Revive Rusty Patio Furniture With This Genius WD-40 Hack

We all appreciate simplicity, especially when solving a tough problem like removing rust from patio furniture and protecting it from the next rain that blows by. The official TikTok account of WD-40 UK posted a video about using its multi-purpose spray to restore garden furniture, and it was a perfect example of form following function. The company wants you to know that WD-40 is great at removing rust and preventing future oxidation. But the form of the message and the function of the WD-40 is really about simplicity: "Simply spray it on," the narrator advises, and "wipe away."

It's not exactly a secret that WD-40 is great at removing rust. Indeed, the very things you need for metal garden furniture — removing and preventing rust — are on the list of things WD-40 is officially intended for, along with penetrating, loosening, lubricating, degreasing, and cleaning, Oh, and displacing moisture; the "WD" in WD-40 stands for "water displacement," after all, which seems to mean "drying things and keeping them that way." The trouble is that the stuff is good for so many things that we're prone to forgetting some of them. If you're going to remember just one, though, keeping rust off of iron patio chairs, tables, and swings might be the best choice.

But is it really so simple?

Getting rid of surface rust seems to be one of the simplest things you'll likely do. Whatever is in the stuff (and the WD-40 company isn't about to reveal its secret ingredients), it does a great job of removing surface rust. Once coated, metal seems to acquire an inordinate resistance to future rusting. These are among the reasons WD-40 occupies (along with duct tape) such a prominent position in the lore of DIY. Of course, the deeper the rust, the more difficult your job will be. The WD-40 Company recommends spraying it on surface rust, waiting ten minutes, then scrubbing it with "something abrasive" to finish the job. This is a little different from "wipe away," of course, and the difference is the degree of rust you're dealing with. Cleaning up very rusty old tools might require a little more elbow grease than knocking the surface rust off a metal fire pit.

Speaking of fire pits, there are a few cautions to keep in mind. First, don't use WD-40 on or near an active fire pit — the spray is flammable. Also, WD-40 is not a salad dressing, so if you are using your outdoor furniture for processing garden veggies, keep in mind that standard WD-40 is not NSF-certified and shouldn't be used where it can come into contact with food or food preparation surfaces.