How to Clean Powder Coated Aluminum Patio Furniture

Have you ever wondered how you’re supposed to clean your powder-coated aluminum patio furniture? At first thought, it might seem difficult because of the special coating. However, it’s actually pretty simple. As long as you follow the right steps, you shouldn’t run into any issues.

Instead of using a chemical cleaning agent, you only need to use a mixture of water and mild dish detergent. Chemical cleaners will damage the powder coating of your furniture, so the simpler option of soap and water is your best bet. If your patio furniture is especially soiled, you can use a pressure washer instead.

In this article, we’ll go over what powder coating is on aluminum patio furniture, how this furniture gets dirty, if oxidation affects the furniture, and any other burning questions you probably have.

What is Powder Coated Aluminum Patio Furniture?

Powder-coated aluminum is a common material used in outdoor furniture due to its durability and how lightweight it is. Along with these beneficial features, powder-coated aluminum is also corrosion-resistant. The powder coating is polyester-based and uses polyester microbeads that are electrostatically charged to stick to the aluminum.

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The powder coating is also flake and peel-resistant, unlike typical epoxy furniture paint. With the way to coating is attached to the aluminum, the patio furniture is resistant to rust and the oxidation process affects the furniture differently than it does with other metals.

How Does Powder Coated Aluminum Patio Furniture Get Dirty?

Powder-coated aluminum patio furniture will inevitably get dirty, especially if it lives outside. While your patio might be the most well-maintained and cleanest patio in the entire neighborhood, your furniture is still exposed to the elements and is in an ideal zone for birds and other outdoor critters to relieve themselves.

To add to that, furniture will just get dirty over time, despite your best efforts to keep your patio furniture clean. 

Will Powder Coated Aluminum Rust?

Although powder-coated aluminum won’t rust, it’s still vulnerable to the oxidation process. Aluminum, in general, is corrosion-resistant. However, the corrosion resistance of aluminum directly correlates with the oxidation process. 

During oxidation, the powder coating of the aluminum will develop a white filmy substance. If left alone, it can cause issues with the integrity and stability of your furniture. However, you can easily clean off the oxidation with a sponge or rag and some soapy water.

How to Clean Powder Coated Aluminum Patio Furniture

Cleaning your powder-coated aluminum patio furniture can easily be achieved by following four simple steps: preparing your cleaning solution, using a rag to clean the surface, rinsing with cold water, and repeating as needed.

Here is a little more explanation of how to achieve each step properly.

1. Prepare Your Cleaning Solution

The cleaning solution you should use to clean powder-coated aluminum is nothing more than a mixture of soap and water. Chemical cleaners will damage powder-coated aluminum, so it’s best to use a gentle solution instead. For this step, all you need to do is fill a bucket with warm water and mix in a few drops of any type of dish soap.

2. Use a Rag to Clean the Surface

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Make sure you use a lint-free rag to wash the surface of your furniture. Using a rag with lint on it can make it more difficult to adequately clean the surface. Dip the rag into your bucket and ring out as much excess water as you can manage. Take care to wipe down the underside and any grooves in your patio furniture to get a thorough clean. 

If you have powder-coated aluminum patio furniture with a glass top, you can use a spray glass cleaner on the surface. However, make sure you don’t get any of the cleaner on the actual aluminum, or else you risk damaging the metal.

3. Rinse With Cold Water

Because powder-coated aluminum won’t rust, you can safely rinse off the soap with cold water. After rinsing the furniture, make sure you allow ample time for the furniture to completely dry before putting the cushions back on.

4. Repeat as Needed

There may be some cases where you need to repeat washes multiple times to get all of the dirt and grime off of your furniture. If this is the case, you can safely repeat each step listed above until you remove all impurities from the furniture.

What to do With Furniture Cushions

Although outdoor furniture cushions are designed to withstand the elements, they can still fall victim to mold and mildew if you aren’t careful. The best way to clean mildew off of patio furniture is by using a solution of white vinegar or with the help of a power washer.

If you use white vinegar, you should fill a spray bottle with the vinegar. For cleaning outdoor patio furniture, it isn’t necessary to dilute the vinegar with water at all. Spray the cushion with the vinegar and then allow it to sit for 60 minutes before you scrub the cushion and rinse with cold water.

Can You Clean Powder Coated Aluminum Deck Railings?

You can clean powder-coated aluminum deck railings by following the steps mentioned above. Use a solution of warm water and dish soap with a lint-free rag or soft sponge to thoroughly clean the deck railings. Now, keep in mind that deck railings typically have intricate designs and may have a lot of grooves and nooks where dirt can build up. For that reason, it’s important to make sure you thoroughly clean every part of the railing.

Can You Paint Powder Coated Aluminum?

Painting over powder-coated aluminum is possible, but it’s important to ensure that you follow the step-by-step process very closely. As long as you don’t skip any steps, you should have no problem adding a coat of paint to the aluminum.

To paint your powder-coated aluminum patio furniture, follow these steps:

Clean the Surface

Follow the steps we listed above to ensure there isn’t any dirt, dust, or other impurities on the surface. In order for paint to properly stick to the metal, it needs to be free from obstruction.

Get Rid of Any Oxidation

If you notice a white, powdery film on your furniture, you’ll need to wipe it clean with a wet washcloth. Usually, any oxidation present will be cleaned off when you do the initial clean.

Sand the Surface

It’s important to sand the surface to get rid of the gloss on the outer layer. By removing the glossy layer, you allow the paint to adhere to the metal much easier. Once the paint dries completely, you can always add a thin layer of a glossy finish to achieve that shiny look again.

Protect Other Surfaces

Tape off any part of the furniture that you don’t want to be painted. This way, you decrease the chance of an accident.

Prime the Surface

Adding a primer before paint helps the paint adhere to the surface. If you notice the primer wipes off or smears easily, that likely means you need to sand the surface a little more.

Spray Your Paint

It’s best to use spray paint for this job to ensure the paint is evenly distributed. It also makes it much easier to get paint into hard-to-reach corners.

How to Restore Faded Powder Coating

Although powder coating is extremely durable and long-lasting, it will still fade over time. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to restore powder coating after it fades. To successfully restore the coating, you should thoroughly look over the aluminum to assess where restoration is needed.

You’ll also need to clean the surface before applying any type of restoration polish. Along with that, it’s important to remember to mask off any area that isn’t in need of restoration. Then, lightly abrade the aluminum and clean after each abrasion step to get rid of debris.

Once you’ve fully prepped the area, you can apply the powder restoration coating wherever it’s needed. You can apply as many coats as you feel are required and then allow them to dry before de-masking the area and cleaning up.

How Long Does Powder Coating Last Outside?

In theory, powder coating should last up to 20 years. However, there are several factors that can decrease the lifespan of the powder coating. Excessive exposure to UV light, sitting out in harsh weather, and failing to regularly clean the aluminum will all contribute to a lower lifespan. 

To promote longevity with your aluminum patio furniture, make sure to clean them regularly, avoid sitting them out in the direct sun, and protect them when the weather is predicted to be bad.

Can You Take Powder Coating Off?

You can remove powder coating by using a pressure washer to power wash any loose powder off of the furniture. If you have access to a sandblaster, this can also help remove most layers of the powder coating. Powder stripping can also be achieved by using a chemical-based stripper with a disposable brush.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning off your powder-coated aluminum patio furniture has never been easier. As long as you have a simple washcloth, a bucket, warm water, and dish soap on hand, you’re on the right track to properly maintain your patio furniture.

Just remember not to use any type of chemical cleaner to avoid potentially damaging the integrity of the metal.

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