How to clean cast iron outdoor furniture

Cast iron outdoor furniture is durable and has a classic look to add to your patio or deck. Proper cleaning and care keeps your cast iron furniture in good condition while improper care can cause the finish to chip and unfinished iron to rust. Simple procedures carried out regularly will prevent the need for time-consuming cleaning.

Brush loose dirt and stains off the surface of your cast iron furniture. Use a dry brush on dry furniture. Start at the top of each piece of iron furniture and brush your way down towards the bottom.

Dip a steel wool pad in a bucket full of hot water. Squeeze out the excess water and scrub the surface of your cast iron furniture with the steel wool pad. Steel wool safely removes rust and other stubborn stains without damaging your iron furniture.

Dampen a clean cloth with tap water. Wring out excess moisture then wipe down your furniture to rinse it off. Rinse the cleaning cloth, as needed, to remove dirt picked up during the rinsing process.

Dry your iron furniture with old towels. Place the furniture in the sun or in an area where it will dry quickly.


Painted cast iron furniture is less likely to rust. Touch up paint each year, as needed.

Cover unfinished iron furniture with protective plastic covers to keep them from becoming wet and rusty.


Clean rust stains off cast iron furniture promptly so the rust doesn't transfer to other surfaces.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrubbing brush
  • Fine steel wool pads
  • Bucket
  • Clean cloths
  • Towels
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.