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How to clean your wicker furniture in 5 steps

Wondering how to clean wicker furniture? With these tips and tricks from Cleanipedia you can tackle it with ease! Read on to find out how.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Cleanipedia Team

wicker garden furniture
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Key Steps for Cleaning Wicker:

  1. Determine the type of wicker you are cleaning.

  2. Select the best method for the type of wicker to avoid damaging your furniture.

  3. Dry your wicker with a fan, or hairdryer – or outside in the sun, if the weather permits – do not leave wicker wet for too long as mould or mildew could develop.

By its very nature, wicker furniture can be tough to clean. It has multiple small crevices and is therefore liable to harbour dirt. But like all frequently used household items, furniture like wicker chairs should be regularly cleaned. This can be time intensive, but it’s well worth the effort to preserve its natural beauty and hardiness.

First, determine the type of wicker furniture you own. It’s important to know which type of wicker you have, because you may need to treat it differently. Wicker furniture falls into three broad categories: natural, synthetic, or a combination. If you own natural wicker furniture, it will likely be made of reed or paper. Natural wicker is generally less durable than synthetic wicker, because natural wicker often requires sealing and varnishing while synthetic wicker does not.

Now clean your wicker furniture according to the following method:

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Regular maintenance of your wicker furniture can help preserve it. A quick cleaning solution for all types of wicker is to run a vacuum, using the bristle brush attachment, over the item. Make this part of your daily or weekly vacuuming routine so it doesn’t seem like an extra chore.

How to clean wicker chairs and furniture in 5 steps

1) Vacuum the furniture

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Suitable for all types of wicker

  • This should be the first step in cleaning wicker furniture.

  • Vacuum the furniture with the bristle brush attachment to get rid of any excess dust and particles, leaving it ready for a more thorough clean.

  • With painted wicker, make sure you go easy with the brush so as not to scrape off the varnish.

2) Use a toothbrush, tweezers, or pliers

Suitable for all types of wicker

  • After vacuuming, or to quickly get at trouble spots, go over the furniture with a toothbrush. The toothbrush head is smaller than the brush on the vacuum cleaner and will therefore reach more easily into tighter spaces.

  • Consider using a little water on the tip of the toothbrush (except on paper wicker).

  • For any dirt particles trapped inside that that can’t be wiped away, grab them with tweezers or pliers, taking care not to damage the wicker.

3) Trim with scissors

Suitable for all types of wicker

  • Older wicker – especially natural wicker – often has stray pieces that break off and stick out. If this is the case with your furniture, do not pull at the stray piece to break it off, because you could increase the damage. Instead, trim with scissors or a knife, much like you would an errant thread in clothing.

4) Wipe down with water and detergent wicker cleaner

Unsuitable for paper wicker

  • With synthetic wicker, you can take your furniture outside and spray it with your hose and apply some light detergent, or tackle it indoors with a bucket and cloth.

  • With reed wicker, use a slightly wet cloth and some soap or detergent, but be careful if your wicker has been painted, because the water may strip it off.

  • Do not use water on paper wicker, as it will warp and deform your furniture.

  • Make sure to thoroughly rinse and dry your wicker furniture right away, and before it’s used again.

5) Dry with a fan or hairdryer

Use carefully for all types of wicker

  • Strategies for drying wicker include using a hairdryer, a fan, or the open air.

  • If your wicker is synthetic, it can dry in the sun outside.

  • If your wicker is natural, spot-drying with a hair dryer (on a cold air setting), or with a fan will work wonders.

  • Do not let wet natural wicker stand for too long without drying, as it might grow mould or develop mildew.

A regular clean keeps cane furniture looking great and remaining strong; with these tips, you can handle the task with ease.

Originally published