Rattan Corner Sofa is designed to be left outside and exposed to the elements, but it isn’t invulnerable. Over time, wicker can get dirty and weather-damaged, which is why it’s so important to clean on a semi-regular basis. In this guide, we’ve shared how to clean wicker furniture using a few common-sense techniques, which will ensure that your pieces stay in excellent condition.
To Clean Wicker Furniture
The process of cleaning natural wicker isn’t that much different. Bear in mind that you’ll have to be gentle with the brushes to prevent fraying and splintering, and allow for extra dry time as the wicker will absorb the water you used to clean.
Begin by removing all cushions, and using a soft-bristled brush to agitate dust, dirt, and pollen that has settled on the surface. If you use natural wicker furniture indoors, dusting is a good routine for cleaning for those pieces as well.
Though the brush loosens debris, the dust is still bound to settle in its tight weave, and you’ll want to get as much of it as possible out before you wet the wicker. To do this, you can also vacuum, or use an air compressor to loosen additional dust so that it doesn’t become more trapped once in contact with water.
While you’re dusting, be on the lookout for mildew in areas on the arms or beneath the seat cushion that may become saturated with moisture but not dry easily. Apply a spray that’s 50% hydrogen peroxide/50% water to these areas to let it begin to absorb.
Create a bubbly bath of dish soap and warm water and use a sponge to apply it directly to the wicker. Allow the soapy water to drip between the layers of wicker. Place an emphasis on distributing those soapy bubbles so they get everywhere!
How to Protect Outdoor Furniture
Now that you know how to properly clean your patio set with outdoor furniture cleaner and various treatments, it's time to learn how to protect your furniture against all odds. Contrary to popular belief, snow and rain aren't the only threats to backyard sofas, tables, and other patio set components. Extreme heat and sun exposure also have the ability to damage many different materials. These tips will help you protect your patio furniture year-round so you can enjoy a beautiful, high-quality outdoor gathering place for many seasons to come.
Invest in high-quality furniture covers that are best for your climate. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and rain, choose durable covers that are resistant to moisture. If you live in a humid, tropical climate, opt for light-weight covers that are well ventilated to prevent mildew and mold.
Store all patio furniture indoors during seasons that bring a lot of snow and rain.
Protect your outdoor cushions and pillows from sun and water damage by keeping them in a dry, cool, indoor space when you're not using them.
If your patio receives a great deal of direct sunlight, consider installing a form of overhead shelter that will protect your furniture from sun damage. A few examples of this would be a patio umbrella, an awning, an opaque patio cover, or a pop-up tent that you can put up and take down easily.
Make a habit of checking your furniture regularly for signs of rust and mildew. Make sure you eradicate these problems immediately before they spread and corrode your patio set. Keep an eye out for any minor cracks and fix them before they have the chance to grow beyond repair.
As a good rule of thumb, it's always best to store your patio furniture, cushions, and pillows indoors whenever you're not using them. If you only use your patio set for parties and gatherings, it may be worth the effort to move the furniture indoors until your next event. Otherwise, you run a much higher risk of damaged furniture by consistently exposing them to the elements.
If your patio set is much too heavy to transfer back and forth before and after every social gathering, use patio covers whenever you're not using the furniture, and bring pillows and cushions inside.
Additionally, when looking to protect different types of outdoor furniture, here are some tips to help keep specific materials safe:
Wooden wicker: Choose a matching outdoor paint or shellac and allow it to dry at least two full days before using. You can also apply a thin coat of furniture wax for added shine and protection.
Fabric: Use a fabric protector like Scotchgard to protect against spill stains and make cleaning easier. Apply this fabric protector after each and every cleaning.
Teak: Although durable, Teak should be kept stained, varnished, and weather treated to prevent it from rotting and turning gray and weathered.
Metal: Remove any rust spots with mineral spirits and a damp cloth. Apply a coat of Rustoleum Paint or primer and paint to improve and repair the metal.
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