along with any rust flaking off. You can then oil your furniture before reusing it.

How to prevent rust from forming

Getting rid of rust is relatively easy and is a great way to restore rusty garden furniture and outdoor metal objects. If you want to prevent rust from forming, though, there are a few simple things that you can do:

  • Oil your garden furniture after cleaning it – Many people use WD40 or similar products to oil their outdoor metal furniture, and this is fine as long as the product has no harsh chemicals. However, you may not need to use a specific rust-prevention product as many household oils will do the trick just fine.
  • When cutting through any metal objects – If you are using a hacksaw or other metal cutting tool, make sure that you clean off all of the oil and dirt from your devices before putting them away to prevent rust from forming.
  • Put a cover over any metal objects – This is another simple method of keeping your garden furniture rust-free. If you have some old patio umbrellas or even some tarpaulin, just cut it so that it can cover your garden furniture and leave it in place whenever possible.
  • Try to keep your garden furniture out of the rain when it is not used. This may be difficult in some areas, but if you can’t avoid leaving your outdoor metal furniture out in the open when there is a chance of rain, then make sure that everything gets cleaned and oiled as soon as possible.
  • Use rust-resistance wax for your furniture – This is a unique blend of waxes and ingredients that will help to prevent rust from forming on your outdoor metal furniture.

If you take this advice and follow these tips throughout the year, you should find that rust is no longer a problem for your garden furniture. Using the methods we have discussed, removing rust from outdoor metal furniture will be simple.

Also See: Backyard DIY Ideas | Deck Painting Ideas


If you want to keep your garden furniture rust-free, you can do a few simple things. You should oil your metal after cleaning it or cutting through it with any tool and make sure not to leave anything out in the rain when possible. To prevent future rusting on outdoor metal objects, use some wax specially designed for this purpose while keeping everything dry whenever possible.

See also: Choosing the Best Paint for a Steel Door | How to Remove Rust from Outdoor Furniture?


What is the fastest way to remove rust from metal?

The quickest way to remove rust from metal is by using a Dremel tool. This is a rotary tool that spins its wheel at relatively high speeds. This kind of power tool can grind away rust in just minutes, and you can find different attachments for them to suit whatever size metal object you want to work on.

If you don’t have access to a Dremel or another rotary tool, then using steel wool or wire wool will also do the trick. Just start with a course grade of steel wool and work your way up to finer grades to get rid of any rust flaking off. Wire wool is even more effective, but it can be difficult to use without scratching or wearing away metal that you are trying to protect.

What is the best method for removing rust from metal?

Vinegar should only be used on mild steel and cast iron. Remember not to use vinegar on galvanized steel as this will produce toxic fumes. If possible, try to remove rust from metal by cutting it away and then rubbing or brushing off any flakes that fall. This may just be the safest and most effective way of removing rust from metal objects. 

What is the best way to prevent rust?

The best way to prevent rust from forming on metal objects, especially garden furniture, is to oil them after cleaning. Oil everything, including hinges and screws, so that rust will not start. If you oil anything that has any kind of metal in it, then rust will not form as long as the object stays dry. If there is any metal you cannot get to, you can use a rust-resistant wax or rust inhibitor spray instead to keep everything safe.

What products can be used to remove rust from metal?

You will find several different cleaning agents and rust inhibitors in the home improvement section of your local department store. Products such as WD-40 are popular for removing rust from metal objects. They contain rust-resistant and lubricating oil and can dissolve rust on garden furniture. You can also use special rust inhibitors explicitly made to protect outdoor metal furniture or garden tools.

See Also: Monthly Maintenance Tips for house | Buy Cheap Furniture | Tips for Packing Outdoor Items

Written by

Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.