How to Clean Aluminum Outdoor Furniture | Full Guide

how to clean aluminum outdoor furniture

Aluminum outdoor furniture adds style and durability to any outdoor space. However, exposure to the elements can lead to dirt, grime, and oxidation buildup, detracting from its appearance. Regular cleaning is essential to maintain the beauty of your aluminum furniture. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best techniques and products to clean aluminum outdoor furniture effectively.

outdoor aluminum furniture

What is Aluminum Furniture?

Before diving into our outdoor cleaning methods, it’s important to understand aluminum furniture’s characteristics. Aluminum is lightweight, resistant to rust and corrosion, making it ideal for outdoor use. However, it can still accumulate dirt, stains, and oxidation over time, necessitating proper cleaning and maintenance.

Materials Needed for Cleaning Outdoor Furniture

Gather the following materials before starting the cleaning process:

  1. Mild dish soap or aluminum cleaner
  2. Water
  3. Soft-bristled brush or sponge
  4. Microfiber cloth or towel
  5. Protective gloves
  6. Bucket

DIY Cleaning Solution for Outdoor Aluminum Furniture

Cleaning your outdoor furniture doesn’t always require store-bought cleaners. You can create an effective DIY cleaning solution using common household ingredients. Here’s a simple recipe along with the steps to make and use it:


  1. White vinegar
  2. Water
  3. Mild dish soap (optional)


  1. In a large bucket or container, combine equal parts white vinegar and water. For example, you can mix one cup of vinegar with one cup of water. This solution provides gentle yet effective cleaning power for removing dirt, grime, and oxidation from aluminum surfaces.
  2. If your aluminum furniture is particularly dirty or greasy, you can add a small amount of mild dish soap to the vinegar-water solution. Use about a tablespoon of dish soap for every gallon of water-vinegar mixture. The dish soap helps break down grease and grime for easier removal.
  3. Thoroughly mix the vinegar, water, and dish soap (if using) to ensure all ingredients are well combined.

Cleaning Agents to Avoid with Aluminum Furniture

When cleaning your aluminum outdoor furniture, it’s important to steer clear of certain cleaning agents that can cause damage. Here are some cleaning agents to avoid:

  1. Bleach or Chlorine-Based Cleaners: While bleach is effective for disinfecting, it can react with aluminum, causing discoloration and corrosion. Avoid using bleach or any cleaners containing chlorine on your aluminum furniture.
  2. Ammonia-Based Cleaners: Ammonia is a strong alkaline compound that can tarnish and corrode aluminum surfaces. Avoid using cleaners containing ammonia when cleaning your aluminum outdoor furniture.
  3. Abrasive Cleaners or Scrubbers: Abrasive cleaners and scrubbers, such as steel wool or abrasive pads, can scratch the surface of aluminum furniture, leaving behind unsightly marks. Opt for gentle cleaning tools to avoid damaging the aluminum finish.
  4. Steel Wool or Wire Brushes: Steel wool and wire brushes are too harsh for aluminum surfaces and can leave scratches and abrasions. Stick to soft-bristled brushes or sponges to prevent damage while cleaning your aluminum furniture.

Step-by-step Process on How to Clean Outdoor Aluminum Furniture

Follow these steps on how to clean your aluminum outdoor furniture thoroughly:

  1. Begin by removing cushions and any debris from the furniture surface. Use a brush or vacuum to eliminate loose dirt, leaves, and other particles.
  2. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of mild dish soap or aluminum cleaner. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the aluminum finish.
  3. Dip a soft-bristled brush or sponge into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the aluminum surface. Focus on areas with visible stains, dirt, or oxidation buildup. Use circular motions to loosen stubborn grime.
  4. After scrubbing, rinse the furniture with clean water to remove soap residue and dirt. A garden hose or bucket of water works well for rinsing. Ensure all cleaning solution is thoroughly washed away.
  5. Use a microfiber cloth instead of cotton to dry the aluminum furniture completely. Pay special attention to crevices and joints where water may accumulate. Drying prevents water spots and helps maintain the furniture’s shine.
  6. For added protection against future oxidation and stains, consider applying a coat of aluminum polish or wax. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for best results.

Maintenance Tips for Your Outdoor Aluminum Furniture

To keep your aluminum outdoor furniture looking its best, follow these maintenance tips:

  1. Clean your aluminum furniture at least once a month to prevent dirt and grime buildup.
  2. Stay away from abrasive cleaners, steel wool, or harsh chemicals, as they can scratch the aluminum surface.
  3. Consider using protective covers during periods of non-use or inclement weather to prolong the furniture’s lifespan.
  4. Periodically inspect your aluminum furniture for any signs of damage, such as rust spots or loose joints. Address any issues promptly to prevent further deterioration.

outdoor metal furniture

Common Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

When cleaning your aluminum outdoor furniture, it’s important to avoid certain common mistakes that can lead to damage or ineffective cleaning. Here are some pitfalls to steer clear of:

  1. Applying excessive force when scrubbing aluminum furniture because it can scratch or dent the surface. Instead, opt for gentle pressure and let the cleaning solution do the work.
  2. Waiting too long between cleaning sessions can allow dirt and grime to accumulate, making the cleaning process more difficult. Regularly clean your furniture to prevent buildup and maintain its appearance.
  3. Failing to rinse off cleaning solutions thoroughly can leave behind residue that may cause streaking or discoloration. Always rinse your aluminum furniture with clean water after cleaning to ensure a pristine finish.
  4. Using harsh or abrasive cleaning products can damage the protective finish of aluminum furniture. Stick to mild cleaners and avoid ammonia, bleach, or abrasive substances.
  5. Avoid neglecting routine maintenance tasks such as applying protective coatings or storing furniture properly during inclement weather.

With proper care and maintenance, cleaning aluminum outdoor furniture can be an easy process. By following the steps in this guide and incorporating regular maintenance practices, you can ensure that your furniture remains looking its best for years to come. Invest the time in cleaning your outdoor furniture to enjoy its beauty for many outdoor seasons ahead.

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Hellamaid is a top-rated cleaning company in Canada that’s changing the cleaning industry. Led by two engineers, Ahmed and Abdul,  Hellamaid is on a mission to make cleaning services a better experience for both ends of the market: homeowners and cleaners. We offer value to homeowners through easy online booking and impeccable customer service, while offering a flexible and well paid opportunity to our cleaning partners. Learn more about us here!

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