Aluminum patio chairs are popular as a practical and aesthetic outdoor furniture option. Aluminum chairs are regarded as the ideal exterior/open-air furniture, as they can withstand harsh temperatures and offer years of use with minimum care. Aluminum patio chairs could be either painted or unpainted. The painted variety is treated like any other painted metal surface and cleaning it occasionally with mild soaps and water is sufficient. Every few years, it can be re-painted to add some shine to the weathered surface. However, painted patio chairs aren't very common. Patio chairs made from unfinished aluminum are regarded as the more upmarket choice. They have a distinct styling advantage, having a characteristically shiny exterior.
Though these chairs do not rust, they are vulnerable to oxidation. This is natural, since they are exposed to external climatic changes. Oxidation can be understood as slow corrosion that eats into the brilliant shiny finish that a patio chair should have. Oxidation is known to cause pitting on the chair. Oxidized aluminum chairs have small specks on the surface that ruin the polished appearance. To keep your aluminum chairs shining forever, you would have to develop a combined strategy, i.e. Regular Cleaning along with Specific Shining Techniques.
Recommended Regular Cleaning of Aluminum Chairs
Regular cleaning is needed to remove grime that tends to get collected with every passing day and is deposited on the aluminum as debris. While cleaning your aluminum patio chairs, remove all the cushions, since they are a source of settled dust. The aluminum surface can be cleaned by using household detergents that are not too strong, i.e. they shouldn't contain bleach or industrial oil additives. Aluminum has a tendency to retain the smallest of scratches. Thus, you should always use a piece of sponge or soft fabric to clean the chairs.
Cleaning the Chair
- Spray the household cleanser on the chair
- Don’t rub immediately — allow the cleaning agent to dry for two minutes
- Rubdown the chair with a sponge
- After sponging the chair, wash it with a water hose
- Dry the chair with a dry cloth
Note: you should never use any material that contains baking soda or ammonia for shining/cleaning aluminum as they cause a harmful chemical reaction that can ruin the chair forever.
Even if you are strict about regularly cleaning the chairs, chances are that some specific problems need to be tended to restore the shine.
Tending Scraped Surfaces
Scuff marks tend to ruin the polished appearance of aluminum patio chairs. For decreasing the impact of scuffing, special gels and non-abrasive cleaners can be used. These thick liquid cleaners should be spread on the scuffed areas and then rubbed with a sponge.
Restoring the Shine
Car wax is regarded as the best material for bringing back the shine in used aluminum chairs. The waxing is done after the chair has been cleaned and dried. The wax doesn't let the grime to settle on the chair and keeps it protected against deep staining.
Waxing the Chair
- Spread the car wax with a soft cloth. Some wax brands have their own applicators to apply the wax
- After applying the wax, leave it for a few minutes to dry-off
- Thoroughly rub the chair using a dry piece of cloth
Alternative Shining Methods
If automotive wax is not available, you can make your own potion at home. Just mix vinegar and water in a proportion of 1:1. Though this mixture is not very effective for shining-up the chair, it will remove that typical tarnished appearance. Another material that is often used as a supplement to waxing is baby oil. A thin coating of baby oil helps to protect the chair against oxidation and adds to its shine.