Your wicker furniture can be an excellent investment, provided you take the time to properly care for it. Wicker is essentially a variety of vines, grasses and plants which are woven together into furniture. The four most common types of wicker include rattan, reed, willow and bamboo.
Although wicker is often thought of as outdoor furniture, it is best left indoors. Rain and dry heat are both enemies of wicker furniture. Keep in mind that wicker is essentially constructed of natural materials, which can become weakened or damaged. Rain can damage the wicker by breaking down the construction and warping the natural materials. Dry heat or direct exposure to sunlight can also damage the wicker by breaking down the fibers, causing them to become brittle and crack.
You can, however, keep your wicker looking beautiful with just a few maintenance and care tips.
Easy ways to care for your wicker
- * Dust regularly – Because wicker is a woven material, there are a lot of places for dust to settle, so it is important to remove the dust on a weekly basis, if possible. This can be accomplished using a feather duster, a static duster, or the brush attachment of a vacuum cleaner.
- * Spills of any kind should be taken care of immediately, as they can quickly soak into the material and cause permanent stains or damage. Wiping the furniture with a damp cloth or sponge is often the best way to remove stains. If needed, you can mix a small amount of detergent and water to remove a stubborn stain, such as red wine or grape juice.
- * Although wicker likes humidity, any contact with water, such as rain or dew, can damage the fibers. Therefore, it is best to keep you wicker furniture out of the elements. Many people find that wicker is often a nice addition to a sunroom, enclosed patio or breakfast nook.
- * Dry, indoor heat may also damage wicker, so it is best to keep it away from any direct sources of dry heat, such as heating vents, space heaters or fireplaces. You may also want to regularly wipe your wicker furniture with a damp sponge to help add moisture.
- * Regular cleanings are a must for wicker furniture. Depending on the location of your wicker furniture, or the amount of use it gets, you may choose to clean your wicker furniture once a month or every couple of months.
- * Vacuum away any dust, dirt or debris. Then, prepare a solution of detergent and water. Dip a sponge into the water and wring until all of the excess water has been removed and the sponge is damp. Work on the furniture in small sections, and use a small brush, such as a toothbrush, to reach crevices. Do not wipe down any wooden parts. Wipe the areas again with a clean, damp sponge.
- * You can also wash down your wicker furniture annually by following the abovementioned steps for regular cleanings. However, instead of simply wiping the washed areas with a clean, damp sponge, you can hose them down. It is very important, however, to immediately dry the furniture. You can accomplish this by setting it out in the sun or using a fan or a hair dryer (set on the coolest setting).
- * After you have cleaned your furniture and have let it completely dry, you can check for sharp surfaces and use fine grit sandpaper to sand them smooth.
- You may also coat raw wicker with lacquer or varnish. Some people also use liquid furniture wax or linseed oil to protect the furniture and to maintain a glossy finish.
- Taking small steps to maintain your wicker patio furniture will ensure that it serves as a beautiful accent for your home for years to come!