How to Clean Wicker and Keep It Looking Fresh!

Interior of a modern living room with wicker furniture
Wicker is one of the most versatile materials we use in our homes. This natural wood material is strong enough to be used as furniture, light enough to provide portable seating and storage, and beautiful enough to fit in with any décor theme.

So, how to clean wicker to keep it looking vibrant for years to come? The first step is to know more about this unique material.

What Is Wicker?

It’s important to know that wicker is not wood. It’s true—technically!

The word “wicker” actually refers to the weaving method we associate with wicker baskets, furniture, and other products. While most wicker is woven wood (most often rattan, though other types of wood like willow, and bamboo), resin-based synthetics are becoming more common.

The weaving process and the right materials make wicker especially useful in products that need to be moved often like laundry baskets or patio furniture. Today, wicker furniture designed for outdoor use is often made from synthetics to better hold up against high humidity, rain, snow, and temperature changes. This adds a modern resilience to a technique that dates to ancient Egypt.

How to Clean Wicker Baskets and Indoor Wicker Pieces

If your wicker is made of rattan or another natural material, you’ll want to take special care to avoid harsh cleaning chemicals that could affect the finish on the wood or even the wood itself. If you aren’t sure what your wicker basket or furniture is made from, check the tag on the bottom or contact the manufacturer.

  • Dry dusting — Regular light dusting with a feather or microfiber duster can prevent dust and dirt from building up. Include wicker as a part of your monthly cleaning routine.
  • Vacuuming wicker — For heavier dust, use the brush attachment on your vacuum and let the bristles assist in loosening stuck-on dust or dirt. Be sure not to push too hard with the bristles.
  • Wet dusting — Without using a harsh cleaner, simply wet a soft cloth, towel, or even a sock with warm water and wipe down your wicker elements. Avoid leaving moisture on the wicker and consider using a fan or natural sunlight to accelerate the drying process.

Related Topic: How to Save Time Dusting

How to Clean Wicker Furniture That’s Outside

It’s no wonder that wicker patio furniture can see much more dirt and grime buildup. In warmer and more humid climates, wicker can also grow mold and mildew in its numerous nooks and crannies.

Heavily Stained Wicker Furniture

First, try vigorous wet dusting and focus on removing the worst of the dirt. This can help you identify any mold that might be building up on the wicker. Mold and mildew can cause the wicker to deteriorate and lose its strength.

If you do notice mold, mix a 1 to 4 ratio of white vinegar and water. Try to limit your use of this solution to the most mold-affected places. Wipe the area again with regular water and use a fan or air-dry the wicker once it’s clean. Mild dish soap may also be an option for heavily soiled wicker, though you may want to test the solution on a small patch first to see if it has any impact on the material.

Related Topic: How to Clean Outdoor Furniture

Protect Outdoor Winter Furniture Made of Wicker

While it might be best to store your wicker indoors, if possible, you may not have enough storage space. Cold weather doesn’t affect wicker, though changes in humidity can cause moisture buildup that will eventually lead to mold.

  • Store wicker in a dry place whenever possible or, if not, make sure it’s well-covered under a tarp or in shrink-wrap
  • Avoid letting moisture build up on wicker and keep it out of the rain at all costs
  • Remove all cushions after every use. Wet cushions can slow the drying process and lead to prematurely weakened wicker or warping

Keep Wicker and Your Whole Home Clean

The professionals at Molly Maid know how to clean and care for the many unique materials throughout your home. Whether you need daily, weekly or special occasion cleaning we have the experience to help get your home looking clean and fresh. And less cleaning for you means more time to do the things you love. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, request an estimate today.