Metal is a frequently used material when it comes to patio furniture. Of all the varieties, aluminum is by far one of the most popular choices because it is lightweight, durable, and has minimal maintenance requirements.
It is also the common belief that aluminum furniture does not tarnish or corrode, but this is not always necessarily true. While not as reactive as iron, it is possible for aluminum to corrode over time. This is why you need to learn how to clean oxidized aluminum patio furniture if you go for this material.
How to Clean Oxidized Aluminum Patio Furniture Using Regular Household Items
If you notice that your formerly flawless patio chairs and tables are slowly turning into noticeably oxidized aluminum patio furniture, don’t panic. Most early traces of oxidation can easily be eliminated with the use of ordinary household products. Here are some proven solutions that you can try.Baking Soda
Give your oxidized aluminum patio furniture a rinse with plain water, then dust the affected area with a layer of baking soda while still wet. After an hour, use a steel wool or a metal brush to scrub the surface. Rinse thoroughly and let it dry completely.Vinegar
Apply vinegar generously all over your oxidized aluminum patio furniture, soaking them if possible. Leave it overnight and the next morning, scrape the surface with a metal brush or steel wool. This should eliminate the marks of oxidation on the furniture.Salt and Lemon
If there are just small and isolated areas of oxidation on your furniture, you can dust the area with salt and then squeeze lemon juice all over it. Let it stand for about two hours then scrub it off with steel wool or metal brush. Rinse with water and dry completely with a dry rag.
Tips on How to Clean Aluminum Patio Furniture to Prevent Oxidation
The methods we described above have been used for decades by homeowners to remove traces of oxidation on aluminum furniture. But wouldn’t it be better if your furniture did not get corroded in the first place? Here are some tips on how to clean your aluminum patio furniture properly to minimize the risk of oxidation.Use a Soft Sponge
A lot of people assume that being metal, aluminum furniture requires highly abrasive brushes and scrubs for cleaning. This is not the case at all. What these rough cleaners do is to leave nasty scruff marks on your furniture.Avoid Alkaline Cleaners
There are many kinds of furniture cleaning solutions that contain trisodium phosphate/TSP or ammonia. You should avoid these products at all costs because they are among the primary culprits that cause oxidation.
Other Preventive Measures to Protect Aluminum Patio Furniture from Oxidation
One of the most effective ways to protect your furniture from oxidation is to limit its exposure to outdoor elements as much as possible. Obviously, this is not very easy to do with patio furniture, as they are meant to stay outdoors almost all the time. Here are some effective methods you can try.Patio Roof
You can install a patio roof, which will offer protection against rain and snow. But then, those are not the only factors that can cause oxidation in outdoor furniture. It can also be caused by high humidity in the atmosphere or your proximity to the sea, and so on.Painting
You can minimize the risk of corrosion or other forms of oxidation on your aluminum furniture by creating a barrier to keep oxygen from interacting with the metal. The easiest way to do this is to simply paint your furniture or to have it powder coated. Paint will not give permanent protection but it can last several years before it will start to chip off, signaling the need to repaint.Protective Coating
Another effective but slightly more expensive method is to coat your furniture with some kind of protective coating like a repellant or sealant. A lot of furniture repair and maintenance companies even apply wax to keep oxygen from coming into contact with the metal surface.
There are plenty of advantages to using aluminum patio furniture. The risk of oxidation should not dissuade you from going for this practical option. Just make sure that you know how to clean oxidized aluminum patio furniture so that you can keep your pieces in their best shape for as long as possible.