Keeping your cane furniture in tip-top condition is relatively straightforward, but only when you know what you are doing. Unfortunately, people tend to use the wrong products or approach with their wicker furniture, and that will only spell disaster.
However, the reality is that cleaning rattan furniture can be easy, as the following tips and advice will prove.
What is Cane Furniture?
What you are looking at with cane conservatory furniture is a mesh of split canes added to a framework. The intention here is to weave the cane to create a strong, sturdy cover capable of putting up with a lot of punishment.
Different materials may be used to create the furniture. It can then be used to create not only a single seater chair, but couches, tables, and various other items of furniture.
The History of Cane Furniture
Cane furniture was actually first conceived in the 1660s, so it has been around longer than people realise. Its origins lie in an area covering the Netherlands, France and the UK, and since then it has grown in popularity, as well as spreading around the world.
From that time, it has remained highly popular.
The Types of Cane Furniture
Just immediately prior to us taking you through how to correctly clean your cane or wicker furniture, we should point out that different types of cane furniture exist.
This is primarily due to the material used in its creation. That is why you will discover rattan garden furniture along with cane, or wicker. However, no matter the material, the actual cleaning and caring process remains the same.
How to Clean Your Cane Conservarory Furniture
To correctly clean your cane conservatory furniture, it involves you moving through several steps. However, don't worry, as we will guide you through each step.
Do note that we are talking about the actual furniture, and not the upholstery. The upholstery requires its own approach.
How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Furniture?
So how often should you be cleaning your furniture? Generally, doing a regular clean will help prolong the life of your furniture. This applies no matter the material it is constructed from.
However, when we talk about cleaning it on a regular basis, we are not talking about the constant need to do an in-depth clean.
Instead, preventing a build up of dirt, dust and grime makes sense. As you will see, tasks are broken up into weekly, monthly, and yearly to make life easier for you.
Equipment You Will Need to Clean Cane Furniture
So, how about equipment? Well, chances are you already have the majority of items you will need to correctly clean your furniture, and if you don't have any yet, we've talked about the best conservatory furniture previously.
For most people, this is what we recommend.
- A soft duster
- A soft brush
- Several soft cloths
- At least two clean buckets
- Warm water
- Washing-up liquid
- Vacuum cleaner complete with upholstery brush attachment
- Linseed oil (optional)
As you can see, it's not a long list, but each item on the list will prove useful for cleaning your rattan furniture, or whichever version you have in your conservatory.
Tasks and Best Method for Cleaning
You have your list, but how do you clean, and how often should you clean? The truth is that certain tasks should be done weekly, while others are done more sparingly. Let's go through them.
Dusting - Weekly
You should dust your cane or wicker furniture at least once a week. You may also wish to use the brush attachment on your vacuum, and make sure you get into the weave of the cane, as that is where the dust and dirt will sit.
The key here is to do this weekly to prevent build up. It also reduces the chances of dirt and grime setting into place, as that would only make the cleaning harder.
If you find some stubborn marks, take out the toothbrush, and with dusting, make sure you get into all the corners and joints.
Cleaning Stains - Weekly
Check your furniture for any stains and try to remove them. For this, a soft cloth with warm water mixed with some washing up liquid will suffice.
However, a word of warning.
Do not scrub a stain, especially if it is still fresh. That will only push whatever has created the stain deeper into the furniture, and that makes it harder to remove it.
Instead, wipe with little pressure, and then leave the stain to air dry.
Those two steps should be on your weekly list, but then you need to think about a deeper clean on a monthly basis.
A Monthly Clean
To correctly do the monthly clean, you need to make the correct solution to allow you to effectively wash the furniture. Note, we are not talking about soaking the furniture, that would do more harm than good.
Take one of your clean buckets, and make a solution consisting of four cups of warm water blended with a tablespoon of washing up liquid. Stir, and keep doing so until you see some of those soap suds appearing on top.
With this, you want to also get your second bucket at the ready, and fill this with just normal warm water. This will act as a way to rinse your cloths and to be able to effectively wipe down the furniture when done.
Take your damp cloth, and start from the top of the piece of furniture working your way down. This applies no matter if you are dealing with cane chairs, tables, natural rattan, wicker, or anything else.
Keep on rinsing out the cloth in the second bucket, and only ever make it damp rather than soaked. You may have a lot of suds on your clean cloth, but soaking these natural materials with too much water will only encourage the development of mildew.
As like before, if there are more stubborn stains, then dip the toothbrush into the soapy water, and use a bit of elbow grease to dislodge the dirt and grime. However, you still cannot use excess water.
Finally, make sure the soap is off your rattan conservatory furniture. Use a clean cloth to dry it, and then allow it to air dry.
Caring on a Yearly Basis
Finally, there are several tasks to complete on a yearly basis.
This is the time where you inspect your outdoor furniture for any damage. It's also the perfect time to check for mold or mildew. This can rest even on synthetic rattan, so if that is what you own, you are not immune from mold.
If you have mold, mix equal parts of bleach and water, but make sure you wear gloves and googles for splashes. Apply the mix, but don't scrub. Then, move it into direct sunlight to help the furniture to dry as quickly as possible.
The final step is to get that linseed oil, and dip a soft cloth into the solution. You will then need to apply the linseed oil starting at the top, and wiping downwards. You can buy boiled linseed oil in your local DIY store, and make sure you remove those furniture cushions before you do this.
After the oil is applied, allow it to dry for at least 48 hours.
The Do's and Don'ts
Finally, a few tips on things you should do with your cane or rattan furniture, along with some things we strongly recommend you never do.
1. Use Good Quality Linseed Oil
The linseed oil helps protect the furniture, so only apply a good quality oil that will actually help the furniture, rather than mark it.
2. Make Sure You Don't Soak Your Furniture
Rattan furniture means it is made from a natural material. Soaking it can lead to twisting and breaking, leading to your furniture becoming useless. Only ever dampen the furniture.
3. Always air dry
You must always air dry, but this shouldn't take long due to not soaking the furniture. Don't be tempted to apply heat. Heat will potentially damage the material.
And that is how you can successfully clean your cane conservatory furniture, and keep it looking pristine for years to come. There's no doubt that correctly caring for your furniture will help prolong its lifespan, and you can see that it's quite straightforward and easy to do.
However, please do just pay attention to the products you use. The cane can become quite fragile in nature, and you do not want to do anything that will