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How to clean your indoor rattan furniture

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Natural materials are big news in interior design right now and rattan furniture has seen an explosion in popularity throughout 2020 and 2021. Apart from making a style statement in your home, rattan furniture is a lightweight, durable and sustainable material. The hardwearing properties of the vine-like plant, grown in tropical rainforests will last a lifetime if cared for properly. 

However, as a porous material, rattan will suffer from damp if stored in a moist environment. Care to keep it clean and free of dust will ensure your furniture will last for many years to come.  

chelsea suite
The Chelsea Natural suite in Texture Blue fabric

How often should I clean my rattan furniture? 

The traditional weaving technique used to construct rattan furniture means there are many nooks and crannies for dust to gather. Therefore, the furniture should be dusted with a soft cloth or vacuumed with an upholstery brush on a weekly basis. A more thorough clean using a damp cloth should take place monthly, ensuring any food or drink stains are cleaned away immediately. 

What equipment will I need to clean my rattan furniture? 

  • Duster 
  • Soft cloths 
  • Vacuum with upholstery brush 
  • Toothbursh 
  • Two clean buckets 
  • Warm water 
  • Washing up liquid 
  • Chlorine bleach 
  • Boiled linseed oil 
clifton suite
The Clifton Natural suite in Athena Check fabric

Cleaning instructions – weekly 

  1. Dust the furniture 

Using a duster or a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery brush, dust over the furniture to remove any dirt that may have formed in the weave. To remove stubborn build-up, use a soft-bristle toothbrush to remove dirt from corners or the joins of the furniture. 

  1. Cleaning stains 

With a damp cloth (using a solution of warm water and washing up liquid) wipe away any stains as soon as possible. Do not try to rub these stains with pressure as this will push the matter deeper into the weave of the furniture, then leave to air-dry.  

Cleaning instructions – monthly 

  1. How to make the cleaning solution 

Mix four cups of warm water and a tablespoon of washing up liquid in a bowl or bucket. Stirring the solution until suds form on the surface. 

Fill an additional bucket with fresh water to rise off the furniture using a clean cloth. 

  1. How to clean the rattan furniture 

Using the cleaning solution run a damp cloth over the furniture, starting at the top then down over the rattan piece. Ensure you are rising the cloth, frequently in the fresh water and wring until slightly damp.  

Again, if you have any dirt build-up in the weave of the furniture, use a toothbrush but do not over-saturate the piece with water. 

  1. Allow the furniture to dry 

Allow the furniture to air-dry. If there’s excess water, use a soft cloth to dry the piece. 

The Camden suite in Pimlico fabric

Cleaning instructions – yearly 

Each year, remove the cushions, inspected the furniture for issues and condition the rattan. Before you begin the thorough yearly cleaning, follow the steps for weekly and monthly cleaning first. 

  1. Inspect Rattan for issues 

Remove the cushions from the furniture and look for any splits or breakages in the structure. If you’ve stored your furniture in a damp space, check the legs for mold or mildew. 

  1. Clean off any mold or mildew 

To remove any mildew, make a solution of equal parts of chlorine bleach and water. Wearing rubber gloves, dip a soft cloth in the bleach solution and apply to the affected area only. Do not saturate the rattan and move the piece into a sunny spot to dry as quickly as possible. 

  1. Condition the Rattan 

Once you’ve followed all the cleaning steps and allowed your rattan furniture to dry completely. Dip a clean, soft cloth into boiled linseed oil to condition the rattan – boiled linseed oil is used over regular linseed oil as it dries faster and can be bought at most DIY stores. 

To prevent any drip marks, start at the top of the piece and wipe downwards over the furniture. The oil will add moisture to the fibres, helping to prevent breakages. Allow the furniture to dry for at least 48 hours before replacing cushions. 

Looking to add to your collection of rattan furniture or making your first purchase? Check out our range of sustainable, luxury furniture. 

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