Tips and Guides

101: Rattan Furniture Maintenance

You never have to worry about unstitched fibers again!


Rattan or wicker is very underrated and usually overlooked. Some people pass it off as invaluable pieces but it's actually one of the most sustainable materials for furniture. Commonly made from palm, willow and several species of reed, it's very lightweight, eco-friendly, and very durable. 

However, when neglected, it can rapidly deteriorate beyond repair. To help you out, here are basic maintenance steps you can do to keep your rattan in good condition: 

Main photo from: Made-In-China


Keeping rattan furniture clean is quite easy. A lot of homeowners only think otherwise because they make the mistake of drenching it in too much water and chemicals which can cause irreversible damage. 

It's best to use a mild mixture of water and dishwashing detergent in a bowl. Once the solution forms a lather, dip a soft cloth into the bubbles only. Wipe down the rattan and get rid of dirt. Completely remove it by repeating the step as needed.

The slight moisture cleans without overwetting the rattan and helps it retain it's original shape.

RL Tip: For stubborn stains or build-up, take soft brush to clean in the cracks and crevices using the same suds-only method. 

Photo from Wikihow


Mildew is rattan's worst enemy. It is a thin, black, or sometimes white, growth produced by mold and is said to develop faster in humid conditions. Stains and odors caused by this fungus can be removed by rinsing your outdoor furniture with a mixture of laundry bleach, mild borax, and water in equal proportions. Rinse the wicker with cold water afterward and pat dry with a soft towel.

RL Tip: The homemade solution can be strong so wear rubber gloves to avoid skin irritation! 

Photo from About


For stitching solutions, it's always best to call a professional, but if you have to do some damage control, sharpening the ends of the strands with a pocket knife makes it easier to insert and thread to follow the weaving accordingly. 

When it comes to broken weavings, clip the broken portion free on the back or its side using garden shears. Take out the strand and start fresh by laying it alongside the stub of the old one.

Photo from Rattan Video Repair via Cindy Cai on YouTube. 

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