How to Restore Wicker

Written by constance barker
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How to Restore Wicker
Wash wicker with mild dish detergent and soap. (Wicker image by Gary Chorpenning from

Wicker is a term associated with furniture, baskets or other items made from grasses or vines. The plants, such as bamboo or rattan, are woven to create the wicker. Left outdoors, wicker becomes dirty and worn, losing its tropical and airy appearance. Restoring wicker involves removing dirt and grime and even mildew if the wicker was left in a wet environment.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Sweeper and brush attachment
  • Bucket
  • Mild dish soap
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Sponge
  • Hose
  • Towels
  • Hair dryer
  • Varnish or lacquer
  • Paint brush
  • Newspapers
  • Chlorine bleach

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  1. 1

    Attach the brush attachment to your sweeper. Run the brush slowly over the wicker, removing loose dirt and dust.

  2. 2

    Fill a bucket with warm water and 2 tsp of mild dish soap. Dip a soft bristle brush into the soap mixture. Rub the brush over the wicker, digging deep into crevices where dirt hides.

  3. 3

    Wipe a sponge with the soap mixture over the wicker, removing the dirt and grime.

  4. 4

    Rinse the wicker with a garden hose or place in the bathtub and pour buckets of water over it. Make sure that you remove all the soap suds from the wicker.

  5. 5

    Dry the wicker with towels. Place the wicker in the sun to aid drying within the crevices. If you cannot set the wicker outside, use a hair dryer to speed up the drying time.

  6. 6

    Brush on a clear coat of varnish or lacquer with a paint brush to add a layer of protection to the wicker. Lay newspapers down and set the wicker upside down. Brush or spray the clear coat on the underside of furniture first, then set upright and finish. Allow the clear coat to dry for 24 hours before using the wicker.

  1. 1

    Mix 1 cup of chlorine bleach with 1 gallon of water.

  2. 2

    Wash the wicker with the bleach solution and a sponge. Allow the solution to remain on the wicker for five minutes, giving it time to kill the mildew fungus.

  3. 3

    Rinse the bleach from the wicker with a garden hose or buckets of water.

  4. 4

    Dry the wicker in the same manner as in the first section.

Tips and warnings

  • If spraying the clear coat, do it outside to avoid breathing in toxic fumes.
  • Wash wicker once a year. To keep wicker looking clean, vacuum and dust the items regularly.

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