How To Clean Rattan Furniture

How To Clean Rattan Furniture

6th Apr 2022

Posted by Alice Ewens on 6th Apr 2022

If you're wondering how to clean rattan furniture and keep your garden furniture looking like new for the new season, then look no further! We've got all the best cleaning tips and care advice in one place.

With the days getting longer, the first of the year's Bank Holiday long weekends fast approaching, and dare we say some nicer weather, it's time to spruce up that rattan garden furniture. Looking after your outdoor dining sets and sofas will ensure they last longer and will stay looking as good as new for multiple 'seasons'.

grey rattan garden furniture - modular soafa and armchairs with coffee table in raise paed patio area, with soft evening lighting.
credit: customer review image from Margaret C

Important Things To Note Before Cleaning Your Outdoor Furniture

The tips and advice here apply to polyrattan, not natural rattan. Natural rattan can still be cleaned with water, but shouldn't be drenched, whereas polyrattan is synthetic and will stand a dousing from a garden hose.

Don't use anything harsh or abrasive on any components of the sets. No wire brushes, no pressure washers, no bleach or harsh chemicals, and no silicone cleaners. These could strip the protective layers on the rattan and damage your cushions.

Cushions are generally splash-proof but not suitable to be left outdoors when not in use. It's best to store your cushions inside in a cool, dry place.

Don't remove cushion covers to put in the washing machine. The splash-proof coating will likely cause them to wrinkle up and it'll be hard to get them looking smooth and neat again. Cushions can be cleaned as directed below.

Are You Looking To Buy Garden Furniture?

Beige outdoor garden set on lawn with grey cushions and coffee table
credit: customer review image from Jean
brown rattan garden set  - modular sofa with coffee table and brown cushions on decked area, with outdoor rug.
credit: customer review image from Julie E

Easy Steps for How To Clean Rattan Furniture

  1. Remove all the cushions. We'll go over how to clean them in a moment.
  2. Brush it off! Use a soft-bristled brush or soft cloth to wipe down your furniture. Get rid of any 'bits' - leaves, cobwebs, etc - that might have accumulated since you last looked.
  3. Give it a hoover! You can also use your small brush attachment to get rid of any dust and unwanted debris.

    Top Tip! Brush off and dust your garden furniture once a week, even over winter or while not in use, to keep it looking its best.
  4. Hose it down! The easiest and quickest way to clean your outdoor furniture is to use a garden hose - NOT a pressure washer - and get into all the corners.
  5. Time for a sponge bath. You can use warm soapy water and a soft sponge/cloth to clean any more ingrained dirt. Remember not to use any abrasive brushes or harsh chemicals.
  6. Hose it down again and then leave to dry. Make sure it's fully dry before putting the cushions back on.

How To Clean Outdoor Furniture Cushions

close up of outdoor rattan furniture and grey cushion - a hand is pouring a glass of water into the cushion to demostrate its waterproofing.
Furniturebox studio image

Remember that outdoor cushions are splash-proof but not ideally suited to being left outdoors when not in use. Keep them indoors, in a dry place until needed. Many outdoor furniture cushions will have zips so they can be removed, BUT we don't recommend putting outdoor cushion covers in the washing machine. This is because the mild weather-proofing on them that makes them splash-proof makes the material quite stiff, and putting them in a washing machine can result in them coming out very wrinkled and it's difficult to get them nice and flat/neat again (you shouldn't iron them, for the same reason - the mild weatherproofing can melt under the direct intense heat and steam from an iron). So,

  1. Gently hose down your cushions if they're dirty.
  2. Clean any tougher stains with natural soap (not detergent) and sponge.
  3. Thoroughly rinse with clean cold water.

    Top Tip: Using a hose and soap/sponge on your outdoorcushions without taking the covers off the inner filling is usually fine to do and shouldn't result in any mould. This is because the insides will synthetic foam that is also covered in protective layers. But do check for any specific cleaning advice on your set.
  4. Leave the cushions to fully air dry before storing them or using them to sit on (to avoid a soggy bum!)

Other Ways To Keep Your Garden Furniture Looking As Good As New

waterproof cover for outdoor garden furniture - infographic displaying how to arrange an outdoor table and chairs to fit beneath a waterproof cover.
Furniturebox Studio - all our garden sets come with a free waterproof cover and instructions for how to arrange furniture to fit.

Use a weatherproof cover to protect the furniture frames (remember not to leave your cushions out under the covers, though!). Take a little time to tidy up, bring your cushions indoors and cover your furniture when the party or BBQ is over so that you can prolong the life of the furniture and enjoy it for years to come.

young Black woman sat in rattan moon chair listening to music and smiling
credit: Pexels. See our own Moon Chair
young white woman sits in hanging egg chair in a garden, sipping from coffee mug.
credit: Pexels. See our own Egg Chair

Let Us Know Your Top Tips For How To Clean Rattan Furniture!

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If you've got any hot tips on how you look after your garden furniture, we'd love to know! Give us a follow on Insta and Pinterest and tag us in your Furnturebox product pics so we can feature you and share your ideas!