Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Wicker Furniture

Reader Contribution by Kacey Bradley
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Whether you’re designing a space for your living room or patio, wicker furniture can provide a complementary addition to your home. However, to keep it good-looking and sturdy, it’s vital to clean and maintain your wicker furniture properly.

Being a natural product with plant fibers and reeds woven together, wicker furniture needs specialized, time intensive care to look and operate its best. With an awareness for distinct needs and tips for proper care, you can safeguard your wicker furniture from damaging circumstances and maintain its value for years to come.

General Wicker Furniture Care

Regardless of the material or its specific use, a commitment to routine cleaning and maintenance will do wonders for the preservation and quality of your wicker furniture.

For proper care, the handling of wicker furniture is largely dependent on whether or not it’s coated in resin. If it is, all-purpose cleaners can be used to remove dirty spots. If it’s not, mild cleaning techniques should be applied.

Regular dustings are important to keep your wicker furniture in excellent condition and extend its life, but the use of a microfiber duster or soft cloth is recommended to gently maintain your furniture and avoid any damage. Alternatively, the brush attachment on your vacuum can be used if the suction level is kept low. For areas where dirt has accumulated that are tougher to clean, you can employ a small soft-bristled paintbrush or toothbrush.

After meticulous dusting, a cleaning cloth should be dampened with mild soap and warm water to clean the surface of your wicker furniture, giving it a crisp shine. If you’re concerned about cleaning your wicker furniture to remove mildew or mold, create a mixture that’s 25% white vinegar and 75% water, proceeding to scrub the surface of your wicker furniture again.

Once your wicker furniture has been cleaned with water, it’s vital to give it sufficient time to thoroughly dry before using it again.

Given the sensitivity of wicker to moisture, consider using a dehumidifier if your furniture is indoors and vulnerable to high humidity. Otherwise, relocate your wicker furniture to an area in your home with good air circulation.

Having control over harmful conditions makes it easier to look after wicker furniture indoors, but if you plan to keep your furniture outdoors on a patio, additional precautions should be taken.

Outdoor Wicker Furniture Care

Exposure to the elements can impact the durability of wicker furniture when it’s kept outside, so it’s important to clean it at least once every six months or more frequently if heavily used.

When cleaning with water from a hose, gently spray your wicker furniture with a mist setting. Soaking your wicker furniture with too much water will weaken the weave and harm its structural integrity, causing it to sag if any weight is placed upon it.

Although designed for outdoor use, extreme temperatures can harm wicker furniture, with cold weather making it brittle and hot weather making it elastic, resulting in premature wear if used. Likewise, whether it’s rain or snow, precipitation adversely dampens wicker furniture, compromising its stability.

If wicker furniture is normally kept outside, consider bringing it inside during bad weather or secure it with an overhead shelter. Even direct sunlight can damage natural fibers, causing your wicker furniture to crack and fray, so adequate protection assures that your furniture lasts longer.

Applying Paint or Polish to Wicker Furniture

Additional protective efforts can be taken by refinishing your wicker furniture, re-hydrating it while supplying it with another layer of defense.

Apply lacquer or varnish to form a hard protective coating for your wicker furniture. As an alternative, use a waterproof sealant to preserve the furniture’s durability. While working, stay away from direct sunlight and polish your furniture over a tarp.

Painted wicker should be refinished through the application of a liquid sanding product, preparing its surface for fresh paint to properly adhere. After the finishing is applied, let your wicker furniture dry for four to six days. Once it’s dry, you can seal the new finish with liquid furniture wax, making sure to wipe away any clumps that may begin to form. Every couple of months, furniture polish can be reapplied to hydrate the wicker and maintain its finish.

Preserve Your Wicker Furniture With Proper Care

Wicker furniture may be more delicate than other types of furniture, especially if it’s kept outside during harsh weather or subjected to high humidity levels indoors, but if it’s properly cleaned and maintained, your wicker furniture will continue to look great and serve your living spaces well for an extended period of time.

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