Cleaning Rattan or Wicker Furniture

June 04, 2021

how to clean rattan or wicker furniture

 

We get it, you want a quick guide to restore that once nice-looking rattan wicker furniture out in the back or inside your home. We’re not magicians, but after some extensive research, both witnessing the restoration process and seeing the unbelievable results, this is the site to get your wicker furniture from a cheap, motel look, to a lush and glossy kingly-palace look that demands respect and admiration; oh, and by the way, without breaking the bank. We have 4 simple steps for cleaning rattan or wicker furniture, and a few simple items ready for you, so let’s jump straight into it. 

How to Clean Wicker Furniture

 

preventing rattan furniture

Step 1: Prevention

Three general prevention/maintenance tips for rattan wicker furniture: keep them out from the cold, out of the sun, and out of the rain. Furniture does not get messy on its own, so let’s take a second to review the moral of the story: prevention is key to preservation and maintenance. Your natural wicker furniture is most likely made of rattan, a type of palm tree that typically grows in tropical regions, like Southeast Asia. They don’t grow at all in cold/frosty climates, which means that your furniture is not meant to be out in the cold, so keep them warm! Rattan producers also remove the bark from the tree in order to produce unique designs. Without its skin/bark for protection however, the sun’s rays will damage its look, and the rain will dampen or even damage the wood! Keep your furniture away from cold weather, never leave them for long periods in the sun, and keep them out of the rain/away from water.  

 

cleaning wicker furniture pieces

Step 2: Cleaning

Items Needed: 

  1. Dish Soap
  2. Warm Water
  3. Empty Container
  4. Stainless Steel Sponge
  5. Toothbrush, or a soft bristled brush
  6. Dish or Soft Cloth (or anything that absorbs moisture)
  7. Dry Air (very affordable) 

Step 1, I recommend taking your wicker furniture outside. Step 2, remove any cushions on your furniture if any. Step 3, in a container filled with warm water, pour and mix the dish soap, and stir with some vigour, collect the suds of soap on top of the container of water. The suds of the soapy water are what you will use to clean your furniture (so that it doesn’t get too damp). Step 4, take your steel sponge, apply the suds to it, and scrub the legs, arms and other sturdy parts of the chair. As for the nook and crannies of your furniture, use a toothbrush or soft-thistle brush to effectively clean them. Step 5, dampen your soft cloth (or anything that absorbs moisture), and wash off the suds. You can also rinse the suds off with your hose, but at your own risk of dampening the wood. Step 6, let the furniture air dry for a few hours. 

 

restoring wicker furniture

Step 3: Restoration

Now the magic happens. This is where you will finally get that kingly, palace-gloss look on your rattan wicker furniture. Items Needed: 

  1. Sandpaper
  2. Hair Dryer or any other air blowing device
  3. Raw Linseed Oil 
  4. Mineral Turpentine
  5. Empty Container
  6. Lint Free Cloth
  7. Small Paint Brush (optional)

Step 1, sand down the sturdy parts of the furniture using a more rough than smooth sandpaper (mostly the arms and legs). As for furniture with more nooks and crannies, use a smoother than rougher sandpaper instead so as to not damage the wood. Sand the chair until the desired amount of grime, dust, and stains are eliminated. 


Step 2, make sure to blow off the sanded wood dust off the chair, or else it will mess up the next step. You can use a hair dryer, any device that blows air, or any method to get the sanded dust off the chair. 


Step 3, prepare in an empty container a solution of the Raw Linseed Oil and Mineral Turpentine at a ratio of 40% Oil to 60% Turpentine. With the lint-free cloth, or paint brush apply the solution generously to the chair/furniture and allow to air dry overnight. Step 4, with the furniture dried, prepare the same solution again but this time at a ratio of 60% Oil and 40% Turpentine. Once again, apply generously to the chair and allow to air dry overnight. 


Step 4: Maintain and Enjoy!

Now you can place back the cushions on your rattan wicker furniture (if any). Remember, just because it looks new does not mean it is new. By repeating step 1 (keeping them out of the cold, out of the sun for long periods, and out of the rain/away from water) in addition to cleaning your furniture from dust and grime on a weekly to basis, your furniture should last you for years to come! To clean your furniture, use soft-thistle brushes for nooks and crannies, and suds of soapy water with a damp cloth for the sturdy parts of your furniture (arms and legs), rinse with a damp cloth, and air dry for a few hours. Bonus tips: replace rubber stoppers on the bottom of the legs of your chair/furniture to maximize protection and pillows to prevent sagging on your chair. For more tips on furniture care, or for amazing rattan wicker furniture, visit Bel.com for deals and more!

 

 

Shop BEL For Patio


Now that you know how to care for wicker furniture, it’s time to invest in some to take you through many patio seasons to come. If you are looking for affordable, high quality outdoor patio furniture, look no further than BEL for Patio. Shop with us in store or online today and let us know if you have any questions about cleaning rattan or wicker furniture.

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