How to Clean and Restore Wrought Iron Outdoor Furniture and Bistro Set


If you are reading this, then the season has probably just started and you have decided to take your wrought iron patio furniture out, or it has come to an end and you have decided to clean and renew it before you put it away for the winter. Either way, you came to the right place. In this article, I am going to tell you just how you can do this yourself with spending as little as possible on it.

It is always smart to also check for any rust or other possible damage when you are cleaning your wrought iron patio furniture. This way you will be able to act upon it quickly and in this way prevent any further rust/damage. This is also the perfect way to extend your patio furniture’s life expectancy by a lot. Cracks and rust will weaken your table, chairs, etc. if you do not take action. Not only that but it will also look ugly and also eventually they might break because they got weaker over time.

So if you want your patio furniture to last as long as possible while also maintaining a good look, you most certainly want to clean it at the beginning and at the end of every season and also in between if you have to and/or if it gets dirty. After you got it cleaned it is time to check for damage and restore it if you have to.

So how do you do it? Don’t worry. It’s an easy process and I am sure that all of you reading this will be able to do it yourself. Well, first we have to make sure that your furniture set is clean. Ready? Let’s start!

What you will need to clean your wrought iron patio furniture:

-A bucket of warm water

Pressure washer (optional)

An outdoor all-purpose cleaner (for those of you that have a pressure washer)

-Liquid dishwashing detergent

-A sponge

Steel wool (the softer kind) 

How to clean wrought iron outdoor furniture?

Cleaning it is the easy part. It should not take you more than half an hour before you can put the cushions back on (if you have them) and start enjoying sitting in your backyard on a hot day with a cold drink in your hand. It is good to know though that every material requires different attention when it comes to cleaning it and therefore you should do a bit of research online first. Well, you came to the right place since we will cover all the important topics here.

Step 1: Get everything ready

First, fill your bucket with about a gallon of hot water and then mix it with about ¼ cup of dishwashing detergent. If your wrought iron outdoor chairs have any cushions on it, then you will have to remove them and clean them separately. If you leave them on, then the part under them will not get cleaned and you will not finish the job correctly. Remember to always do things the right way. If you have a power washer then you can just fill the cleaning liquid container with your cleaner and connect it to a water pipe and to the electricity (assuming that your pressure washer runs on it.

Step 2: Rinse your outdoor furniture

First, you will have to rinse it with just water. If you are using a pressure washer, then you will have to keep your distance! At least 2 feet between the tip of your pressure washer to your furniture! If you do not own one you can do this with a regular water hose. It is important that it is wet before you start cleaning it.

Step 3: Wash it

If you are doing this step by hand then you just dip your sponge into the bucket and start cleaning your furniture pieces. Make sure to reach all the spots and if there are any tougher stains you will have to pay more attention to them. If they still won’t go away you can use steel wool or a brush to rub them off. For those of you that do have a pressure washer, this step is pretty much the same as the last one. You still have to make sure to reach all the spots and if some of them just won’t come off you can help yourself with steel wool or a brush to rub them.

Step 4: Rinse again

You will have to get your hose and rinse the entire thing. You also want to make sure that your furniture remains wet until the end of this step. If it gets dry before you rinse it for the second time, then it will have spots on it and won’t be clean. So if it’s really sunny and warm outside it would be better to clean it in the shades or just to wait until the evening or the next morning.

Step 5: Leave it to dry

It is now time that you leave your wrought iron furniture to dry. This really shouldn’t take long since wrought iron doesn’t absorb water at all. It would take much longer if your furniture was made out of wood. In the meantime, you can just enjoy in the sun or you can start cleaning your outdoor patio cushions.

This is it for the cleaning part and if you have no damage to your furniture, then you should be good to go unless you also want to clean your cushions. Having clean cushions always makes it much nicer, so just for you, I have written the full procedure at the end of this article.

Whenever your outdoor furniture is clean, it is also the best time to check if it needs any further work done on it, like renewing or just repainting.

How to know if your wrought iron furniture needs renewing?

There are 3 indicators that your wrought iron furniture needs renewing. If you spot any of those 3, I highly recommend that you take action immediately and fix the problem right away. If you don’t it will only get worse with time. So which indicators am I talking about?


Rust is the biggest enemy of iron. If you see any rust you should remove it immediately before it is too late. It will only spread if you do not remove it and eventually weaken your furniture up to the point where it will break. For those of you that do not know how rust looks like, it is brown and kind of bubbly. We will talk about how to remove it later


Cracks are bad because they can only get bigger and eventually break your chair. Not only this but when there is a crack there is usually also rust. If there is none of it yet I assure you that it will come soon. So if your chairs or table have any rust on them it would be good to take them to a welder to fix the problem. You will also have to repaint later on.

-Paint that is peeling off

This is the easiest to repair but only if there is no rust on yet. Keep in mind that the paint is also protecting your iron furniture from rusting so once it is off there is no more protection. If that is the case for you, then you may skip the process of removing rust and just follow the first and the last step.

How to renew your wrought iron outdoor furniture?

Like I have said before, if it is just about peeled off paint or rust then you will be able to repair the damage yourself, but if you see any cracks then it is better to take the damaged piece to a welder and get him to do the job.

What you will need:

-A wire brush

-Sander or just sandpaper


-A bucket of water

-Paint (preferably the one that matches your furniture and is suitable for outdoors)

Step 1: Use your wire brush to get rid of any paint that is starting to peel off

Do not be afraid to use force when it comes to this. Keep in mind that you have to get all of the paint that is starting to peel off of the furniture piece. Once you got rid of it, it is time to brush the whole rusted area. Do not worry if you do not get all of the rust off, you will still have to sand the rusted spots later. It is completely natural that there will be rust coming off in a form of dust, so do not worry about that.

Step 2: Sand the rusted parts

If you own a sander then this step will be done much quicker, but if you don’t you will have to take more time to do a good job. Always start with sandpaper that is rough and next sand the rusted parts again but with softer sandpaper. Sand the part until there is no more rust on it (no more brown spots)

Step 3: Clean the parts that you have just sanded

Whenever you are sanding anything, you have to know that there will be some dust leftover. It is not a smart idea to paint something (anything really) that has dust on it, because you will not do a good job. So fill your bucket with water and clean the freshly sanded parts. You can use just water and a sponge. You don’t have to use any kind of cleaner for this step.

Step 4: Painting

It is best to use paint in a can because it is much easier to apply and will also look much nicer than if you would be using a regular paintbrush. You want to make sure that the color of the paint is matching your current paint if you are not planning to repaint the whole thing. Your paint should also be suitable for metal and for outdoor use. This is because they usually last much longer and don’t fade as easy and also already have a primer mixed in them (the thing that will protect the metal from rusting again).

Step 5: Leave it to dry

It is now time to leave your furniture and wait till it is dry. You can check if it is by putting your finger on. If it comes off clean then you are ready to go, but if it doesn’t then you should leave it a bit more. Keep in mind that this takes time. I usually leave my furniture to dry for at least 8 hours after I repaint it. If necessary you can apply a second layer.


If you want you can also clean your outdoor patio cushions. The process is really simple and will not take you nearly as much time as renewing your furniture. You can clean your patio cushions either by hand or with a pressure washer but again you have to keep your distance! So how do you do it?

How to clean outdoor patio cushions:

What you will need:

-Pressure washer (optional)

-An all-purpose outdoor cleaner (if you are using a power washer)

-A Bucket of warm water

-Dishwashing liquid

-A soft brush

Step 1: Rinse your cushions

It is important to get the cushions wet first. If you are using a pressure washer you have to keep your distance not to damage the fabric, but for those of you that do not own one, you can do this step using a water hose. Make sure that it is set on spraying

Step 2: Get your cleaner ready

If you are using a pressure washer you just have to make sure that it has a cleaner container and fill it up, and for those of you that are doing it by hand you need to mix ¼ cup of dishwashing liquid with 1 gallon of water and you are ready to go.

Step 3: Clean your cushions with the cleaner

If you are using a soft brush make sure that you get all the spots and pay more attention to tougher stains. What worked best for me was brushing in a circular motion. If your pressure washer didn’t get the stains out, you also might want to use a brush and scrub the remaining stains.

Step 4: Rinse your cushions again to clean off all the foam

Again you can do this with either just a water hose or with your pressure washer, but make sure that your cushions are still wet before this step is over. If they get dry before, they might end up with stains from your cleaner.

Step 5: Apply pressure to your cushions and leave them to dry

This goes especially for those of you that have thicker cushions because they can retain a lot of water. If you do not push down on them, pressuring the excess water out, it might lead to mildew. After you did this you can just leave them to dry.


Every now and then you should clean your bistro set and/or outdoor furniture and renew it if you spot any damage on it. There are 3 kinds of damage; rust, peeled off paint and cracks. You can repair peeled off paint and rust yourself, while cracks are more serious and should be repaired by a welder. It is always smart to clean the cushions too while you are renewing and/or cleaning your outdoor furniture. You do want to make it look really good, don’t you?

And that is it, guys. You have done it. Now all you have to do is put the cushions back on the chairs and invite your friends over to enjoy your renewed and freshly cleaned iron bistro set or outdoor furniture! If you have any further questions please leave a comment down below. 

Thanks for reading and have a nice day!



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