How to Care for Rattan: Maintenance & Cleaning Tips for Furniture

How to Care for Rattan: Maintenance & Cleaning Tips for Furniture

If you own rattan furniture in your house, this article is for you!

As we all know, rattan furniture has a timeless appeal and natural beauty that adds a touch of elegance to any space. On top of that, buying rattan furniture is a cost-effective decision due to the material's durability and timeless aesthetic appeal.

However, if you've ever owned rattan furniture, you might wonder: is there a proper way to care for it? Is just wiping sufficient?

Not to worry! In this article, we will provide some expert maintenance and cleaning tips to help you care for your rattan furniture effectively.


Before you begin

wicker furniture

These are the basic tools/materials you'll need to clean rattan furniture:

  • Duster

  • Small brush

  • A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery brush attachment

  • Dishwashing liquid

  • Microfiber cloth

  • Water containers

  • Soft dry cloth

  • Rubber gloves (optional)

  • Spoon or dull knife (optional)

  • Compressed air (optional)


How to Clean Rattan Furniture

Guide for outdoor rattan (garden) furniture cleaning

Regardless if it is natural or synthetic rattan furniture, whether you keep it in the shade or directly exposed, outdoor furniture tends to build up more dust and debris as it is exposed to various weather elements.

Before starting to clean, remove the seat cushions and other detachable accessories. Then, move the furniture to an area where you can manoeuvre the furniture easier. Use a brush or a vacuum cleaner to remove surface dirt and dust.

Here is where things start to differ a bit depending on the type of furniture you have:

Natural Material

rattan garden chairs

  1. Fill in a container with a mix of warm water and dishwashing liquid. Wipe over the furniture with a soft cloth soaked with the solution.

  2. Optional: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or another soft brush to get into the crevices and hard-to-reach areas.

  3. Wipe away the soap with clean water and a different clean cloth. You might need to wipe it down several times to ensure there is no soap residue.

  4. Finally, wipe the furniture dry with a microfibre cloth. If needed, sun it until completely dry.

REMEMBER: Avoid using natural rattan if you plan to directly expose the furniture to the natural elements.

Worried about the longevity of your natural rattan despite placing it in a sheltered spot?

In this case, you may apply a hardwood garden furniture treatment once a year, but this should not be necessary.

Synthetic material

  1. Fill in a container with a mix of warm water and dishwashing liquid. You may use a cloth to wipe it, similar to the method mentioned above. You may also directly apply the solution and get scrubbing with a soft bristled brush.

  2. Wipe away the soap from the furniture with clean water using another cloth or directly rinse using a garden hose. Avoid using a high-pressure setting to avoid damage.

If you frequently use outdoor furniture or notice that it gets dirty quickly, we recommend doing this every two weeks. Otherwise, once a month should suffice.


Guide for indoor rattan furniture cleaning

Despite not being as exposed, indoor rattan furniture will collect dust just like the rest of your home.

Here are the steps for your monthly cleaning:

  1. Use a feather duster or vacuum cleaner with an upholstery brush to remove dust. Use a small, soft-bristle brush if you need to reach inside the crevices. Besides that, you can also use compressed air to remove stubborn dust build-up.

  2. Prepare a soap solution with warm water and prepare another for rinsing.

  3. Soak a soft cloth in the cleaning solution and carefully wipe down the furniture. Make sure to rinse the cloth frequently!

  4. Use a clean, microfibre cloth to dry the damp parts and allow the rest of the piece to air dry.

If you're using them regularly, there is also a high chance for the furniture to get accidental stains that need to be cleaned out quickly.

If there is a stain on the furniture, wipe it away as soon as possible.

You can gently remove a dried stain using a dull knife or a spoon (avoid rubbing it into the woven fibres!). Afterwards, use a damp cloth to wipe the affected area and let it air dry.


Additional maintenance tips for your rattan furniture!

  • If there is mould or mildew on your rattan furniture, remove it immediately! Use a strong bleach solution to treat the contaminated area, and remember to wear protective gloves. Do not soak the rattan; move it into the sun to dry quickly once the stain has gone.

  • Always check for split or broken areas when carrying out the maintenance routine. If water or cleaning solutions seep into these exposed areas, it could deteriorate your furniture and cause mould or mildew growth.

  • Lift your furniture when moving them instead of dragging them, as this will break the fibres. Use felt pads or rubber caps on rattan furniture legs to minimise cracking.

  • Natural fibre fades, which is not necessarily a bad thing; it is merely a natural process. To ensure that it fades evenly, rotate the furniture regularly, especially if you have it near a window. You might also consider placing the furniture away from direct sun.

  • Keep natural rattan furniture away from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, as rattan can warp and turn brittle from overly drying out. Natural plant fibres require a certain level of humidity so as not to dry out and split.

  • To maintain suppleness and prevent rattan furniture from drying out, we highly recommend applying boiled linseed oil or wood oil every six months. Ensure the furniture is dry and clean before applying the oil with a soft cloth.


Looking for high-quality yet affordable furniture? Hemma Singapore is exactly what you need!

Hemma Singapore is a fully online store with a wide selection of stylish furniture such as coffee tables, side tables, TV consoles, storage, bed frames, sideboards, and living and dining room furniture.

Alongside that, we also offer custom rattan and outdoor furniture for pieces that are uniquely yours!

Unlike other furniture stores, we've skipped the showroom and other intermediaries to focus instead on selling high-quality, sustainable pieces at direct factory prices online.

We absorb any costs we can to ensure Singaporeans get to have excellent furniture without breaking the bank.

You can shop for quality designer furniture without leaving your home or paying steep prices! Free delivery (T&C applied) on all orders!

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