Cane and wicker furniture are favourite pieces for outdoors, as they're very durable and water-resistant and work well with any type of patio décor or style of home. However, while these materials are durable, they're not indestructible. You should know how to care for them and make minor repairs as needed to ensure your pieces stay in good condition for as long as possible. Note a few tips for keeping your cane and wicker furniture in tiptop shape.
1. Cleaning mould and mildew
If you notice mould and mildew on your cane or wicker furniture, you want to remove it quickly before it erodes the wood itself. Use a strong solution of bleach and water, wipe down all the areas affected, and then use plain water to thoroughly rinse off any traces of bleach solution. Allow the furniture to dry, preferably in the sunlight, for a full day before using it again.
2. General cleaning
Cleaning your furniture regularly is always recommended, even if it looks clean, as dirt may be collecting in areas you can't readily see. Use a good wood or oil soap for this job so you don't dry the cane or wicker. You can use a pressure washer or garden hose for cleaning but only on the lowest pressure setting; otherwise, you can easily split a cane seat or cause wicker pieces to come loose from their connectors.
3. Repairing sagging areas
Never let a sagging cane or wicker seat go without repair, as this can mean breaks or tears in the area as the wood weakens. Set the piece upside down so that the sagging area is exposed and place a wet, warm washcloth over the sagging part. Don't remove the cloth but set the furniture piece aside and let the cloth and piece dry this way overnight, even through the next day if needed. Once dry, remove the cloth and then leave the furniture untouched for another few days, so the wood can shrink bank into position. This should fix the sagging area and make the piece strong again.
4. Keeping the furniture moist but allowing air circulation
Never store cane or wicker furniture where it's very dry, such as in a dusty storage room. This can dry the wood and cause it to split and crack. You also want to allow for air circulation, which will cut down on mould growth. Don't set the pieces up against a wall or inside a small storage bin, but ensure they get proper air circulation when put away for the winter.