With all this rain we’ve had recently, surely we’re due a fantastic summer? We’ve had a few lovely sunny days but they always seem to be followed with rain and a big dip in temperature! I can’t be the only one who’s desperate to get outdoors and enjoy my rattan outdoor furniture?
I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that some decent weather is coming our way. We updated our patio set towards the back end of last summer, and I’m hoping it gets plenty use over the coming months!
Although, this brings up the small problem of getting your garden furniture out of winter hibernation. And if it is rattan, and it is looking a little dirty, then don’t fear, with a little TLC, you can have that garden furniture looking as good as new.
If you have rattan outdoor furniture that is synthetic and constructed from a plastic or poly weave, then your job is a little easier than if you own the natural type.
Synthetic rattan is totally weatherproof and built around a rust-free aluminium frame, which is powder coated for additional protection. The high-quality synthetic wicker thread that is then woven around the framework, repels moisture, is UV-resistant and colourfast too.
When purchasing new rattan outdoor furniture, it is important that you recognise that it’ll be exposed to the elements. Even in a conservatory, the sun exposure is very high.
Do you have space such as shed to store it? If the answer is no, and you don’t make the right choice in terms of material, then you’ll end up with short lived garden furniture and the extra cost of replacing.
Natural rattan furniture is a popular choice, but the industry is evolving, you now have to choose between natural and synthetic rattan outdoor furniture…
And here’s the deal, both natural and synthetic rattan has their own advantage and disadvantages. However, this article will try and help you make your choice as to which one is right for you.
Many people will argue that natural rattan is a little more comfortable, softer to the touch, and that natural is best. It is strong but flexible and it will stay cool to the touch on sunny days.
Synthetic rattan on the other hand is significantly more durable than natural, it is fade resistant when exposed to sunlight and is generally made from recycled materials. Plus it can be easily washed with water and is quick and easy to dry.
However, along with the advantages there’s a few disadvantages to both types you need to consider…
Natural rattan will unfortunately absorb moisture, forcing it to expand and contract. It is susceptible to mold. Plus, this constant exposure can make it brittle, causing it to split or crack. It will fade in the sun, giving it a ‘bleached’ look too.
While the synthetic rattan weave is made from a plastic resin, so it can be sticky to the touch on a hot day.
Deciding which one is best is also further complicated by how you plan to use it. Is it just for the conservatory or will it be used on a patio? Synthetic is definitely better for outdoor use, but natural can look great in any summer room. However, for me, it has to be synthetic.
It gives you the best of both. Good looks, but if you do have it in your conservatory, there is nothing stopping you taking it outside on a sunny day. The use of aluminium frames make it sturdy but light enough to pick up and move.
How to clean rattan patio furniture
You can significantly extend the life of synthetic rattan outdoor furniture by cleaning it correctly and at regular intervals. This will prevent dirt from building in the wicker weave and causing any damage.
All you need to get it clean and ready for summer is a bucket of warm soapy water and a soft sponge or cloth.
Once washed, rinse down the furniture with cold water. You can use a garden hose, but do not use a pressure washer. They’re just too powerful and can easily damage the furniture.
And please do not clean your rattan furniture with any scouring or bleach based cleaners too. Multi-purpose cleaners are also a no no as they can lead to tiny cracks in the wicker weave that collect dirt and cause the furniture to discolour.
If your rattan garden furniture has been exposed to the elements for a good period of time, then it may require a little extra careful maintenance.
Exposure to sun, wind and rain will cause dirt to build up between the wicker weave. If you can’t effectively clean the surface with just washing-up liquid, then we would recommend the use of specialist plastic garden furniture cleaner.
Don’t neglect your rattan furniture, when it is necessary to remove ground in dirt and stains with a damp sponge or cloth, please do so immediately.
When necessary or at least every few months, its a also good idea to take a vacuum cleaner and hoover off your furniture to remove any loose dust and debris.
Make sure it is completely dry and if you have a brush attachment for the end of your hoover, then use it to get between the wicker weave, removing the loose dirt.