Wicker is one of the most popular choices for outdoor furniture. It is more affordable than most other alternatives, light and easy to move, and is attractive, especially when dressed with comfortable cushions. If you want to keep your wicker furniture in the best condition and ensure that it lasts, you should maintain it regularly.
Caring for your wicker furniture
Wicker is a natural material and is sensitive to the elements. If it is exposed to too much sun, or left in a very dry area for lengthy periods, it will become brittle and may begin to crack or break. This may also happen if the furniture is exposed to extreme cold for too long. On the other hand, if outdoor wicker furniture is allowed to remain damp, because of rain or high humidity, mould or mildew may develop, which is unattractive and which may eventually harm the wicker.
The first step in caring for and maintaining your wicker furniture is to make sure that you keep it in the place that is going to protect it best from extremes in weather conditions. If you leave the furniture outside, it should be on a protected patio or verandah, where it will not get too hot, or too cold. When it is not being used for long periods, like during the cold months, it should be stored indoors. If this is impractical, you could cover the pieces individually to protect them from the elements.
Most wicker outdoor furniture has cushions on the seats. The fabric of these cushions will begin to fade and may become damaged over time if it is exposed to too much bright sunlight. An alternative is to pack the cushions away when you are not using them.
Cleaning wicker furniture
Any outdoor furniture will attract particles like sand, dust and even food. Because it is woven, wicker furniture offers many nooks and crannies for these particles to gather. If left alone, these work their way into the weave and can begin to grind at the strands, causing damage. You can clean the dust and other particles from wicker furniture fairly easily, by brushing it with a soft brush. Where there is a lot of dust, use a vacuum cleaner with a brush end. In the event that there are hairs, or bigger pieces of waste, use tweezers to remove these.
If your wicker furniture is very dirty because it has been unused for a lengthy period of time, you can hose it down with a gentle spray. Make sure that you leave it in a warm, draughty area to dry out completely afterwards. It is best to clean your furniture regularly. Wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove the dust, making sure the cloth is not too wet. If necessary, use a mild soap to make sure the furniture is thoroughly clean.
Cleaning the cushions and coverings for your outdoor furniture will depend on the type of fabric from which they are made. Removable covers on cushions are preferable, as they can be washed easily.