Metal Care Guide
Bed frames are a big investment, both financially and for the makeup of your bedroom. As the focal point of the room, you want it to stay in pristine condition for as long as possible. Metal bed frames and furniture can do this better than most; their strong, sturdy build and sleek design make them an ideal choice.
Despite how well they conceal dirt, metal bed frames still need your care and attention to keep them in peak condition. Follow our guide for the best ways to remove rust from metal bed frames and furniture, prevent its build up in the first place, plus a few other valuable metal care tips.
The cause of rust on your metal furniture
Without an appropriate level of care and attention, metal bed frames and furniture will begin to develop a build-up of dust, dirt and grime. Left for long enough and it will likely develop a reddish-brown appearance – known as rust.
Rust is just the everyday name for the compound iron oxide. It is formed when iron and oxygen react with water and/or moisture in the air.
In short, you need to limit metal’s exposure to water or moisture in order to stop rust developing on metal bed frames and furniture.
General metal bed frame and furniture cleaning tips
Without an appropriate level of care and attention, metal bed frames and furniture will begin to develop a build-up of dust, dirt and grime. Good general cleaning habits can limit the damage this might bring and help your metal furniture last longer. Here’s how you do it for almost all types of metal.
What you’ll need
First, get yourself to the kitchen and/or bathroom and grab the following items:
- Nylon brush – the best tool for removing dust and dirt from metal
- Detergent – nothing fancy, this classic cleaning material is all you’ll need as a cleaning solution
- Toothbrush – the brush is probably too wide for some of those hard to reach areas of the frame or furniture, so grab a toothbrush as backup
- Towel – once you’re done, you’ll need to thoroughly wipe down areas to remove any moisture (make sure the towel is dry)
- Make a lukewarm water solution by adding a small amount of detergent to a bucket of water.
- Apply the water solution to the metal and scrub using your brush, ensuring you remove any dust and dirt
- For those harder to reach areas, get the toothbrush out
- Once you’re done scrubbing, wash the excess solution away with cold water
- Finally, grab a dry towel and remove the remaining moisture from the bed frame or furniture
These simple steps are enough to get you by with almost all types of metal. The most notable exception is copper.
Cleaning a copper bed frame or furniture
- Mix a dash of salt with vinegar and apply to a cloth until damp
- Clean the surface using your cloth
- Rinse the copper thoroughly with warm water
- Remove any and all moisture from the surface with a dry, soft cloth
- Make sure you follow these steps first if you intend to then polish the copper
How to remove rust from a metal bed frame or furniture
Just like your old bike, fence, or toolbox, metal objects are subject to rust. Whilst there are steps you can take to prevent it, including the general cleaning tips outlined above, there are solutions if you’re already seeing rust.
- Choose a cleaning solution
First, you need to choose the method you’ll be using to remove the rust. You’ve got several options for this, most of which require just basic household equipment.
- White vinegar (with added salt)
Well-known for its cleaning qualities, vinegar’s acidic nature makes it perfect for removing rust. Add salt to your vinegar and apply to the areas of rust. Leave for 10 minutes.
- Baking soda
Probably lying around in your kitchen, baking soda famously doubles up as a convenient cleaning solution. Mix with water to form a paste, before applying to the rust using a cloth. Leave for 15-20 minutes.
- Salt and lemon
Salt and lemon are another common cleaning combo. Mix them together in a bowl and apply to the rusted areas. This cleaning agent isn’t as strong as the other options, so you may have to leave it for a few hours before you return.
- Remove the rust
Once you’ve applied your chosen solution and waited a necessary amount of time, use an abrasive cloth or pad (plus some elbow grease) and work to remove the rust. It might require a repeat of the process to remove particularly tough spots.
- Clean and dry thoroughly
Use a clean, dry cloth to remove all excess moisture.
- Apply metal paint or primer
Once removed, you can bring the area back to original condition using metal paint or a primer. Paint is likely to work just fine for most metal bed frames and furniture. However, if it’s likely to come in contact with more moisture, you might consider a primer for added protection.
How to prevent rust on your metal bed frame or furniture
Prevention is always cheaper than the cure. Over time, rust is inevitable on any metal item, but with just a few seconds of your attention as you go about cleaning your house, you can keep nasty rust at bay for longer. Here are a few quick tips:
- Regular maintenance: Wipe down any metal surfaces with a clean, dry cloth. This will wipe away any moisture that, if left to fester, is the ultimate cause of rust. During humid periods, you might want to double down on these efforts.
- Protect from the weather: Weather conditions can play a big part in bringing rust to metal. As much as you can, protect metal bed frames and furniture from rain and even direct sunlight.
- Apply paste wax or paint: A water repellent layer over the top of the metal acts as rust-protection. Note: make sure it’s only a thin layer, as a thick application will attract dust.
How to stop a metal bed from squeaking
There are few more irritating noises than the endless squeak of a bed as you’re trying to get some shut-eye each night. It could be one of many things, but here is a quick checklist for putting it right:
- Identify the issue: Take off the mattress, duvet and pillows and press down in various areas of the frame. This will help you identify where the squeak is.
- Tighten any screws and bolts: It could be simply a case of grabbing a trusty screwdriver and tightening screws and bolts
- Try socks or t-shirts: One popular solution is to place a layer of old clothes, like socks or t-shirts, on the base or slats. This blanket can plug any gaps between the slats and the mattress, which could be causing the sound.
- Cork up any gaps: If it’s the slats that are squeaking, try filling any gaps with cork, stopping the slat from loosely moving around.
- Try oiling up the joints: Again, if it’s the joints that are the issue, spray them with some WD-40. Like the famous tin man, lubrication of the joints can stop those squeaks.
- Balance up the legs: Finally, it might be uneven legs that are causing the sound. If so, place some folded paper under the shortest leg, using a spot of trial and error to get all the legs level.