Maintenance 101

Once you’ve acquired the piece of wicker furniture that fits with your home and your lifestyle, you’re ready to begin enjoying it. However, not after long, your attention will come to one not insignificant detail: what you will do in order to properly maintain your wicker furniture for as long as it will last.

There’s more to the story than simply how long your furniture will last, however. Your goal should be to have wicker in your home that both lasts a long time and has a high quality of life—in other words, it should remain “good as new” for as long as possible.

The good news is that many wicker furniture pieces are easy to care for—they only call for the occasional dusting and flipping of the cushions. In fact, many people consider wicker furniture among the easiest to clean and keep. There are, however, a number of wicker pieces that require a little more attention. Additionally, there will be some mistakes you’ll want to avoid if you plan on getting the longest quality life out of your wicker furniture.

Maintenance isn’t only about maintaining appearances. If you buy a piece of wicker furniture, it should last you a long time—precluding you from buying other, possibly more expensive furniture, along the way. If you learn how to properly maintain and care for your wicker, you’ll never have to pay those extra dollars. With good maintenance for your wicker and rattan furniture, you’ll be able to get the most bang for your buck. Let’s learn how to properly maintain a variety of furniture pieces.

10 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Before you learn about what you should do in order to best maintain your wicker furniture for the future, it’s best to learn which common mistakes are most easily avoided. If you could do nothing other than read this section before you move din your wicker furniture, you would still likely gain a few tips for helping your wicker furniture live a long life.

  • Leaving your natural rattan outdoors. This is perhaps the most common—and most harmful—mistake. Because natural rattan is porous, it’s susceptible to moisture and rotting, much like wood. Additionally, it isn’t protected against sun damage. If you were to stay out too long in the sun, you would get sunburnt. Similarly, your natural rattan does not have a high tolerance for UV rays. This means that you’ll either want to cover your natural rattan when it’s outdoors, never leave it outdoors, or always remember to bring natural rattan back in when weather comes. Natural rattan is meant for indoors, covered areas, and limited exposure to the elements. Trying to make it something it’s not will just damage it.
  • Assuming a “seal” will fix everything. It’s common for wicker furniture makers to employ some sort of “seal” finish on your rattan and tell you that it will protect your rattan. The seal may work—for a while. However, even seals aren’t permanent. Eventually, heat and water can break down even the best seals and get down to your natural rattan. You may have bought a few additional hours on your natural rattan, but was the investment really worth it? Generally, if you want outdoor wicker furniture, it’s simply better to purchase synthetic wicker that is capable of handling the elements without the additional need of sealing.
  • Believing the paint will protect your rattan. Painted rattan is not necessarily protected rattan. Even white-painted rattan, while better reflecting the sun’s rays, will still be at the mercy of the environment if you leave it outdoors for too long. It’s tempting to look at the paint as some sort of seal, as if it will lock out the porousness of the rattan from exposure to the environment. However, paint’s purpose is primarily to color the rattan—and, usually, nothing more.
  • Forgetting that natural rattan and too much moisture don’t mix. Think of rattan as behaving much like wood. After too much exposure to water, what happens to old wood you’ve left out? Wood, like natural rattan, is a porous material and is able to accept and soak up some moisture. Rattan that is exposed to moisture will be susceptible to expanding—and then rotting. Both rain and snow count as moisture when it comes to wood, so don’t leave your natural rattan out believing that the winter is dry enough, either. Many of these problems can be fixed by remembering to cover your rattan if leaving it outdoors, or—more simply—to bring it inside more often than not. Additionally, should you clean your rattan with water, you should tilt it so that moisture drips off quickly.
  • Using lemon oil on white or whitewash finishes. Lemon oil is a popular cleaning agent for people who are cleaning their furniture. However, if you’re working with rattan that has been painted white or whitewashed, you’ll generally want to avoid using lemon oil. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use lemon oil on the rest of the rattan (of other colors). It actually functions as an effective finish for most natural rattan, especially natural rattan that has been lefts its typical color.
  • Overcleaning. Rattan only requires an occasional light dusting—we’ll talk a little bit more about that soon—and the occasional wipe down with a wash cloth to get the trickier pieces out. Overcleaning your rattan is not only pointless, but can actually lead to long-term damage of you expose the rattan to too much moisture. Don’t overclean your natural rattan; instead, dust it every so often and enjoy how long it lasts as-is. Many people who are used to regularly cleaning their furniture feel odd doing this, but it’s an advantage of using natural rattan.
  • Overwashing. You may avoid cleaning too often, but if you clean with too much water on the rag, you run the risk of overwashing. Don’t soak natural rattan when you clean it. Instead, simply have a moist washcloth that’s capable of getting the spots out. That’s all you need—otherwise, natural rattan will function very well on its own. Many people recommend building up a detergent-water solution and simply using the bubbles for cleaning rattan, allowing you to use just enough moisture to get the job of cleaning out the surface area done.
  • Leaving the furniture around while cleaning other areas. Since dust is one of your chief concerns for maintenance on natural rattan, you might as well minimize your rattan’s exposure to the stuff. Move rattan furniture out of the room if you’re going to be cleaning everything else and kicking up dust. You don’t want to dust one piece of furniture just to find that it has stuck to the rattan. Because rattan furniture is light and easy to move, this shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Forgetting about dirt. Porous as it is, the chief concern for cleaning rattan is the accumulation of dirt. Generally this is more of a concern when rattan has been left outdoors, but it’s possible for dirt to accumulate on indoor pieces as well. Your chief concern with cleaning natural rattan indoors should not be finishing the rattan, but rather clearing dirt—that’s why you don’t need a lot of chemical agents or expensive materials to clean rattan. Consider it a bit like flossing: the main goal is to eliminate the offending material, not necessarily to polish the structure itself.
  • Forgetting about the floor. Natural rattan pieces often feature pole rattan that pokes out onto the floor for stability and support. It may be best to place rubber stoppers under these legs, depending on the type of floor in which you’ll be placing the furniture. This will help keep the furniture in place – and prevent scratching the rattan—for floors that are a little more slippery than others. Furniture you place in carpeted rooms, for example, generally don’t have this same need.

Now that you have an idea of the mistakes to avoid, it’s time to learn a little bit more about the types of actions you should be taking in order to best achieve a long-lasting piece of wicker furniture.

Maintaining Natural Rattan Indoors

If you keep your natural rattan indoors, you’ll generally have very little need to care for it. Aside from the occasional cleaning or dusting, your maintenance is mostly done by mother nature, which has supplied you with a clean, hearty rattan for your furniture. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do a little bit extra in order to keep your rattan looking young—and fixing it up a bit if it ever begins to look old.

Installing Rubber Stops for Furniture Placed on Hard Ground

In mistake #10 above, you learned that exposing rattan to a solid floor can eventually make for scratched material. This is true. However, there’s much more to the idea of placing rubber stops on the bottoms of your rattan legs. In addition to holding rattan in place—which is important because of how lightweight rattan can be—the rubber stops will protect the bottoms of your pole rattan legs.

It’s also important to be sure that your wicker furniture won’t move around easily. For most furniture, this is not a major issue—it’s heavy enough to stick in place all by itself. Although lightweight furniture made with rattan can be very sturdy, it will not be as heavy. As a result, it’s common for people unfamiliar with wicker furniture to move into it with more strength than they realize they actually need. Rubber stops help provide a grip that may just save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Needless to say, you won’t need to employ these on every piece of rattan, especially if you’re not placing your furniture on hard surfaces or if you’ll be moving your furniture around a lot. But it’s certainly a strategy to consider if you want to employ maximum protection on your rattan.

How to Regularly Clean Your Rattan

The key to cleaning natural rattan that you keep indoors is simple: you want to keep the moisture to a minimum. As you know from reading this book, natural rattan and moisture don’t mix—it’s similar to cleaning wood with a lot of water. If you want your natural rattan to last as long as possible and to keep its strong, natural sheen, you’ll want to follow the steps you read about in this section to reduce moisture use.

If you’re confused by the list of mistakes not to make when caring for natural rattan furniture, it may be helpful to give you a step-by-step guide explaining how you can clean your rattan in the future. You may want to keep this section saved for when you have a party or are expecting guests that will use the wicker furniture in your home.

First, be sure to have all of your ingredients ready. Here are the basic raw materials you’re going to be needing:

  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Water in a bowl (a large bowl if possible)
  • Lacquer (if applicable)

Additionally, you’ll want to be sure that you’re using the proper equipment as you clean. Here are our suggestions:

  • Toothbrush
  • Paintbrush
  • A cloth (as soft as possible)
  • Vacuum cleaner and hose

Vacuum the rattan first so that you can remove as much of the dust and debris as possible; the rattan is sturdy and will respond well to vacuuming. It’s recommended you start with this so that you’re only cleaning what needs to be cleaned thereafter. In short, vacuuming your rattan first will make it easier to clean the rest of the rattan later.

Fill your large bowl with water and add a few drops of the detergent. Mix until the entire solution is frothy and bubbly. Generally, you don’t want a very high soap-to-water ratio; the idea here is to have a solution comprised of mostly water. In fact, the actual cleaning agent you’ll be using is the froth itself. Dip the cloth into the bubbles and use this part of the solution to clean your rattan. Wipe down your rattan firmly.

Why not use a lot of the water-heavy solution directly on the rattan itself? If you’ll recall, rattan and water, like wood, generally don’t mix. The more you can avoid direct contact with water, the better. In most cases, you’ll find that the bubbles work fine as a cleaning agent and keep the rattan relatively dry, since you’re using the minimum amount of moisture possible.

If you’re performing only a basic ”maintenance” clean on your rattan, you can likely stop with this quick wiping down of the furniture and allow it to dry. However, if you want to be sure that your rattan is thoroughly cleaned there are a few more steps to follow.

Use the toothbrush for cleaning the harder-to-reach areas: crevasses, cracks, and the like. If you don’t have a toothbrush to spare, you can use another soft brush. When you use a brush, be sure to handle your cleaning the same way: dip it in the bubbles of your solution, not the solution itself.

True: a toothbrush doesn’t exactly hold a lot of water. But as already stated, when it comes to cleaning natural rattan, you want to use as little moisture as possible. You’d be surprised at how much dirt and dust you can clean away with a mostly dry toothbrush and a few soap suds.

One quick note: be sure to pick a soft brush that you don’t mind getting dirty, because you’d be surprised at the kind of dust that can settle on all of your furniture over the months.

How Often Should I Clean?

For long-term maintenance of clean natural rattan, some experts will tell you that you should clean your rattan every week or so. That’d be ideal, of course, but let’s face it: it’s also a lot of work. You can still keep your natural rattan looking bright and new with the occasional cleaning spaced out over more time than that. If you clean your house once a month, simply add the cleaning of your rattan furniture.

The truth is, many people only do a “surface-level” cleaning on their natural rattan even if they do wash it often. If you include all of the steps in this section, you’ll be more thorough than a majority of rattan owners. Other owners will wash their rattan in too much water; some may even wash their natural rattan with hoses!

Remember that you should dust your rattan just as often you would dust wood; like wood, rattan is porous and can gather dust and dirt pretty quickly.

So don’t worry about the frequency with which you clean your rattan; just worry about doing it right when you do clean it.

Maintaining Wicker Furniture Outdoors

The wicker furniture you keep outdoors is going to be synthetic—at least it will be if you’ve been paying attention! As you might guess, synthetic wicker is considerably easier to clean than natural wicker, which means you can drastically cut back on the amount of time you spend cleaning your furniture.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that outdoor wicker furniture is exposed to the elements and will require more regular cleaning. You never know what Mother Nature will throw at your outdoor wicker furniture—spider webs, bird droppings, etc.—but you should know that it’s coming. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you spend as little time cleaning and maintaining your outdoor wicker furniture as possible.

Tarps and Coverings: The Keys to Outdoor Wicker Maintenance

The quickest way to ensure that your outdoor wicker doesn’t get damaged is to keep it covered. A moisture-protecting tarp will keep your outdoor furniture dry and protected from the elements—so long as you actually apply the tarp at the appropriate times! Let’s look at some common strategies (and problems) with using tarps to protect your outdoor wicker furniture.

Maximizing Your Tarp’s Efficiency

You don’t always have to keep your furniture under a tarp if you’re not using it. What you want to emphasize is keeping the tarp over your furniture at the most opportune times. If you can live with a little natural debris now and then, there’s no reason to keep your tarp extended; it doesn’t look good and it deprives you of nice outdoor views that include the wicker furniture you’ve purchased!

The key to maximizing your tarp’s efficiency is timing. Most people have an internal timer that goes off when the rain comes: it tells them to close the windows in order to ensure the smallest amount of water damage possible. This is a good instinct to have as a homeowner. Simply add “drape the tarp over the outdoor furniture” to your usual rainstorm checklist and you’ll be able to protect your wicker furniture at the right moments.

Potential Problems with Large Tarps

No one wants to look at a tarp. They want a clean, pristine, beautiful yard. They want their house to blend in naturally with its surroundings. If you’ve purchased wicker furniture for your deck or patio, then you know exactly how important this can be to building a beautiful home environment.

This presents some problems to those who would prefer not to keep giant tarps and related coverings over large pieces of furniture in their yard. This is understandable, so if you want to minimize the use of tarps and coverings in your wicker maintenance, try to follow these quick tips:

  • Keep the furniture close to the house when covered. Having an entire deck set covered under a tarp is an eyesore; keeping it close to the house reduces its visibility, particularly if your furniture is in the backyard. You can also make use of some of your home’s natural sheltering if you have a roof that extends over the side of your walls.
  • Stack furniture and keep it close together. The best way to ensure that your tarp does the least-possible “eyesore” damage is to keep its radius small. Stack and bunch furniture together so that you don’t have to drape a giant tarp over a wide-spanning area. We often build stackable wicker furniture for storage purposes; take advantage of this and keep your protected area small.
  • Leave a way for water to wick off the tarp. Many people casually toss their tarp over their furniture because they don’t believe anything else is required. They’re later surprised to find that rainwater has pooled in the center of their tarp making it difficult to remove. Try to stack furniture underneath your tarp so that water will not pool in the middle; build a typical “mountain” shape and you’ll have no problems getting the tarp off later

Cleaning Outdoor Wicker Furniture

Generally you can simply hose down your outdoor furniture because it’s non-porous and water-resistant. In fact, the quick cleaning is one of the major advantages of using synthetic wicker!

If you really must clean your synthetic wicker, try a solution of three parts water and one part bleach (note: wear protective gloves to avoid getting the bleach on your skin). This will clean off just about anything Mother Nature has to throw at your wicker furniture.

When in doubt, however, simply hose the furniture down.

Cold Weather Issues

If you live in a cold climate, you’ll want to be wary about leaving your synthetic wicker out for long periods of time in the cold. Even plastic can contract in cold weather, causing it to harden, snap, and potentially break. Store your furniture away in the winter if you want to guarantee that it will have a longer life.

If you’re used to cold winters, this shouldn’t be a major encumbrance; after all, you didn’t exactly plan on hosting your next outdoor dinner party in January, did you?

The Sun: Friend or Foe?

When summer rolls around and the sun starts making more frequent appearances, it’s exciting to soak up all the Vitamin D you can. But just like your skin, your wicker can actually have too much sun.

Most synthetic wicker furniture pieces are made out of UV-resistant materials, but it’s important to remember that simply being resistant doesn’t mean they’re UV-proof. If you want to extend the life you get out of your synthetic rattan furniture, you’re going to want to shade it from the sun when not in use.

A tarp will work for this just as it works for keeping moisture and other debris out of your synthetic rattan furniture. However, it may be more efficient (and pleasing to the eye) to keep your synthetic furniture out of view when it’s not in use. If you have a backyard shed, for example, or some kind of outdoor weather bin you’ll want to make full use of them. You can then bring out the synthetic furniture when it’s time to have a family gathering or party.

But Wait! Isn’t The Whole Point of Synthetic Furniture that It’s Low-Maintenance?

If you’ve been reading up on synthetic furniture and found yourself positively giddy over all of its low-maintenance attributes, don’t let this section discourage you. Well-made synthetic furniture is highly resistant to weathering and UV-rays. They’re more forgiving to you if you leave them out in the sun or forget to move them to a shed before a storm hits.

But that doesn’t mean they’re indestructible. You can seriously extend the life of your outdoor wicker furniture simply by keeping a few routines in mind. Synthetic rattan will break down faster if left out in the elements.

Not only more effective synthetic rattan maintenance help you protect your purchase and get more bang for your buck, but ultimately you’ll find yourself cleaning this furniture less and less because it’s well-protected. These tips aren’t necessarily “must-do’s” on your summer checklist, but they are important suggestions to keep in mind.

Repairing Rattan: A Quick Guide

If you follow all of the steps of the previous two sections, you’ll likely have rattan and synthetic rattan furniture that will stay durable for years to come.

Let’s look at some tips for common rattan problems and how to fix them.

Problem #1: Cracked Natural Rattan

Finding that your rattan has cracked or dry can be worrisome. Suddenly, the furniture you’ve been relying on doesn’t look suitable for home use! But you’d be surprised at a common repair that many people can do at home with the appropriate know-how.

The solution is to employ boiled linseed oil. This is best applied with a brush until the furniture stops absorbing the oil. Once it does so, wipe the area clean with a cloth and allow it to dry. Once hard, you can use the furniture again.

More serious rattan cracks may be more difficult to repair, but boiled linseed oil does wonders for surface-level problems

Note that some people recommend leaving linseed oil-treated wicker out for a week to fully dry and harden. Talk to a wicker expert if you’re unsure about what to do.

Problem #2: Dried Out Rattan

Some people recommend curing dried out rattan with a quick wash with a hose, arguing that the brief exposure to moisture generally won’t cause any long-lasting harm. They might be right, but aren’t there better ways to avoid moisture and keep your rattan fresh than hosing the darn pieces off?

In addition to applying boiled linseed oil (see above), you can apply lemon oil to your rattan for a less water-rich solution to your dryness problems. Lemon oil is available as “furniture polish” in many stores, so check the ingredients of your furniture cleaners and moisturizers the next time you go out for a shopping trip.

Problem #3: Structural Damage

If your rattan furniture is damaged (a broken rattan leg, unwound weaving, etc.), then the repairs are going to be more difficult. The first recommendation is simply to find a good rattan repairman in your area (or, failing that, finding a local antique or furniture shop that offers those services).

You can attempt to repair the rattan yourself, but it’s generally not recommended. If you absolutely must, you’ll want to buy the proper supplies from weaving supply stores. We don’t recommend do-it-yourself home solutions that involve tools that weren’t meant to go with rattan like duct tape. When in doubt, take your rattan to a repairman.

Problem #4: Loose Joints

Loose joints sometimes fall in the category of Problem #3. However, if there is just surface damage (some of the weaving coming loose, etc.) that doesn’t impact the way the furniture is able to support your weight, you may be able to handle some repairs yourself.

In smaller rattan pieces you can actually re-glue wicker that’s gotten loose; when the problem is deep-set, you’ll need to use equipment like a glue injection needle in order to actually reach the affected area. While the glue dries, you can use something else to brace the loose joint so that it’s reinforced. Be sure to avoid using this furniture while the glue dries, just to be safe.

In larger rattan pieces (rattan that needs to support your weight) the best way to repair it is actually to screw joints into place. It is recommended that you drill a hole for a screw, fill it with glue, and then insert the screw in the hole you’ve made. This ensures that the joint is properly reinforced to handle a significant amount of bodyweight. Again, it’s important to leave some “rest time” to ensure that the glue dries properly and that your rattan piece will be able to bear weight in the future.

Problem #5: Damaged Weaving

Because weaving patterns can be intricate and complicated, many rattan owners are hesitant to repair it simply because they don’t believe themselves up to the task. But damaged weaving can be easier to repair than you might think.

A good way to get your bearings is to take a picture of the weaving as you see it completed on another part of the rattan piece. Of course, this will only work with a piece of weaving that is identical or symmetrical to the weaving you’re working with. It takes some “reverse engineering” in order to replicate what you see—and that’s not always easy.

Generally, you’ll need to weave in new rattan to ensure that the weaving pattern will hold up in the future. It can be difficult to effortlessly weave in the old with the new. If you have a small piece to repair, you’ll likely get away with a superficial weave. If there is a lot of weaving to do and you eventually give up, you might want to turn to a professional.

The problems listed above should represent a comprehensive look at the most common repair issues you’ll face when dealing with retain. Remember: when in doubt, you can always take your furniture to an expert who’s experienced with wicker and rattan furniture.

10 Lessons for Better Wicker Maintenance

There’s an old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If the “repair scenarios” presented above sound like an option of last resort, then you’ll want to pay attention in this section. Here we’ll look through ten ways you can maintain your wicker for optimal appearance, performance, and the longest possible lifetime.

We’ll also talk about the cushions that come with your wicker furniture. As anyone who’s used wicker furniture before knows, these cushions are sometimes as big a consideration as the wicker pieces themselves.

Let’s take a look at ten lessons you can keep in mind if you want your wicker to last longer and remain durable.

1. Don’t clean your natural rattan with excess moisture.

It’s popular to hose down wicker furniture. Many people consider it an advantage to using a natural resource like rattan: they simply have to remove a few cushions from a chair and the rattan is ready for a good soaking! But the truth is you’ll get more life out of your rattan furniture if you avoid moisture as much as possible.

It’s true that rattan, like any porous material, can be susceptible to drying out. But there are other solutions to dry rattan than simply hosing down your furniture. You can apply lemon oil, for example, in order to avoid dry rattan. This will be better for your rattan and keep it looking healthier.

2. Make sure your outdoor furniture cushions are weather-resistant.

The synthetic, non-porous materials used in outdoor wicker furniture will generally keep your furniture safe and protected. But what about the cushions?

Look for sun-resistant cushions. Lighter colors reflect more sunlight rather than absorbing, keeping them cooler to the touch during the summer months and providing a little more sunlight resistance. Your cushions should also be moisture-resistant.

For synthetic wicker, avoid the extremes.

The beauty of synthetic wicker is that it’s low-maintenance. It will endure through rain, sun, and all sorts of weather conditions outside because that’s exactly what it’s built to do. But you can extend the life of your synthetic wicker if you’re sure to avoid certain extremes. For example, leaving your synthetic wicker outdoors during harsh winter months in a colder climate isn’t a good idea even if your synthetic wicker is very tough.

Synthetic wicker is tough, but you can make it tougher with a few good maintenance decisions along the way.

4. Remember that your natural rattan is porous.

Many people are so used to dealing with highly lacquered, finished wood that they forget what the true texture of wood is like—it’s highly porous, which means it absorbs dust and moisture very well.

Rattan, too, is porous. If you don’t want it to absorb too much moisture or too much dust, be sure to treat it as such. Keep our cleaning recommendations in mind—washing with bubbles and not with water—and frequently dust the whole of your rattan furniture pieces. Simply add a few seconds of dusting and cleaning your rattan to your regular routine and you should have no problems with it.

5. Dust frequently.

Speaking of the dust your rattan can gather, keep in mind that frequent dusting is a good way to ensure that dirt isn’t accumulating on your rattan. Once dirt gets into the pores of rattan, it can be harder to get out—if you want to avoid further cleaning down the road, simply be sure to dust your rattan frequently. A weekly dusting, for example, along with the rest of your house is a great way to be sure that your rattan is staying clear and clean.

If you do notice a buildup of dirt, remember to follow our recommendations for getting in the nooks and crannies of your rattan furniture. A soft brush (or a toothbrush) lightly moistened with soap bubbles can be a great way to ensure that you’re thoroughly cleaning out difficult-to-reach areas without putting too much moisture into the rattan itself.

6. Break a rule or two.

While we generally recommend avoiding moisture exposure when it comes to your natural rattan, we understand that life is busy. Sometimes you don’t have time to do anything other than hose down even your natural rattan furniture. Don’t do it!

But if you absolutely must break a rule or two in the name of convenience, be sure to keep these sessions to a minimum. Hosing down your rattan furniture for a quick clean for a party once in a while may not do serious damage, but making this process part of your routine will certainly affect the life of your natural rattan. Don’t let one instance of breaking the rules become a pattern—it’s bad habits that cause rattan to deteriorate. Avoid these bad habits, but don’t feel guilty if you break a rule once in a while.

7. Set a regular reminder for cleanings/maintenance.

The most important part of maintaining your rattan furniture is actually following through with it! In order to be sure that you regularly maintain your rattan furniture, try setting a regular reminder. There are online email reminder services that you can use, for example, or you can simply write them into your wall calendar.

You’d be surprised at how many people simply ignore the need to maintain and clean their rattan furniture. Most people take a “buy it and forget about it” approach. Obviously, this is not ideal. If you really want your furniture to last, diligence is required.

8. Use a cover for your synthetic furniture during extreme weather conditions.

If you can’t get your synthetic furniture into your garage because you don’t have the space to spare, you’ll want to use a cover for your synthetic furniture when a storm is rolling through. This will keep your furniture dry if you have an outdoor party coming up, of course, but don’t forget: keeping your furniture clear of moisture and debris also makes it easier to deal with when you do want to use it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, after all.

9. Incorporate outdoor protection into your furniture cushions.

One of the slyest ways to ensure that your synthetic furniture is protected without moving it around is to keep it covered with moisture-resistant cushions. This allows you to keep your synthetic wicker furniture outdoors without having to move it or cover it constantly. It also allows you to keep the furniture arrangement you’ve put in place even while you’re not using the furniture.

10. Don’t fret!

We’ve covered a lot of different ways in which you can maintain and repair your wicker furniture. But don’t fret! Rattan is a highly durable material. Synthetic wicker will wick away water and resist the heat. Generally, these materials will give you some flexibility; you don’t have to be a perfect housekeeper in order to ensure a long life out of your wicker furniture. As long as you’re conscious of ways to keep your furniture in good shape, you’ll be fine.

This section should give you a good idea of what it’s like to care for, maintain, clean, and repair the wicker around your home, whether you’re working with natural rattan or synthetic wicker. Yes, there are a lot of things to consider when you think about maintaining wicker furniture. If you’re still lost, keep reading: the next section features sure-fire ways to handle your wicker on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis so you can get the most out of your wicker. You’ll also learn how to choose wicker pieces.