How to Clean & Care for Rattan

When you have invested a lot of money in your outdoor garden furniture, you have to make it remain in good condition for as long as possible by cleaning and caring for the furniture. If this is your first time owning rattan items and you want to know the maintenance tips you need, then the guide below is going to help you out. You will know how you can clean and care for rattan.

brown wicker armchair with gray throw pillow

Cleaning Outdoor Rattan Garden Items


Many people choose rattan tables and chairs because it is cost-effective. This is not just because of the price you are going to pay, but also how long the material is going to last if you take care of it. You should follow the following steps when cleaning your outdoor rattan garden tables and chairs:

  • Using a hand brush to gently brush down the materials. This is going to remove any grime or dirt on the surface. A vacuum is a good option too.
  • Take a bowl full of warm water then mix with washing up liquid so that you can use it as a light cleaning agent. Avoid harsh detergents because they can affect the rattan.
  • Take a soft cloth then dip into the bubble (don’t dip it into the water), then wipe down the furniture.
  • If there are crevices and hard-to-reach areas, another soft brush or toothbrush can do the job well. This will ensure every surface of the furniture has been taken care of.
  • Rinsing out the cloth and replacing the warm water with cold water. Use a cloth to wipe down the furniture and remove soaps suds left. Make sure you wring out the cloth before wiping down the furniture. Once you are done wiping, leave the furniture to dry outside.
  • You should do this on a weekly basis to get the very best results, especially when you use the furniture regularly. If you don’t use it that much, then once a month should be okay.

Taking Care of Rattan Tables and Chairs

You can extend the lifespan of your furniture by taking care of the various elements – such as covers and cushions – and providing adequate protection. What should you look out for?

Investing in a Cover

The rattan is natural material outside your house, but you should still give it protection if it is not in use for an extended amount of time. Get an outdoor rain cover because it is going to protect your furniture during the cooler months of the year. It is going to provide protection from moisture in the air, while still breathing and maintaining its condition.

white and brown woven sticks

Bringing Removable Cushions Inside

The rattan can withstand harsh weather elements, but this is not the same with the cushions used. They can withstand a little rain, but not an ongoing downpour. This is why you should bring in the cushions and rattan garden chairs when not in use. While the rain cover is going to help, it is not going to do much in stopping the moisture from getting to the cushion material.

Keeping the Material Clean

Accidents are going to happen because there will be spills from time to time. Just like inside your home, you should clear up any spillages. You can do this using a damp cloth, then leave the material to air out naturally.

Protecting It from the Sun

The rattan garden loungers spend a lot of time outdoors where people relax and catch some sun. When exposed to UV rays, rattan is going to suffer because it is a natural material. You should try giving it shade at times to give them the chance to retract and breathe. Your outdoor furniture is going to last longer.

Taking Care of the Cushions

Once the furniture has been assembled, it is easy to keep it in the same position. There are some seats that are going to be used more than others. This is going to cause the cushion to start losing shape. If the cushions are removable, swap them around so they get used equally. This is the same case with exposure to the sun – move around the furniture so one piece is not getting more exposure than the others.

The Right Way to Treat Outdoor Rattan

You need to treat your rattan furniture from time to time. There at three ways of doing this and increasing its lifespan.

Staining the Material

If the finish looks dull or faded, then staining is going to restore the shine and color. It is going to take a couple of days, but the end result is going to be worth it. Make sure you follow the instruction provided and apply it directly on the furniture. Let it rest then wipe off any remnants. This is going to leave you with a reinvigorated material underneath. Your furniture is going to look amazing.

Polishing Up the Surface

Once you are done staining, it is a good idea to add an extra sheen to the finish. When you use liquid wax, you are going to give the material a good polish and it brings back energy and vibrancy to the furniture. You have to do this once and it is going to leave your furniture looking great for a year.

Weatherproofing Your Furniture

Rattan is sourced from hot tropical rain forests and when it is alive, it usually adapts easily to weather changes. It usually maintains its weatherproof qualities after it is made into furniture, but you can still help it. Once a year, apply a hardwood garden furniture treatment so it can provide protection against harsh rain elements, which allows it to brush off the rain, sun, wind, and snow.

Restoring and Repairing Rattan Items

Wear and tear are going to happen with time, but there are some things you can do to repair and restore your rattan furnishings. Below are three tips that will help you with this.

Repair of Cracks and Splits

The rattan can start splitting and cracking when it is overexposed to the natural elements. Don’t worry, boiled linseed oil is going to help you out. Apply it to the affected area and it fixes the issue. This works the same way the staining method works, so the work is just applying oil then wiping away the remnants.

Painting Your Rattan

If you decide no to stain, then there the alternative is to paint. You can choose whether to use the traditional route or spray paint. You are going to paint it the same way you paint any other surface. This will involve a primer coat then following it with layers of your favorite color. Just like staining, it is going to bring back life to your furniture.

Refinishing the Furniture

The process of refinishing rattan is the same as used in any other type of material. You are going to give your garden furniture a new lease of life after being used for many years. Don’t use a sander, go with a liquid sander then apply the color of your choice. If you are going to choose the same color as before, you are going to have an easier time re-establishing its vibrancy. If you are changing the color, then you might need to add a couple of coats so you can end up with a finish you like.

With the above tips, your furniture is going to look great and last for a long time.