Rust is one of the most common problems with trampolines. Rust causes the springs to lose their elasticity and they can no longer bounce. Knowing how to keep a trampoline from rusting eliminates the need to repair the trampoline.
The most important places to prevent rust are the springs, frame and leg joints, which are most likely to get water and corrode the metal.
Tips for How to Clean Your Trampoline
No one likes to think about it, but your trampoline will eventually start to look a little rust-colored.
It’s everywhere: on the springs, padding, and metal frame. You can’t get rid of it entirely, but you can make sure the rust doesn’t spread to any vital parts of your trampoline.
Here are some tips for how to clean your trampoline:
1. Wash the Spring Pads Periodically
You can wash these with a garden hose or a pressure washer. Use a stiff brush to loosen dirt and then spray them down with water. Let them dry in the sun before putting them back on your trampoline.
2. Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals to Clean the Springs
Some people recommend using kerosene or even gasoline to dissolve rust on the springs, but these substances are dangerous and could be flammable if they spill. Avoid them whenever possible.
3. Keep an Eye on the Mat for Rust Spots
Although the mat won’t rust through, you may have rust spots where water drips onto it from the springs or frame, so keep an eye out for that type of wear. If you see any rust spots developing on the mat or netting, use a wire brush to remove them before they spread.
Use a Cover When not in Use
A protective cover for your trampoline is important when not in use. The cover should be made of vinyl or canvas and large enough to completely cover the jumping mat. It should also have a zipper or velcro for easy access to the jumping surface.
A good quality cover will last for about five years, but you can extend its life by making sure there are no holes in it and store it properly during the off season. A trampoline with a good, sturdy frame will last for many years if it is well cared for.
Some owners simply store their unit in an unused portion of the yard during the off season, while others remove all parts from the frame and store them inside. Whichever method you choose, keep all bolts, washers and nuts together in a plastic bag to help prevent them from becoming lost or rusty.
Use Water Repellent
Here are some tips for applying a protective coating to your trampoline:
When applying water repellent, always read the instructions on the product label first. Don’t use too much or too little liquid, and don’t allow it to run off onto your yard or patio. Most products require you to spray it on evenly, so you’ll want to use a watering can or garden sprayer.
It’s important that you wait until the surface is completely dry before applying water repellent. As soon as you’re done spraying, walk away until the surface is no longer slippery. Then wait two hours before letting anyone use your trampoline.
Keep Away From Pools and Sprinklers
If you have space in your yard, try to avoid setting your trampoline up near sprinklers or your backyard pool. Splashing and water from the sprinklers can lead to rusting if the trampoline frame is not protected. Ideally, you want to set up your trampoline in an open space in the yard that’s not too close to trees, the pool or your sprinkler system.
How to Remove Rust from Trampoline Springs
We’ve given you tips on how to prevent rust, but what do you do if your trampoline’s springs are already rusted? We have a few tips and tricks to help you remove rust spots and have your trampoline looking as good as new.
First thing’s first, take the time to walk around your trampoline and inspect the springs. If you see even the slightest evidence of rust, mark off the spot with electrical tape. This will make it easier to find the spots that require rust removal.
Salt and Lime
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the juice of two limes and half a cup of salt to create a paste.
- Use a wooden spoon to apply the paste directly onto the rust spots.
- Allow it to sit for two to three hours.
- Using an old toothbrush, scrub away the rust and the lime/salt mixture.
- Rinse the springs with clean water.
- Dry thoroughly.
Ideally, you want to do the salt and lime method on a warm, sunny day so that the frame dries thoroughly. When you’re done, apply petroleum jelly to the springs to prevent rust from forming again in the future. As a general rule of thumb, you want to use something mildly acidic, like vinegar or lime juice, and something abrasive, like salt, to remove rust.
Paint the Trampoline Frame
Want to know the best way to prevent rust on a metal trampoline?
It’s simple: Keep it painted.
Paint the frame of your trampoline. It will keep it looking new for years to come, and protect the metal from rusting.
The best type of paint to use on a trampoline is rust-resistant paint that has been formulated for metal surfaces. You should apply two coats, allowing each coat to completely dry before applying the next coat.
If you want to use a brush on your trampoline, use one made of nylon bristles.
The average cost of a backyard trampoline is $500-$1,000. Therefore, painting the frame of your trampoline with Rust-Oleum paint in Satin Black ($25 for a quart) can save you money in the long run by protecting the trampoline frame.
Preventing rust is the key to keeping your trampoline looking and working like new. Using a trampoline cover, storing it and making sure you set it up outside in a proper place will help prevent rust and other damage caused by exposure to the elements.
By following these steps, we’ve been able to keep our trampoline rust-free for a year and a half, and the padding and filling inside looks like new. By following these rules and tips, your own trampoline should last for many years before it needs to be replaced.