Caring for Wicker Furniture
First things first– What is wicker? “Wicker” refers to woven furniture that is made from pliable materials such as vines, grasses and plants. Wicker is the name of the woven furniture, or the act of weaving. Wicker furniture is made of four main materials: rattan (cane), reed, bamboo and willow. The current trend is painted wicker. The most popular colour is white as it goes with all other colours and allows easy changes in decor. Wicker furniture is sturdy and decorative, but when caring for wicker furniture, keep in mind that it is made of a natural material. Painted or raw, wicker furniture needs to be cared for properly so it lasts for many years.
Dust or vacuum with a brush attachment regularly. Make sure to get all the crevices as this is where dust builds up. Spills should be cleaned immediately with soap and water.
Every year or so, your raw wicker furniture needs a deep cleaning. First, dust furniture. Then, wash thoroughly with soap and warm water. After, rinse with a garden hose. Finally, dry quickly in the hot sun or use a air compressor. If you don’t have one try a hair drier. Do not sit on the furniture until it is completely dry. It may take a few days for your furniture to dry thoroughly. If your wicker is painted, clean as you would painted furniture. Avoid hosing down the furniture as this will cause the paint to crack.
If you find sharp strands or fuzzy patches on your wicker furniture, sand those spots with fine sand paper. If the paint is chipped or cracking, sand those spots and repaint. If there are broken strands on the body or legs, get a professional to repair it for the best results. Paint your wicker furniture to cover up these repairs.
If your wicker furniture is exposed to weather, it will eventually warp or rot. Leaving your wicker outside permanently is not a good idea. If you do bring your wicker outside make sure it is in a shaded area. For a layer of protection, you can add a Marine Grade Varnish or paint to your wicker furniture. You can do this yourself, but for a better finish you may want to get a professional to do it. As always, before cleaning any furniture, test an inconspicuous spot first. And follow manufacturer suggested instructions for cleaning, especially if there is a warranty involved.