Wicker furniture is a beautiful, natural woven material that looks great both inside the house and outside, around the patio. Despite the lightweight nature of the tree fiber weave, real wicker furniture is exceptionally strong and durable. However, the weave does have a knack for collecting dirt, dog hair, dust, and other debris. If the furniture is outside, in a high foot traffic area, or you live in a house that, for one reason or another, seems to always collect dust, you will want to clean the furniture regularly. Thankfully, real wicker furniture isn't all that difficult to clean, and, in no time at all, you will have a beautiful, comfortable, and clean seat ready to be enjoyed.
First, you will want to remove the dirt and other gunk that has collected between the woven fibers. Because wicker is specifically durable, you can use a steel bristle brush on the material. Make sure to work the steel bristle brush over all the woven fibers. You will also want to scrub the underside of the furniture as well. The underside of the furniture can collect a surprising amount of dust and dirt, so it is essential to clean this area as well. Otherwise, when sitting down and enjoying yourself on the furniture, you will end up smelling the dust, dander, and even mildew from the piece of furniture. The steel bristles will let you get in between the fibers easily.
Now that you have worked the entirety of the furniture, you will want to remove as much debris as possible. To do so, take the wand attachment of your vacuum and work it over the furniture.
With the excess dirt and gunk removed, you are now ready to wash your wicker furniture. Use water and mild dish soap and scrub the furniture with a soft cloth. Again, you will want to make sure you work your cloth between the woven fibers of the furniture, as this is where most of the dirt will collect. Work from the top down; otherwise, you'll be forced to re-wash areas of the wicker. Once you have finished washing the furniture, let it air dry. If it is sunny outside, you can place the furniture outside in the sun or leave it in and place fans around it. It is important to expedite the drying time; otherwise, moisture might collect between the fibers and leave a musty smell on the seat. To help with this, you may want to dab a towel over the furniture before you set it out to dry. Whatever you can do to speed up the drying time is beneficial.
If you have plans to paint the wicker furniture, now is the time to begin painting it. However, even if you're not looking to paint the furniture, you should apply a clear protective coating over the top. This will protect the furniture from not only moisture but from sun bleaching as well. There are several protective applications you can use for this. There are tung oil options that will help the wicker maintain its natural appearance. Some tung oils will deepen the furniture's tone, so make sure to look over the color options for this. Tung oil should be applied to wicker sofas, wicker lounge chairs or even wicker dining sets once a year (if this is your chosen protection method). If you have the furniture outside, you should consider using a clear marine varnish on the furniture. This is an application often used on the wood found in boats. It helps lock in the fabric's natural moisture while protecting it against the elements, including rain and sun. This will not change the color of your wicker furniture, and you only have to apply it once every three years or so. You can also apply a marine varnish coat over any fresh paint (after it dries). Lastly, if you don't want to use the oil as it might alter the color of the wicker, and if you don't want to use the marine varnish, you can find a clear protective coat, often available in a spray can, from companies like Rust-Oleum, made specifically for wicker. These kinds of spray cans are good for maintaining the color of your furniture while also adding a protective coating. Much like you would with tung oil, you will want to re-apply this spray once every year or so.
The cushion is often an overlooked area of the wicker furniture. However, it is important to clean off the cushion as well. The cleaning method for cushions will vary depending on the material and whether the fabric can be removed from the cushion. If you can remove the fabric, toss it into the wash and let it run on a cold, low spin cycle. Avoid using any kind of heat. If you can't remove it, wash the fabric with mild soap and water and let it dry completely before placing it back onto the furniture.
Whether you're in the market to upgrade to rattan bedroom furniture or have owned your current wicker outdoor set for years and are ready to replace what you own, it is always a good idea to know how to clean what you have. With these easy-to-follow tips, you can extend the life of your current furniture. These are also excellent tips to follow if you're going to paint your wicker furniture as well. However, if you would rather purchase new wicker, or if your current set has run its course and is starting to show its age, check out the wide selection of furniture options. From wicker rattan loveseats and chairs to rockers and ottomans, you'll find your next wicker upgrade is just a click away.
Want to know more about wicker, review our wicker furniture FAQs.
Wicker furniture has long been an affordable and durable furniture option for anyone looking to decorate their patios, sunrooms, and even various areas around the home. Wicker has been used for hundreds of years, and over this time very little has changed in its construction and the overall draw it possesses. Wicker furniture is far more attractive than the cheaper, plastic patio furniture found in backyards around the globe, and it provides more of a finished, natural look to the outdoor living space.
However, because the wicker is a natural wood fiber, can you leave wicker furniture outside in the winter? If you’ve recently purchased wicker, or if you’re shopping around and want to ensure you have all the answers to your questions, this is likely one of the first you’ve thought of. Not to worry, as we are here to help with all your questions, including the ins and outs regarding wicker and the outdoor elements.
The shortest answer to this is yes…with a “but”. So yes, you can leave your wicker furniture outside in the winter. We totally understand lugging furniture into a spare room, pushing it into a corner of the garage, or trying to fit it into a backyard storage shed isn’t the easiest thing to do. The furniture is lightweight, but that doesn’t necessarily make moving it that much easier. So yes, you can leave your wicker furniture outside.
However, there are some steps you need to follow to make sure the furniture isn’t damaged, or even completely ruined, from being left outside.
Now, if you have a synthetic fibered wicker sofa, rattan sectional or wicker loveseat, you have greater leeway in leaving the furniture outside. The synthetic nature of the furniture provides you with greater protection from not only moisture but continued sunlight as well. It is also, in general, more durable. Of course, it doesn’t perfectly replicate the look and feel of natural fibers, which is why natural wicker furniture will always be around, but in terms of durability, you don’t have to do all that much in order to protect synthetic wicker furniture during the winter. So, while you’re free to follow the additional steps listed below, it isn’t as important.
If you are going to leave your wicker furniture outside during the winter and it is a natural fiber, you will need to do what you can to protect it from moisture. Few things destroy wicker faster than moisture. And, in the case of winter, you may have snow sitting directly on the wicker for prolonged periods of time, which gives it even more time to seep into the fibers, causing them to deteriorate and even develop mold.
So, to start, you’ll want to apply a waterproofing agent on top of the wicker. We do recommend using a new coat of paint in the spring, as this is the best time to clean off dirt, dust, and debris that has been collected during the late fall through mid-spring. To learn more about “How to Paint Wicker Furniture” check out our blog. Because of this, you don’t need to apply paint at this time. Instead, purchase a wicker waterproofing spray. This will look similar to a can of spray paint. It won’t add any color to your wicker, but the application does add a protective barrier.
Give the waterproofing application time to dry (it doesn’t take long, and there will be some instructions to follow listed right on the canister). Once you are ready, you will want to place a waterproof furniture cover over the wicker furniture. Make sure you have a specific cover for each piece of wicker furniture. It also needs to fully cover the legs. Even if a small amount of wicker leg is exposed, it will soak up moisture, and due to the weave pattern, it may end up pulling moisture into the protected area. Moisture trapped between the furniture and the cover is a recipe for mold, not to mention it will be the perfect place for animals of various sizes to call home during the winter. This might result in animals chewing away at the weaving. So do what you can to fully cover your wicker furniture if you are not able to bring it in during the winter.
As long as you follow the above steps, you shouldn’t have much to do when spring comes around. Whether you have a synthetic or natural weave, you’ll want to clean off the furniture with a damp cloth. A bristle brush is also good for working in between the fibers as there is probably dirt and other grime that has been collected.
With synthetic, you can clean the furniture, and you’ll be good to go. With natural fibers, you’ll want to clean it, let it dry, and then consider adding a layer of new paint or stain to the fiber. This will provide additional moisture protection, which will help protect the furniture until the following winter.
For more detailed steps on how to clean rattan furniture check out our guide.
Wicker is truly a beautiful piece of furniture that simply can’t be replicated by any other material. There are some synthetic options that do an excellent job of mimicking the general look, and natural fibers are always great additions to any sunroom. Together, they look different from any other kind of furniture option out there. If you love the look of wicker as much as we do, then you are in the right place. We have a wide selection of all things wicker. So, if you’re in the market for new patio furniture, want a new outdoor wicker set, or are interested in outfitting a bedroom in a coastal theme, we’re here for you and all your wicker furniture needs. Feel free to shop around, and of course, if you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our team by simply filling out a Request For Quote or giving us a call: at 800-603-7133.