People love to sit outdoors on their wicker furniture during spring, summer and fall. But when the first threat of snow is near, you must protect your wicker furniture from the harshness of winter. Cold weather and freezing rain can ruin your favorite wicker. Consider basic ways to protect your wicker furniture in winter to extend the life of chairs, tables and more. After all, you want to enjoy using it again on the first warm days of next spring right?
Natural wicker made from organic materials such as rattan, bamboo, and other grass elements is very susceptible to damage from weather elements such as rain, hail, snow and wind. There are many ways that natural wicker can be damaged. Moisture from the rain creates mold and mildew in the crevices of the wicker, causing furniture to sag, or to lose its shape entirely due to bending. Excessive cold and dry air makes the wicker brittle and easy to crack or break. And strong winds can blow away the rattan furniture, causing even more damage. All of this can significantly reduce the life of your wicker furniture, but there are simple ways to prevent this from happening, and protect outdoor wicker during the winter.
Cleaning wicker furniture is the thing that must be done. Start by vacuuming the furniture to remove surface dirt. Wicker furniture can be sprayed but takes longer to dry. You can simply mix dish soap with warm water and then wipe the furniture with a soft cloth. Use a toothbrush or other small brush to get into the crevices of the wicker. Some of the rattan furniture has wood trim. Use a mixture of wood soap and warm water to clean the wood area.
If you wish to store them, make sure your outdoor furniture is completely dry. If moisture or dirt remains on your furniture, mold or mildew can form during the winter months. Mold spreads quickly and can cause serious damage to your wicker furniture. If storing wicker indoors, but not using storage furniture, cover it with a strong cloth, make sure it is stored in a dry place, or that the protective cover is waterproof and securely attached to the furniture.
Once the furniture is clean and dry, you can add a layer of protection to keep it fresh for the next season. Use a rag to apply a thin layer of wax paste to your outdoor rattan furniture. Another way to clean and polish your wicker furniture is to scrub it with a cloth soaked in lemon oil. Lemon oil is protective and gives your furniture a fresh smell. Lemons also help combat mildew during the long, wet winter months. You can extend the life of your wicker furniture by brushing it with a polyurethane coating or varnish every few years.