How to Remove Rust Stains from Patio Furniture


Wanda asked: How do I clean water/rust stains off of nylon mesh patio chairs?

Patio furniture and outdoor living spaces have grown in popularity over the years. There is a wide variety of beautiful furniture to place on your deck or patio. While this furniture starts out spotless, the elements of the outdoors quickly leave their mark. The most common problem is areas of rust and stains from water. These can all be removed with a mild acid that most of us have right in our homes.

You Will Need:

  • Mild acid/abrasive such as:
    • Vinegar
    • Lemon juice
    • Baking soda
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Water
  • Mild soap

Steps to Remove the Rust Stains:

  1. Begin by choosing one of the cleaners above, any that you have on hand will work.
  2. Wipe the furniture down with a cloth moistened with water to remove any surface dirt.
  3. Next, moisten a cloth with the chosen cleaner and apply it to the rust stains.
  4. Allow it to set on the stain for a couple of minutes.
  5. Rinse with clean water and a clean cloth.
  6. If necessary, wash the area with water/mild soap mixture to remove any residue from the cleaners.
  7. Repeat as necessary until all of the stains are removed.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • There are commercial rust stain removers as well. These are commonly found at any hardware, home improvement or patio furniture store.
  • These methods are safe for most types of patio furniture, as long as it can tolerate being wet.
  • If the rust stains are more severe, it may need to be cleaned with a stronger rust remover, or stripped completely, and then painted again.


  1. Jayne says:

    This worked so well for me. I used baking soda, toothpaste and white vinegar. I had an outside glass-top table that rusted around the edges even though it was under a porch. I used the paste with clean cloth and gently rubbed the paste on the top, dabbed vinegar on it and rubbed that together, let it set for the 15 minutes, and it was amazing. The rust vanished.

Leave a Comment