Cleaning Woven Furniture

Cleaning Woven Furniture

Woven furniture is a practical and stylish choice for both indoors and out. It is comfortable, built to last, and provides a very fashionable natural look. A big part of the allure of woven furniture is that it is built with sustainable and natural materials. These natural materials, such as bamboo, willow, rattan, and rush give the furniture a clean and organic feel that you can be proud of. However, these materials also require special care. If cared for properly, your woven outdoor furniture will age elegantly and provide beauty and comfort for many years to come. 

Dusting and Light Cleaning

Keeping your woven furniture in tip top shape starts with regular dusting and light cleaning. This does not have to be an in-depth cleaning with soap and water (more on that later) but will help keep your furniture looking clean and inviting for your guests and family. Use a feather duster or microfiber cloth to gently wipe away any dust that accumulates on the furniture. The nature of the woven surface creates many cracks and crevices for dust to collect in. If you have a vacuum with a soft brush attachment, even better! Put it on its lowest suction setting and use it to remove dust, crumbs, and pet hair from the furniture. It is important to note that if you do choose to use a vacuum, take care to be very gentle and avoid causing any damage to the wood. 

Deep Cleaning

Regular dusting as described above will keep your furniture looking its best for quite some time, but every now and again, there is no substitute for a good deep cleaning. Sometimes something will happen that makes a deep cleaning necessary, like spilling a drink or food on the furniture. Regardless, most still recommend doing a regular deep cleaning at least once a year. Experts recommend deep cleaning in the spring to wash away the grime of the winter and prepare for the summer. 

The Cushions

The first step in a deep cleaning is to separate the cushions from the woven furniture. In most cases, the cushions can be simply lifted off the furniture. However, some cushions will have fabric ties or other fasteners that will need to be untied before you can remove them. The cushions will have their own cleaning instructions. These instructions can often be found on a tag attached to the seam of the cushion, similar to those sometimes found on an item of clothing. These instructions will be specific to the type of fabric the cushions are made of and should be followed precisely. If no tag is present, check with the cushion’s manufacturer online or by phone for safe cleaning instructions. Clean the cushions at least as often as you clean the wood.

The Wood

Now that your woven furniture is separated from the cushions, we can start cleaning the wood! What you use to clean the wood is very important. Abrasive things like steel wool, scouring pads, and rough sponges must be avoided. They can leave scratches in the wood that will ruin the appearance of your furniture. This not only leaves highly visible unsightly marks on your furniture, but it also can significantly damage the resale value of the furniture. It is equally important to avoid soaps that can do damage to your furniture. Cleaning products like bleach or abrasive cleaning powders can cause irreparable damage to your furniture’s wood. It is best to use a soft cloth, like a microfiber cloth or soft rag, to apply warm water combined with a small amount of simple soap to the wood. Gently rub the entirety of the furniture’s surface, taking extra care in areas where dirt and grime is concentrated. 


After cleaning, it is essential that you allow the furniture and cushions to dry completely. If you reattach the cushions before the furniture has fully dried, you can develop unpleasant mold and mildew on the furniture. While it is best to avoid growing mold and mildew on your furniture in the first place by implementing thorough cleaning and drying practices, it can be dealt with by cleaning the furniture with a soft cloth and a dilute vinegar solution. 

Repairing Woven Furniture

Unfortunately, from time to time, damage to your woven furniture is unavoidable. Between children, pets, weather, and the general unpredictability of life, it is very likely you will experience some chips or cracks in the wood of your furniture during its lifetime. This is why I recommend thoroughly inspecting the surface of your woven furniture for damage every time you do a deep clean. Fortunately, the vast majority of damage can be fixed with just a small amount of wood glue. However, be very careful! You do not want to make things worse by getting glue everywhere while trying to fix a small chip. A little wood glue goes a long way and needs to be applied sparingly. 


Call in the Experts

If you are not comfortable fixing the furniture yourself or the damage goes beyond what can be fixed with wood glue, be sure to reach out to a professional who will have the experience and tools needed to fix the furniture. Just like regular dusting and deep cleaning, repairing your woven furniture as needed will help extend its life and maintain the resale value of the furniture. Quality woven furniture is a big investment and it only makes sense to take proper care of it. Luckily, it does not take too much time or effort to keep your woven furniture looking spotless and inviting. If you commit to regular dusting, occasional deep cleanings, and routine maintenance and repair, you are certain to have your beautiful woven furniture last for decades!

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