|Photo by Tolleva|
Summertime…the living is easy and often outdoors. If you do a lot of outdoor entertaining over the summer, you probably have some wicker furniture on your patio or deck. Wicker is the umbrella term for furnishings made from woven natural materials such as willow, cane, sea grass, and rattan. It goes hand-in-hand with outdoor entertaining, but it can also be difficult to keep it looking great. Here are some tips for extending the life of your wicker furniture.
1. Keeping your wicker clean is paramount, but it can be hard to get into all those tiny crevices. The brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner works best for this. After vacuuming, wipe the wicker down with a damp cloth. For stubborn stains use a soft bristle brush dipped in dish detergent or Murphy’s Oil and warm water. Rinse well afterwards.
2. The sun is not only an enemy of your skin, it also wreaks havoc on your outdoor furniture. Wicker can fade and crack from the sun’s harsh rays. If part of your deck or patio is in shade, rotate your furniture so the same pieces are not constantly exposed to sunlight. Also, condition your wicker with a light coat of lemon oil every couple of months.
3. Along with the sun, rain is another enemy of wicker because it weakens the fibers, thus causing the furniture joints to loosen. It also becomes a magnet for mold and mildew in areas with lots of humidity. Painted wicker will also tend to chip and peel from excessive exposure to moisture. That’s why it’s important to keep your wicker pieces out of the elements. Wicker will do best when kept under a covered porch or awning. You might also want to consider storing your wicker furniture indoors when not in use.