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How to clean metal furniture and prevent it from rusting

balcony metal furniture
(Interior design by Terre)

Metal furniture can be difficult to maintain as the material is affected by both air and moisture. Here's our guide to cleaning various metals and how you can prevent them from rusting:

ALUMINIUM
+ Aluminium doesn’t rust, but it can discolour and develop a rough surface through oxidisation.
+ Is the surface is mildly discoloured? Wash with a mixture of soap, water and lemon juice. The acidity of the lemon juice will help keep your aluminium shiny.
+ Is the surface is a bit rough? Polish it with a steel-wool pot cleaner soaked in soapy water.

COPPER
+ If your copper surface has tarnished and looks dull, apply acidic liquids such like vinegar or lemon.
+ To remove grime, rub a mixture of salt and vinegar on the surface.z
+ Remember to rinse with water and then polish the surface with a soft, dry cloth.

CAST IRON
+ Furniture made from cast iron is extremely durable, but will rust easily if the protective surface is broken.
+Use sandpaper to remove small rust spots or a rust remover from hardware stores.
+ Then, seal the surface with paint, a rust protector or a sealant.
+ Cover outdoors cast-iron furniture pieces with a plastic cover to protect them from rain.

STAINLESS STEEL
+ The easiest metal to care for, stainless steel requires you to wipe its surface with only a damp cloth and a touch of detergent.
+ Need to touch up a small area? Use nail polish of the same colour on the spot. But if it’s noticeable, scrape away the paint, sand it down and apply a metal primer followed by your colour of choice.


TIP! Prevent rusting of your metal furniture or parts by giving them a coat of car paste wax. It’ll provide a barrier between the metal and the air’s moisture.

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