How to clean and maintain synthetic rattan garden furniture

The terrible weather we seem to be having this spring surely means we are in for a cracking summer?! Here at Lazy Susan, we certainly hope so. If you've got our synthetic rattan garden furniture, then this is how you can clean and maintain it.

The approach of summer and all this terrible weather we seem to be having this spring, surely means we are in for a cracking summer?!

We can only hope that many weeks of al fresco dining lie ahead of us and this brings up the problem of having to get your garden furniture out of storage or from under its winter covers. And if it is looking a little less than happy, then never fear, Lazy Susan is on hand.

You don’t need to worry about buying new furniture (although we would recommend Lazy Susan if you do need to purchase new), with a little minor TLC and a little effort you can have that garden furniture looking as good as new.

When cleaning any type of garden furniture only clean the cushions when it is absolutely necessary and this will keep the cushion fabric from wear and tear.

Even if the furniture stays outside for the winter or during any summer rain, you should still keep or bring the cushions inside.

Cleaning natural rattan furniture

To be honest, keep it indoors! Natural rattan is not really suitable for outdoor use. You do see it but it is difficult to maintain. It is much better in conservatories/summer rooms only or outside under a covered roof.

When washing natural rattan, always use a soft cloth that has been dampened with a little furniture polish or a mild washing-up liquid/warm water mix.

Water and soap can fade the appearance of the natural strands, so you only need a tiny drop of washing-up liquid to remove any dirt, furniture polish on the other hand really helps to enhance the appearance.

Maintaining rattan furniture from abrasion will require that you keep the pets away from the furniture as they may scratch off the coating or topple over any fragile components of the garden furniture.

Ensure that you use a natural bristle brush because it is soft enough to keep the rattan from damage and flexible enough to reach the hidden parts of the furniture.

You really need to clean the surface of wicker and rattan fairly regularly. A monthly or even weekly cleaning is the best way to protect your rattan furniture and prevent major damage.

Cleaning synthetic rattan furniture

Synthetic or poly-rattan on the other hand, such as that sold by Lazy Susan, is fully weatherproof because the furniture is constructed around an aluminium frame that is wrapped with an extra protective powder-coated layer.

Our high-quality synthetic wicker strands are then woven around this coated aluminium framework, which is UV-resistant and therefore colourfast too.

Our rattan and wicker garden furniture is totally weatherproof and can be kept outside all year, however, we would still advise you to store it indoors or cover it with a breathable cover during the winter. This is basically because freezing temperatures make the thread less flexible and may cause it to snap or crack.

However, if you take a few basic steps and if you clean your wicker garden furniture twice a year then it will remain in good condition for many years (and hopefully warm summers) to come.

You can significantly extend the life of synthetic wicker and rattan garden furniture by cleaning it correctly at proper intervals and by preventing damage to the wicker threads.

When cleaning your wicker and rattan garden furniture all you need to use is a bucket of lukewarm water, a soft sponge or cloth and a non-scouring pH-neutral detergent.

It is a good idea to rinse down the furniture with cold water afterwards too and this can easily be done with a garden hose (do not use a pressure washer as this could damage the material).

We would advise against cleaning with any scouring and/or bleaching agents or an all-purpose cleaner as they can lead to tiny cracks in the poly threads which will accumulate dirt, or cause the furniture to turn white/discolour.

If you cannot effectively clean the surface with a simple detergent solution then we would recommend the use of a specialist plastic cleaner such as the excellent Plastic Garden Furniture Restorer from HG.

If your rattan and wicker garden furniture has been exposed to the elements for a good period of time, then it may require a little extra TLC.

Exposure to sun, wind and rain will cause dirt to build up on your garden furniture and make it uncomfortable to sit on and rather unsightly, not to mention that your wicker garden furniture’s lifespan is shortened.

Deep-cleaning synthetic rattan furniture

Firstly, at Lazy Susan we would advise that you try and lightly wash your wicker garden furniture frequently.

Do not neglect your wicker garden furniture, when it is necessary to remove ground-in dirt and stains with a damp brush or cloth towel, then do so.

If you have a garden hose handy, then you should spray a fine mist mister on furniture with mild detergent.

This is great for natural fibres such as cane, wicker and bamboo too. Be sure to always completely rinse the furniture and remove any detergents. It is also very important to let them dry in direct sunlight.

When necessary or at least every few months or so, it's a good idea to take a vacuum cleaner and hoover off your rattan and wicker garden furniture.

If you have a brush attachment for the end of your vacuum then use this as it will penetrate between the poly-fibres and remove any loose dirt.

This is a really good way to get things in the nooks and crannies. Hoovering is generally safe for all types of wicker, both natural and synthetic. In the UK it is pretty much impossible to prevent your garden furniture from getting wet at some point.

You don’t want to be bringing it out all the time and getting caught in the odd shower will do it no harm at all.

However, there is every chance you could find mould and mildew, but by using a combination of hot water and a small amount of bleach to clean the rattan and wicker, it can easily be removed.

You can apply the bleach solution and warm water with a cloth and or soft-bristled brush. Shake thoroughly dry and remove any standing water as soon as possible, then leave your garden furniture to sit in direct sunlight.

If possible keep your rattan and wicker garden furniture out of any direct sunlight for a prolonged period of time.

If used in a covered area then move it every few weeks to give him some fresh light. This will help prevent any mould and mildew growth. This is especially important with white natural wicker furniture.

Keeping your wicker garden furniture clean will prolong its lifespan, and consistent and careful cleaning and maintenance will keep it strong and inviting.

When it comes to natural rattan and wicker that has become especially soiled or stained, you can also use a soft cloth and some washing-up liquid. Just wipe it off with a paper towel or a dry cloth afterwards to keep it from getting too saturated with water.

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