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Keep Your Rattan Furniture in Great Shape – Care & Cleaning Tips

Rattan is a superb material for indoor and outdoor furniture. Lightweight, sturdy and strong, it needs very little in the way of attention. However, your rattan furniture will appreciate some attention now and then.

Rattan is used for conservatory and indoor furniture but, with its strong, dense properties, it is also used for outdoor sofas and armchairs, the likes of which are proving increasingly popular. These care and cleaning tips are great for both styles of rattan furniture!


You’ll find keeping your indoor rattan sofas and wicker chairs easy:

  • Remove the upholstery and cushion covers to clean them as per the washing instructions on the label
  • With a soft cloth, wipe over the frame of the sofa or chair to remove dust
  • Using the upholstery tool (set the vacuum to its lowest suction power level), vacuum the sofa or chair frame, concentrating on corners and joints where does can become ingrained
  • An old, soft-bristled toothbrush can also be used to loosen packed-in dust and dirt
  • If there are stubborn stains and marks, use a damp soft cloth soaked in warm water and a gentle detergent to wipe over the surface
  • Make sure the sofa or chair frame is dry before replacing the cushions

How often does indoor wicker furniture need cleaning?

In most cases, a clean once or twice a year will be more than sufficient to keep your wicker chairs and other furniture in great condition. 

TOP TIP – you can do the above to keep footstools, coffee table and other rattan furniture clean too. 


A fabulous material, rattan can repel most things that the British weather can throw at it. Cover the rattan outdoor lounge set over at the end of summer to protect it from the autumn gales and winter rain and, come the spring, you won’t need to do too much to get it looking great again.

  • Remove the cushions and clean according to their label
  • As with your indoor furniture, wipe over the rattan lounge set with a soft, dry cloth or a soft-bristled brush would do the same – concentrate on corners where dirt and leaves gather and become compacted
  • In a clean bucket, add two litres of warm water and ¼ cup of washing up liquid and, using a soft cloth, wipe over the sofa, chair and table – you can be quite generous and give the furniture a good soaking!
  • Spotted signs of mould? Mix a small amount of white vinegar in with the cleaning solution
  • Allow the furniture to dry – do this on a sunny or slightly breezy day and it will be dry within a few hours
  • Replace the cushions and look forward to summer!


Many outdoor rattan sofas and chairs come with waterproof and UV resistant fabric. This means you don’t have to worry when there is a summer shower or two!

To keep the water repellent properties in the material, you need to be mindful of how you clean it. Wipe over occasionally with a damp cloth to lift off the worst of the dirt and dust. Don’t scrub or use harsh cleaning chemicals.

When the upholstery does need a clean, seek professional dry cleaning. Once cleaned, the fabric can be re-proofed to offer the same water repellent properties you want.

General cleaning and care hints

Rattan may be tough but it needs treating with care when cleaning:

  • As tempted as you may be, don’t jet wash your rattan outdoor furniture – the pressure of the water will weaken the material, causing holes to appear.
  • For very stubborn stains or marks, a steam cleaner may be the solution – test it on a small, unseen piece of the item first and don’t hold the steamer over the same spot for too long.
  • Don’t be too vigorous when rubbing on the slats as this will damage the rattan.
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