How to Clean and Maintain Outdoor Metal Furniture
Metal furniture is hearty, but, like other outdoor furniture, needs proper maintenance and care. Most metal furniture usually has a protective finish. So, essentially, you’re simply washing a hard-wearing, synthetic top-coat, and all you need is to wash it with a cloth that’s been dipped in and wrung out from a soapy washing-up liquid solution.
Problems start only when this coating begins to wear away, which should be a good few years according to the quality of the furniture. However, strong acids – in particular bird droppings – can eat through weak spots in the finish. So make a point of getting these off with a cleaning wipe whenever you spot them. If the coating has worn away, paint over it again, with a clear metal varnish.
Cast or wrought iron is mostly used for gates and rails, though you may come across benches made from this. Because water causes iron to rust, outdoor furniture is always painted with either an outdoor paint or a clear protective varnish.
At the start and end of summer, check the condition of the varnish carefully. If the coating has a bubbled appearance or rust damage is evident, get out sandpaper and sand the area carefully before re-applying paint or varnish. Then, regularly through the season, simply wipe down with a cloth wrung from a soapy solution of washing-up liquid and dry very thoroughly.