How to Clean Wrought Iron Patio Furniture

Hanamint Tuscany Dining calst aluminum

While prized for its durability and heftiness, wrought iron can be an extremely high maintenance material for outdoor patio furniture. Still, you can see it formed into tables, chairs, loungers, and benches. You’ll even see it used in the construction of railings, doors, and gates.

Why Buy Wrought Iron Patio Furniture?

Thanks to its substantial weight, wrought iron patio furniture is typically utilized in very windy locations. Another advantage of wrought iron is its low carbon content. This makes it very malleable and easy to shape, allowing welders to craft it into intricate, decorative pieces. 

Does Wrought Iron Patio Furniture Require Maintenace?

Yes. In order to prevent rust and corrosion, wrought iron requires substantially more maintenance than other patio furniture materials. In addition to periodically wiping it with diluted dish soap, wrought iron may need to be repainted from time to time as the surface can chip. 

The texture of wrought iron can be somewhat rough, causing it to collect dust and grime more quickly than some other materials. This can often be easily removed with a quick dusting or vacuuming. 

Wrought Iron Cleaning Supplies

You may need to use some or all of the following supplies to clean and maintain your wrought iron furniture and accent pieces:

  • Vacuum cleaner with attachment brush
  • Medium Bucket
  • Mild dish soap
  • Cleaning rag
  • Small nylon detail brush
  • Pressure sprayer or garden hose (optional)
  • Paint scraper
  • Sandpaper
  • Dust mask
  • Eye protection
  • Drill with wire brushes and sanding discs
  • Touch-up paint

Wrought Iron Cleaning Tips

The general cleaning routine for wrought iron furniture is essentially the same for cleaning any household surface. 

  1. Start by removing any excess gust and grime. The easiest way to do so is with the brush attachment on your vacuum. You could also use a duster. 
  2. In a medium bucket, combine warm water and dish soap. Using a cleaning rag, wipe down all surfaces. A small, nylon brush (like a toothbrush or scrub brush) can be used to soap and scrub the fine crevices. 
  3. Thoroughly wash the soapy water off your furniture. This is particularly easy if you are cleaning your patio furniture outside, as it can be accomplished with a standard garden hose. 
  4. To further prevent rest, wipe down your wrought iron furniture with a clean, dry rag. Then, leave it in a warm, dry place to finish drying thoroughly. 

What if Your Wrought Iron Needs a Paint Touch-Up?

From time to time, your wrought iron patio furniture may chip or rust in spots. This is more common if it’s left to withstand the elements in extreme hot and cold environments. In times such as this, it’s a good idea to touch up the paint to avoid further damage. 

  1. Use a paint scraper to remove any loose paint, making sure to sweep up and discard any paint chips. 
  2. Use a drill outfitted with a wire brush to remove any peeling paint from small crevices. Beware, this can be a messy job. You should always wear eye protection and a dust mask when performing it, to protect yourself. 
  3. Once the loose paint is removed, remove any remaining rust on exposed surfaces with sandpaper.
  4. Thoroughly clean the entire piece of wrought iron furniture with soap and water. Then rinse with clean water and allow to dry thoroughly. 
  5. As soon as the furniture has dried, apply the paint. Any iron left exposed can quickly develop more rust.
  6. For best results, start with a rust-proof primer on all bare metal. Follow the primer with at least two coats of durable enamel paint. Applying several light coats will provide the best, long-term results. 

Top Wrought Iron Patio Furniture Alternatives

Cast aluminum is our preferred alternative to wrought iron. It offers the same elegant look and similar weight, without the abundance of maintenance. No sanding. No painting. Just a quick soapy bath every now and again is all it takes to keep cast aluminum looking as good as the day you brought it home. 

Shop Our Cast Aluminum Selection