Cleaning and Preserving Your Wicker Furniture

© Paul Maguire -

You do not have to rely on a professional just to have your wicker furniture cleaned out properly. Whether you have indoor or outdoor furniture, there are a number of ways that you can clean your wicker furniture in order to make it look new and preserve its beauty. It is not hard to clean and maintain, as long as you know what you need to do. So if you have this type of furniture and it has already accumulated dust, dirt, and grime, here is a guide on how to clean it:


Step 1 – Determine the Type of Wicker Furniture You Have

There are basically two types of wicker furniture: those that you use indoors and those for use outdoors. Before you clean them, make sure that you determine what type you own, as there are certain cleaning methods that you can use only with outdoor furniture.


Step 2 – Prepare the Cleaning Tools and Items

Once you know the type of wicker furniture you have, the next step is to prepare the necessary cleaning tools and items that you would need to clean it out. Prepare these things before hand as you do not want to leave the furniture wet for too long.

  • A small, soft-bristled brush (a toothbrush will do)
  • Paint brushes
  • Vacuum cleaner with dust attachment
  • A few clean sponges, pieces of cloths, and absorbent towels
  • Cleaning solution – mild soap, ammonia, and water
  • Bucket
  • Water hose


Step 3 – Clean the Furniture

Cleaning Indoor Wicker Furniture

If you will be cleaning indoor wicker furniture, here are the things that you should do:

  1.  Using a vacuum that features a dust attachment, remove as much dust as you can from the furniture. A  good vacuum cleaner will get rid of most of the dust and you will instantly see how your wicker furniture looks a lot better and how just vacuuming away the dust first significantly cuts your cleaning time.
  2.  You do not need to use branded or commercial cleaning aids or solutions during this process. All you need is a combination of 1 gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of ammonia. If this is not enough, you can just mix another gallon of water with the same amount of ammonia.
  3. Limit your water usage. You should not pour, splash, or scoop the water directly onto the furniture. Never drench it in water since doing this will ruin your beautiful wicker furniture. What you need to do is to put your water-ammonia solution in a separate bucket, soak the clean cloth with it, and then wash and clean as you go. If you absolutely must, you can hose it down, but make sure that you dry it off as quickly as possible with clean absorbent cloths or towels.
  4. Dry the wicker furniture off as soon as you are done cleaning it, even if you didn’t have to hose it down. If you leave it wet for too long, your furniture will become too limp, and you won’t be able to use it again. If during the cleaning process, it becomes too wet, you can still just dry it off with clean and dry cloth or towels.

Cleaning Outdoor wicker furniture

If the wicker furniture you will be cleaning is the outdoor kind, here are the proper steps you need to take:

  1.  Since your wicker furniture is outdoors, it is automatically exposed to more dirt, dust, and grime. Using a soft brush with firm bristles (vegetable brush, toothbrush, or fingernail brush), loosen as much dirt, dust, and grime as you can. After this, use your vacuum to suck up the loosened particles.
  2. If your outdoor wicker furniture is made from synthetic materials, you can wash it with water and even hose it down without the risk of ruining the furniture.
  3. Make a mixture using a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of soap or ammonia. If you have wooden furniture, you may want to use a vegetable-oil based wood soap. Wet a clean sponge or piece of cloth in your water-soap/ammonia mixture and wipe down the furniture. To clean the insides of the weaves, you can use a small, soft-bristled brush like a toothbrush.
  4. For unpainted wooden wicker furniture that is natural or has only been clear coated, you can hose down the water-soap/ammonia residue, but make sure that it is set only on light pressure. On the other hand, if it has been painted, do not use a hose as it can damage the furniture’s finish. You can remove the residue using a clean damp sponge or cloth.
  5. If the furniture is completely made from synthetic materials, you can hose it down with water without worrying about pressure.


Step 4 – Regular Caring for and Preserving your Wicker Furniture

Now that you’ve learned how to clean wicker furniture, whether its outdoors or indoors furniture, you also need to learn  about the things that will help you properly care for and preserve them. Fortunately, these types of furniture are pretty easy to maintain. Aside from not being a burden, taking good care of them will also allow you to ensure that they retain their quality.

If you want your wicker furniture to last for a very long time, here are some tips to keep in mind about preserving wicker furniture:

Regularly dust your furniture. You can use a dust wand or a vacuum on your wicker furniture about once a week or if want to go all out because you have plenty of time on your hands, pick up a small brush and scrub that furniture down with soap, but getting down and dirty isn’t really that necessary as long as you keep the accumulation of dust to a minimum, and save the soap, water, and scrubbing for a once a month routine.

Wipe spills as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that wicker easily absorbs liquids, so anything that has been spilt on such furniture will get into it quickly and might stain it. If you have spilled something on it clean it off with soapy water thoroughly.

Don’t leave out your wicker furniture in the rain and don’t leave it under direct sunlight. These environmental elements can greatly damage your furniture.

You may want to varnish your wicker furniture. This will improve its appearance while also strengthening to make it last longer.