This hack to clean rusty garden furniture uses an unconventional product you have in your cupboard

Clean rusty garden furniture with this one item you almost certainly have in your kitchen

rusty garden furniture
(Image credit: Getty / Tom Merton)

The rule of 6 is soon to be reintroduced ahead of the Easter weekend, paving the way for family barbecues in the garden. If your best garden furniture is looking worse for wear, cleaning expert Lynsey Crombie has a trick to give it a good clean. 

Any steel surfaces that have gone rusty can be polished up with tomato ketchup from your kitchen cupboard.

rusty garden furniture

(Image credit: Getty / Andrea Rugg)

Steel chair or table legs, or even some parts of your best garden parasol or best BBQ could be looking a little rusty having been sat outside for a long time, or stored away in the garage or shed. But cupboard essential tomato ketchup can have remarkable results when used for cleaning, which Lynsey demonstrates with a 2p coin on her Instagram. 

‘If you’ve got steel-based products out there, and you’ve noticed you’ve got rust patches on them, particularly on the bottom by the legs, grab your tomato ketchup from the cupboard,’ Lynsey says.

‘What the ketchup is going to do is it’s going to break down that rust. Put it all on – it’s not a nice job if I’m honest with you, if you don’t like ketchup and it’s making your hands all sticky. 

'Rub it on and then leave it, then just get your jet wash or your hose pipe and blitz it off,’ she adds. On a recent episode of ITV's This Morning, Lynsey used a Marigold Scrub Away Heavy Duty Scourer to help cleaning products lift the dirt on a garden barbecue much easier.

rusty garden furniture

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd)

On her Instagram page, Lynsey has shown how a small dollop of ketchup on a microfibre cloth brings a 2p coin up like new in just ten minutes. Ketchup can also be used to remove burnt-on food, shine up the kitchen sink and make brass handles and letterboxes look like new.

As for how to clean outdoor furniture in general, the author says, ‘try to use a big sponge and warm soapy water and a microfibre cloth for buffing surfaces at the end.’

Matthew Fagg from furniture manufacturer Barlow Tyrie, on the other hand, says 'stainless steel should ideally be regularly cleaned with a dedicated stainless steel cleaner. This will ensure that you're not using any unsuspecting corrosive products.  

rusty garden furniture

(Image credit:

We're all looking forward to longer days and seeing friends and family again. If your garden furniture is looking a little lackluster, it’s time to give them a quick freshen up with the help of this hack and the best pressure washer. If you spot some rust, you know what to do.

Millie Hurst
News Writer

Millie Hurst has worked in digital journalism for five years, having previously worked as a Senior SEO Editor at News UK both in London and New York. She joined the Future team in early 2021, working across several brands, including Gardeningetc. Now, she is Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home, taking care of evergreen articles aimed at inspiring people to make the most of their homes and outdoor spaces.