Whether you embrace a beachy, boho-style feel or you're simply looking to add some more texture to your space, incorporating wicker furniture into your home's design scheme is a great way to do it. Thanks to a recent surge in this natural material's popularity, you can find everything from wicker chairs and bookshelves to coffee tables, side tables, and light fixtures at your favorite furniture or second-hand store.
Because it's traditionally made of plant materials such as rattan, bamboo, willow, and reed, caring for wicker may present a bit of a learning curve. That's why, before you bring a wicker piece into your home, it's a good idea to understand the do's and don'ts. So we spoke to professional cleaners to learn everything you need to know about how to clean your wicker furniture.
How Often Should You Clean Your Wicker Furniture?
There's no hard-and-fast rule about how often you clean your wicker furniture, but you should keep a few things in mind if you have any in your home. According to Alessandro Gazzo, manager of Emily's Maids in Dallas, TX, the woven nature of wicker has a tendency to gather dust. It's a good idea, he says, to clean your wicker furniture about once a month (or possibly more if you're prone to allergies or your furniture is more heavily used).
Meet the Expert
- Alessandro Gazzo is manager of Emily's Maids in Dallas, TX.
- Alex Varela is general manager of Dallas Maids, a Texas-based house cleaning service.
- Steve Evans is owner of the Tennessee-based cleaning service Memphis Maids.
The good news is, when the time for cleaning comes, you won't need too many supplies—and the job isn't very complicated.
Things You'll Need
- Soft bristle brush
- Smaller detail brush or an old toothbrush
- 2-3 microfiber cloths
- Gentle dish soap
- Warm water
- Hair dryer (optional)
How to Clean Wicker Furniture
Step 1: Remove Items From the Furniture
Before you start, remove any and all items from the furniture—books, plants, chair cushions, or anything else that could get in the way when you're cleaning the piece. (Plus, you'll be using water, so you don't want those items to get wet.)
Step 2: Dust the Furniture
Start by wiping down the wicker piece with a large, dry brush (ideally, one with soft bristles to avoid damaging the fibers), followed by the microfiber cloth. If necessary, carefully use a smaller detail brush or old toothbrush to remove dirt, dust, or other debris from crevices.
According to Alex Varela, general manager of Dallas Maids, you can treat dry wicker furniture with linseed oil once or twice a year. "Rub it with a microfiber cloth and then wipe the excess with a different, clean cloth," he says. Just make sure it's properly dried (it might take you several hours, or even days) before using the piece, especially if it's meant for sitting.
Step 3: Use a Wet Cloth to Wash the Furniture
After mixing a few drops of dish soap in a bucket with warm water, grab a clean microfiber cloth and dampen it with soapy water. According to Steve Evans, owner of the Tennessee-based cleaning service Memphis Maids, the cloth shouldn't be soaked—just wet enough to clean the wicker piece's fibers.
With the damp cloth, gently scrub the entire surface of the wicker piece, ensuring you reach all the crevices. Your detail brush dipped in soapy water can come in handy here as well.
Step 4: Dry the Wicker Piece
When you're done cleaning the wicker piece, you'll want to make sure it's totally dry to avoid damage from excess moisture. Evans recommends using a dry microfiber cloth first to dry, then using a blow dryer or setting the piece outside in the sun to finish the job. If you go this route, be careful not to leave the piece outdoors for too long; Evans says too much sun exposure can the natural fibers to crack.
How to Keep Your Wicker Furniture Cleaner, Longer
To protect your wicker furniture and extend the time between deep cleans, regularly use your vacuum's hose or brush attachment to remove dust and debris that may have collected in the weave. This is especially important if your furniture is natural wicker, as organic material can break down the fiber over time. Similarly, if you spill on or stain the furniture, always clean it up as quickly as possible to prevent long-term damage.