Your Guide to Cleaning Wicker
Putting unpainted wicker furniture through the car wash is one great way to get it really clean! Providing it is wood-based wicker, that is. Learn all the tricks to cleaning all kinds of wicker, here:
Wicker furniture means that which is made from natural materials that are woven to create a strong structure.
What kind of wicker do you want to clean? Vine- or wood-based wicker can handle water. Paper fibre rush wicker can’t handle as much water so it shouldn’t be used outdoors, or cleaned with water.
Note that painted wicker doesn’t handle too much water no matter what the material underneath.
Rattan wicker is made with the rattan palm vine. The vine is slit to many different lengths and used as the cane woven for the seats, and the vine itself can be used for the structure after the thorns are removed.
Willow is also commonly used to make wicker furniture.
Bamboo is increasingly being used for outdoor furniture but it doesn’t look like traditional wicker.
Paper Fibre Rush
Paper fibre rush is ropelike, manmade, and has a distinctive diagonal twist throughout the cord. After about 1930 the cords were strengthened by use of a metal wire running along the inside of the cord.
Unpainted wood-based wicker can be blasted with water, but it needs to be dried thoroughly before use.
Vacuuming wicker works well to remove dust.
Rattan wicker can handle light scrubbing with a mild detergent and water. Dry thoroughly.
Paper rattan needs to be dusted and vacuumed, not washed.
Make sure wicker is completely dry before using again. The sun works wonders for drying wicker, but make sure to bring the wicker inside at night while it is drying.
Placement of Wicker
Wood-based wicker does very well on covered porches as some humidity is good for it. A dry indoors environment makes wicker prone to cracking. Paper-based wicker shouldn’t be outdoors and is best suited for sun rooms.
Porch wicker (wood-based wicker), can weather beautifully into a natural hew. Paper wicker won’t, so it will need to painted. Painted wicker needs to be retouched every few years.
By Annie B. Bond