by Tricia Gloss
Wicker furniture is a fitting choice for patios, sunrooms and other areas where you want to create a tropical or sunny ambiance. Wicker is naturally strong and sturdy, so your patio furniture will stand up to the elements and still look lovely. While it is quite durable, it is also lightweight and easy to rearrange. Wicker is an environmentally friendly product, so you can feel good about your outdoor furniture. Properly caring for wicker furniture can prolong its life for many seasons.
Clean your wicker furniture regularly. Removing light dust and dirt will keep your wicker furniture looking like new. Dirt, mud and grime can cause wicker fibers to break down more quickly. Clean your outdoor furniture at least once a month using the soft bristle brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Wipe away spills or noticeable dirt immediately using a clean cloth dipped in water and mild soap, such as liquid dish detergent.
Deep-clean wicker furniture twice a year. Dip a heavy nylon cleaning brush into soapy water and scrub the wicker thoroughly. Scrub between the weave as much as possible. Rinse the furniture with a garden hose to remove all the soap and any remaining dirt. Allow the furniture to dry completely in the sun to prevent mold or mildew.
Protect wicker furniture from direct sunlight. Covering seats with padded cushions not only makes the furniture more comfortable, it also helps shield the wicker from the sun. Place wicker in a shady area to protect it from direct sunlight whenever possible.
Shield wicker furniture from severe weather. If you live in a wet region with winter snow, tropical storms or frequent rain, store wicker furniture in a garage or bring it indoors for the wet season.
Polish wicker furniture with oil. Wipe down wicker furniture with a clean, soft cloth dipped in lemon oil twice each year. If you store your furniture for the winter, give it a thorough cleaning and polish with lemon oil prior to putting it in storage and again when you remove it from storage. You can further extend the life of your wicker by brushing it with a coat of varnish or polyurethane every seven to 10 years.