Wicker furniture provides a luxurious, well made and comfortable addition to any outdoor area. It provides a bridge between the outside and the inside, combining the best aspects of indoor furniture with the more rustic demands of the outdoors.
But even while wicker furniture is quite rugged and well made, it still needs to be looked after if it is to last a long time. This is especially true since it spends so much time sitting outdoors; even if the weather is dry it can create problems for wicker furniture.
When it comes to caring for your wicker chairs and tables, you should find out first of all exactly what material they are made of. Wicker is merely the style in which a particular material has been used, which in this case is woven; the most commonly used types in this case are bamboo and willow.
Assuming you have bought the right piece of furniture to use outside (some wicker furniture is only meant to be used indoors, so be careful when you are buying it in order to ensure you get something robust enough to last outdoors) the first step is to make sure you clean it regularly. If you don’t then it is not likely to last as long since it will be less able to withstand the weather. Make sure you get into good cleaning habits as soon as you get your furniture, to stand a better chance of sticking with it.
Dust is a big factor for outdoor furniture, and the natural design of wicker means that there are plenty of places for dust to blow into and become lodged. The best method of getting it out is to use a feather duster or static duster to be rid of it.
Once you have done that a quick wipe with a damp cloth (not soaking wet) should do the trick. The problem with having wicker furniture sitting in the sun is that all the moisture content of the wicker will gradually be lost and the furniture will become compromised as a result. Wicker should never be completely dry. Regularly wiping it over like this helps to combat this natural loss of moisture to the sun.
Some types of wicker may need oiling with linseed oil or something similar to help protect it against moisture and replace some of the natural oils that are lost. But there is only a certain amount you can do to clean and protect your furniture from the elements.
Each year there comes a time when the weather changes for the worse, and then you are better off storing your wicker furniture for the winter if at all possible. If you don’t have the room then get some large tarpaulins to cover it with and make sure they are anchored down.
However good your wicker furniture is in quality, dusting and oiling it will only help to protect it against some things. Sometimes a change of location is your best bet until the weather gets better again.