Feature: Cleaning & Preserving Wicker Furniture Chatelaine's Antiques Collectibles Appraisals


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Chatelaine's Antiques & Appraisals Magazine > Furniture > Expert Tip: Cleaning & Preserving Wicker Furniture

History & Definitions of Wicker

Cane & Wicker Furniture - Chatelaine's Antiques and Appraisals Magazine

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Cleaning & Preserving Wicker Furniture

It pays to take care
of your wicker, especially
a Heywood Brothers
chair like this.

Whether you have rattan, reed, willow, or bamboo, you should clean your wicker furniture on a regular basis. Vacuum loose dirt and go over the wicker with a sponge that's been dampened with water and detergent. (Don't dampen any wood.) In addition, you should give your wicker a special cleaning once a year.

Here's how:

  • Dust or vacuum away dirt.

  • Scrub with warm water and detergent using a soft brush or sponge.

  • Rinse with garden hose. (Only rinse painted furniture — wetting may crack and peel the paint.)

  • Dry quickly — using the sun, a hair dryer, or a fan.

  • Let dry completely — wait several days before using.

  • Sand sharp or fuzzy strands with fine sandpaper.
Preserving Natural Wicker

When referring to wicker the term “natural” is used to designate any piece left unpainted. Originally natural wicker was either stained or coated with a light coat of clear varnish or lacquer. After cleaning natural wicker you can maintain its natural light beige color by applying a coat of colorless lacquer to protect it from soil and wear. A thin solution of an acrylic resin (polyurethane varnish) will also provide a protective skin that will resist soiling.


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