Any piece of furniture is only as beautiful as it is cared for, and natural rattan is no exception. A stylish and durable addition to both interior and exterior spaces – from bedrooms and kitchens to balconies and patios – natural rattan is practical, sturdy and, when properly cared for, will lend your space a unique, breezy feel for years to come.
To make sure your rattan furniture goes the distance, you'll want to make sure to keep your rattan tables, lounge chairs, stools, headboards, and cabinets in pristine condition – which is easier than you think. This guide will show you how to clean and care for rattan furniture pieces and sets to extend their lifespan.
Rattan requires gentle and regular cleaning. Of course, there's no one-size-fits-all solution for cleaning furniture, due to varying materials, woods and stains. For rattan, we recommend having the following items on hand:
Rattan furniture's delicate, intricate design makes it the perfect addition to coastal and bohemian décor – but all those tiny cracks in the design also collect dust and dirt, making regular care and dusting essential. Proper cleaning ensures your furniture will last for generations to come. There are several different cleaning methods –some of them more suitable for natural rattan and others meant to clean synthetic rattan furniture.
Follow these step-by-step instructions on how to clean indoor and outdoor rattan furniture.
Indoor rattan furniture tends to get dusty, just like the rest of your house. Keep it fresh with weekly dustings and monthly damp cleanings. If your furniture is used every day, you're also likely to see accidental stains that need to be cleaned immediately.
Here are 5 main steps to cleaning indoor rattan furniture:
The cleaning process for outdoor rattan furniture is similar, except you'll certainly see more dust and debris built up on your outdoor furniture than the indoor one. Even if you've weatherproofed your furniture or chosen synthetic rattan for your outdoor space, it still needs to be cleaned and maintained.
Here's how to clean outdoor rattan furniture in 5 steps:
Unfortunately, rattan furniture is susceptive to mold and mildew when kept outdoors or in damp spaces. If you notice black spots on it and cannot remove them using the cleaning solution, then it is likely to be mold. Not to worry – your furniture is still very much salvageable.
Follow these steps to clean mold off rattan furniture:
You've got the cleaning down, but extending the life of your rattan furniture also requires proper maintenance. There are a number of simple steps you can take to keep your rattan looking new for years to come. Let's take a look at 5 easy tips that will help maintain your rattan furniture.
Rattan furniture is lightweight, which makes it easy to store inside after using it outside. Avoid leaving it outside for prolonged periods of time without a cover as it can get damaged in several ways.
The short answer is no. Natural rattan will not last outside if left for a long time without cover or protection. Leaving it in humid environments will result in damaged fibers and mildew, while particularly dry or cold air will dry it out and cause fibers to snap. Direct exposure to the sun will result in excessive fading. If you leave your natural rattan furniture outside, it will not last nearly as long as it would indoors.
The possibility of leaving wicker furniture outside depends on the material and its coating. There are 2 main types of wicker furniture:
The most effective way to keep rattan furniture beautiful for years is to keep it indoors or on a covered patio. If you absolutely have to use it outside, we recommend making it water and weatherproof. Even if the piece had a protective layer when purchased, it will wear off over time. To prolong this protection, repaint your furniture with a new coat of varnish and enjoy it for years to come.
Here are the steps to waterproof rattan furniture:
If you don't want to paint your furniture or apply varnish, using tung oil can also help weatherproof it. Keep in mind that tung oil won't protect your furniture from heavy rainfall.
Follow these steps to weatherproof rattan furniture with tung oil:
If the chair or sofa you want to waterproof and weatherproof has upholstery, use a water-repellent spray or other fabric protector. If possible, remove the cushions from the rattan frame and spray them outdoors or in a well-ventilated space.
We recommend gentle weekly dusting and monthly damp cleaning of the furniture, and a thorough yearly inspection to discover any split fibers or mold and fix those right away.
Do not drag your rattan furniture across the floor, as this can break the fibers. Instead, lift it up when moving it, keeping an even pressure on each side. For enhanced protection, use felt pads or rubber caps on rattan furniture with cane legs.
If you spot mold or mildew on your rattan furniture, take care of it immediately and don't allow it to spread. Use a strong bleach solution to treat the affected areas and dry it thoroughly outdoors. Depending on the amount of mold present, it could take repeated cleanings to fully resolve the issue.
Before cleaning your furniture, choose the best method based on the furniture type and condition. As long as you take proper care of rattan furniture by regular cleaning and maintenance, you'll enjoy your beautiful rattan pieces for decades to come.