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Keep it Fresh: How to Clean Wicker Furniture

Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on wicker surfaces, especially in outdoor settings, leading to a dingy appearance and even damage to the fibers over time.

The good news is that cleaning wicker furniture doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

Keep reading to learn how to clean wicker furniture with a few simple techniques and readily available materials, ensuring it remains a cherished part of your home for years to come.

Wicker patio set with sofa, hanging chair, and coffee table

The Basics of Wicker Furniture

There are two main types of wicker furniture: natural wicker and synthetic wicker.

Natural wicker furniture is made from organic materials such as rattan and bamboo, while synthetic wicker—also known as resin wicker or all-weather wicker—is fashioned from man-made materials.

Each has its unique benefits and maintenance requirements.

Common Threats to Wicker Furniture

Mildew and mold are common enemies of wicker furniture, as they thrive in damp and humid conditions. They can cause discoloration and even structural damage if left untreated. To prevent mildew and mold growth, ensure that your wicker furniture is properly ventilated and kept in a dry environment.

Water damage can occur when wicker furniture is exposed to rain or moisture without sufficient time to dry. This can lead to swelling, warping, and eventual decay of the material. Keeping your wicker furniture covered during rain or placing it in a sheltered area can help prevent water damage.

Stains can be caused by various factors, such as spills or bird droppings. In addition to being unsightly, stains can also weaken the wicker fibers. Promptly cleaning wicker furniture and removing stains can help preserve its appearance and durability.

Pollen can accumulate on the surface of wicker furniture, especially during the spring and summer months. This can not only detract from its appearance but also cause allergies in some individuals. Regular cleaning can help minimize pollen buildup.

Direct sunlight can cause fading and drying of wicker furniture, which over time can lead to brittleness and cracking. Placing your wicker furniture in a shaded area or using furniture covers can help protect it from the harmful effects of UV rays.

Dirty wicker loungers and oversized chair

Regular Maintenance for Wicker Furniture

Performing regular maintenance on your wicker furniture is essential for keeping it looking pristine and extending its life. By following a few simple cleaning methods, you can ensure your furniture remains in top shape.

An easy method for cleaning wicker furniture is dusting. Dusting should be done frequently to keep buildup from accumulating on the surface. A feather duster or a microfiber cloth can be used to remove dust from the furniture. Gently glide the cloth or duster over the wicker to avoid damaging the fibers.

Aside from dusting, vacuuming is another effective way to maintain clean wicker furniture. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment and switch to a lower suction setting. Make sure to cover all areas, including crevices, to remove any hidden debris.

For a more thorough cleaning, using a soft cloth or sponge soaked in a mild soapy solution can be useful. Gently wipe the wicker surfaces, making sure to reach all the gaps and corners to remove dirt and stains effectively.

An old toothbrush or soft bristle brush is useful when cleaning wicker furniture in accessing the tight corners and crevices where dirt and dust can accumulate. Make sure the bristles are not too hard to avoid damaging the wicker. Gently scrub the difficult areas until the dirt is loosened.

A wicker patio set with tables and chairs drying after being cleaned. how to clean wicker furniture

Rinse the furniture with a garden hose afterward, taking care not to let water sit on the surface for too long. Afterward, let the wicker furniture air dry in a well-ventilated outdoor space like a porch or patio.

A hair dryer or fan can be beneficial in drying the wicker furniture after cleaning. Set the dryer at a low setting or use the fan to air out the moisture, ensuring the furniture dries evenly to prevent any damage or warping. Be sure not to apply too much heat or air pressure as it may harm the material.

If your furniture is exposed to the elements, consider investing in covers to protect your wicker pieces. Outdoor-specific covers can shield your furniture from harsh weather conditions and pollutants.

Deep Cleaning Techniques

To begin the deep cleaning process, dip a soft scrub brush into a soapy water or vinegar solution and gently scrub the furniture’s surface.

Focus on areas with accumulated dirt, especially in the crevices or gaps in the wicker weave. Make sure to avoid applying excessive pressure to prevent damage to the material.

For synthetic wicker, a steam cleaner can be employed. Its high-temperature steam is effective in loosening dirt and debris, while also killing any mold or mildew present on the furniture.

Do not use this method on natural wicker, as the heat and moisture may cause it to warp or crack.

Mold and mildew removal is significant for maintaining the hygiene and appearance of wicker furniture. A solution of warm water, a small amount of bleach, and dish soap can be used to tackle this issue.

Gently scrub the affected area with the mixture, and rinse thoroughly with clean water afterwards. Make sure to test the bleach solution on a small inconspicuous area first, to ensure it does not harm the furniture’s color or finish.

For routine maintenance and preventive care, an oil-based soap or a mild soap can be used to clean wicker furniture. Apply it on the surface and wipe it with a soft cloth, followed by a thorough rinse with water.

Remember, regular cleaning and proper technique will keep your wicker furniture fresh and looking its best for years to come.

How to Clean Wicker Furniture Cushions

Wicker furniture cushions, especially outdoor cushions, are susceptible to mildew, mold, and stains from dirt and spills.

Start by using a vacuum or soft brush to remove any dust, dirt, or debris that has settled on the cushions.

Create a soap and water mixture to effectively clean the cushions without causing damage. If you’re dealing with mold or mildew, add a cup of white vinegar to the solution. The vinegar will help kill the mold and mildew while also preventing future growth.

Avoid using bleach on your wicker furniture cushions, as it can cause discoloration and damage to the fabric.

After cleaning, rinse the cushions thoroughly with clean water to remove any residue from the cleaning solution. It’s essential to ensure all soap and vinegar have been washed away, as they can attract more dirt if left on the cushions.

Finally, allow the cushions to air dry completely before placing them back on your wicker furniture.

A set of wicker furniture with blue cushions

Wrapping up How to Clean Wicker Furniture

Preserving your wicker furniture comes down to consistent maintenance, timely repairs, and protecting it from harsh elements. By following these steps, you can keep your wicker furniture in excellent condition, ensuring it remains a delightful addition to your living spaces.

Now that your wicker furniture is clean, here are some ideas for sprucing up your patio.