DIY How To

How to Look After Your Wicker Furniture

To get the most out of your rattan furniture, it should be looked after well. If it is cleaned and maintained regularly then it will last longer and look better.

Maintenance of your wicker furniture

Identify the Wicker
Wicker refers to the process of weaving the furniture, not the material itself. It can be made from a variety of different materials, including rattan, bamboo, synthetic material and even paper. The material will affect the way that you clean your furniture and where you should store it.

Most commonly used for wicker furniture today is synthetic rattan. This is because it is much harder wearing and durable than natural wicker, and can stay fully outside all year round as opposed to natural wicker that has to be kept undercover, away from rain.

Brushing and Vacuuming
If you have natural wicker, then brushing and vacuuming your furniture is necessary, whereas for synthetic rattan you can skip this step.

Using a soft but firm brush, such as a dust brush or a fingernail brush, loosen the dirt that may be caught between the weave. Then, using the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner, vacuum up the loosened dirt. Do this on a regular basis and you'll prevent the dirt building up.

Washing
If you have wood wicker furniture, then it should only be washed once a year. Wood and water don't go well together, and soap even less so. However, it is a necessary part of the maintenance as being outside can get grubby. Use two tablespoons of wood oil soap in a gallon of water and wipe over your furniture with a sponge or cloth. Try not to move the weave around too much as this can affect the integrity of the structure when it dries again. You should then rinse it and leave to dry in the sun.

For synthetic wicker, you can wash it as and when you like, using a pressure washer or even just a wipe down, depending on how dirty it is.

Storage
Synthetic furniture can survive well in most conditions, but if possible, use a cover in the winter when it's likely to be out of use for long periods of time. Natural wicker should be stored inside when not in use and should not be exposed to rain or snow.

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