What to clean Iron and Metal Patio Furniture with?


Cleaning Patio furniture can be tricky. Every material requires different care, and some chemicals that are great to clean one can be really damaging to the other. So in order for you to know how to make your metal patio furniture look as good as new without doing any damage whatsoever on it, I’ve created this article to tell you what you should do in order to achieve that. Keep in mind that metal furniture can rust, so I will also tell just how to remove it if your furniture already has it and/or prevent it from happening in the future.

What to clean iron and metal furniture with?

Just like most manufacturers suggest, I too agree that it is best to clean your metal and/or iron patio furniture with a mixture of warm water and dishwashing detergent. If your furniture has also some wooden parts it is also okay to clean them with the same mixture. 

How to clean iron and metal Furniture?

If your furniture got dirty during the winter, you most certainly want to clean it before the season starts. If you did not store your iron/metal furniture correctly, you might have ended up with also getting rust on it. If that is the case for you, I highly recommend that you remove any rust that your furniture has.

I will also talk about how to prevent rust from happening in the first place later on but right now it is time to make your furniture clean again. So put on your gloves and get ready to do some spring cleaning.

There are two ways of cleaning patio metal furniture. The first and easiest method is doing it with a pressure washer and the second one is doing it the old fashioned way-by hand with warm water mixed with dishwasher detergent.

Washing your patio furniture by hand:

Thingy you will need:

-A large (about 3 gallon) sized container, bucket

– Warm water

– Dishwashing detergent

-Scrub brush

Step 1: Get a container and fill it with water and dishwashing detergent.

First of all, you will need a container. I always use the same bucket to do this. Drop a little bit of dishwashing detergent inside and mix it up until foam appears on the top of the water. Also, make sure that your water is warm. If you have ever done any cleaning whatsoever you will know that cold water is not as efficient as warm water when it comes to cleaning.

If your furniture has any nonmetal/iron parts such as cushions, you should remove them before you start cleaning it. Cushions can be cleaned in other ways, which we will talk about later on.

Step 2:  Dip your scrub brush into detergent-mixed water and start cleaning

Scrub the surface of your furniture with your scrub and make sure that you get all the spots. Even the ones that are harder to reach. Also, make sure that your scrub brush doesn’t get dry. Use as much detergent-mixed water as you can.

Step 3: Time to rinse your furniture and allow it to dry

You are probably cleaning your patio furniture as a part of your spring cleaning so the best time to do it is on a warm sunny day. Because of the bright sunlight, you should be able to see any damage that your furniture might have and with that information, determine what your next step should be.

Now that you are done with cleaning the metal parts you might want to clean the cushions as well, or if they are already clean you can look for any rust spots that your table or chairs might have.

Washing your iron/metal patio furniture

How to clean patio furniture cushions?

There are two ways to clean patio furniture cushions. You can do it either with a pressure washer or without if you do not own one. If you want to clean your cushions with a pressure washer, you have to make sure that it has a container for a cleaner. You will have to use a cleaner that is suitable for outdoors and for fabrics so you don’t do any damage.

For those of you that have removable covers like myself, the easiest method of cleaning is simply by putting the covers into a washing machine and dry them off later. You can tell if you have removable covers, by checking for either buttons or a zipper.

So how do you do it?

Cleaning your cushions with a pressure washer

Step 1: Get your pressure washer ready

Get your cleaner and pour it into the cleaner container of your pressure washer. You have to make sure that you use an outdoor cleaner that is not toxic, because if it is, then it can easily ruin your plants. Also, you do want to make sure that your pressure washer has a soap tip on it. You might also want to have a soft brush nearby, just in case there are some stains that won’t come off as easily. Make sure that your pressure washer is connected to a power source and to electricity if it runs on it.

Step 2: Wash your cushions with just water

First, you will have to clean them with just water without any other chemical cleaner. Keep your distance! Whenever you are using a pressure washer, the tip of it should be at least 2-3 feet away from the cushions. If you wash your cushions with a pressure washer from a range that is less than that, you might do some damage to them.

Step 3: Wash your cushions with the cleaner

When your cushions are already wet it is time to wash them with your cleaner. By this step, you should also make sure that you are keeping your distance from the cushions. You have to leave the cleaner on for at least 5 minutes before you wash it off with water.  Make sure that your cushions do not get dry at this time. If they do you will have to apply another layer of cleaner to them.

Step 4: Rub the remaining spots with a soft brush

If you had any spots that won’t come off as easily, like spilled drinks or dropped food, you can use a soft brush and rub the stains off in a circular motion.

Step 5: Rinse your cushions

Once you have cleaned all of your dirty spots it is now time to clean off the chemical cleaner that you have used with water. Make sure you get all of it off and remember to keep your distance from the cushions. At least 2 feet away!

Step 6: Dry your cushions

I highly recommend that you push down on them first to get all of the excess water out of them. If you have thicker cushions you definitely have to do that, otherwise, they might mildew. After you do this you can just leave them out in the sun, allowing them to dry off completely before you use them again.

For those of you that do not own a pressure washer, do not worry. You can also do this by hand.

How to clean your patio cushions by hand?

Do not worry, the process is really easy and should not take that much time.

Step 1: Brush them and try to remove the stains that are the most visible.

Use a soft brush to first brush of all the dust and any hair that your cushions might have. If you see any stains that really stand out, like spots from spilled drinks or dropped food, then you should get a fabric cleaner, spray it on the dirty spot and try to brush it of.

Step 2: Wash them whole

Mix ¼ cup of dishwashing liquid with about a gallon of water and use your brush to clean the whole surface of your cushions. Whenever I’ve tried this, what worked for me best was brushing in circle motions.

Step 3: Rinse your cushions.

Use a water hose to rinse your cushions and make sure that there is no foam left on them. If you do not have a water hose nearby, then you can just pour water on them with a bucket.

Step 4: Dry your cushions

If you have thicker cushions it would be smart to press them, to get all the excess water out of them. After that, you can just leave them in a sunny place so they get totally dry.

Step 5: Spray some fabric guard on your outdoor cushions (Optional)

 If you want you can protect your cushions and make them last even longer with a layer of fabric guard. Make sure to apply it only after your cushions are already dry. If you want you can only apply it to the parts of the cushion that is going to be exposed (the sitting part).


You should clean your patio furniture with a gallon of water mixed with dishwashing detergent and scrub it with a soft brush. Using a metal brush will damage your furniture. You might also want to clean your cushions if you have any, for which you can use your hands or a pressure washer. If you go with the second choice, then you will want to keep your distance. At least 2 feet from the tip of your pressure washer to the cushions. The same goes for a lot of other things that you might wash with it, like cars, bikes, lawnmowers, etc.

Thank you for reading and if you have any thoughts on this article, feel free to leave a comment. Have a nice day!


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