After a particularly damp winter patio metal furniture can start showing signs of rust. Rust is a general term used for the oxidation of iron or metal. It is formed through a reaction of metal in the presence of water and air, mainly oxygen. Prolonged rust can cause permanent damage to wrought iron furniture and outdoor cast furniture, cause it to weaken and disintegrate.
Cleaning rust, or rather removing it is a daunting task to many, and not surprisingly since most people don't realise that rust is easy enough to remove with everyday household items that can usually be found around any kitchen. This includes everyday white vinegar, or lemons for smaller areas, or rubbing oils, wire wool and some time on your hands. Baking soda is another everyday household item you can use to remove rust.
Removing rust from wrought iron furniture is as easy as one, two, three.
First, put some rubbing oils, or plain white vinegar on the areas effected with rust. It is a good idea to concentrate on small areas at a time to remove the rust quicker and with better effectiveness. You may also use lemons and rub them at the area that is rusty. Lemons have the same effect as vinegar does. When using baking soda, make a paste of baking soda and water pasty enough to stick.
Second, leave the furniture for a few minutes soaking in the vinegar to allow the vinegar or the oil to loosen up the rust, as rust is not part of the metal itself, but a layer on top of it, leaving it for a few minutes will enable the rust to loosen from the metal and be easier to clean. When using baking soda leaving it for enough time to let it loosen the rust.
Third, use the wire wool to scrub the rusted area. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty, and you will definitely need some elbow grease to get the tough rust out of the furniture. The rust is going to give you a fight, but if you keep putting vinegar leaving it for a bit and then scrubbing you should be able to get all the rust out of your furniture. The vinegar loosens the rust, and the rubbing removes it. If the rust is really stubborn you may want to use sandpaper to really get it off.
Remember you can prevent rust from returning by keeping your patio metal furniture dry. It is a good idea to keep your metal furniture dry, however, it may not be possible if you live in an area of heavy humidity. In this case, attack the rust as it arises and it will be easier and quicker to get rid of rust and your furniture will last longer. Remember rust become harder to remove the longer it is left on the furniture and causes greater damage.