Rattan is an attractive, lightweight, and durable material for furniture. Itís also eco-friendly, as the plants are fast-growing and plentiful. Whether you choose to display your rattan indoors or out, following these steps will keep your rattan clean and in good repair.
Steps to Clean the Rattan:
- Fill a bowl with water. Add a few drops of dish detergent and stir to agitate until bubbles form on the surface.
- Dip a soft cloth into the bubbles only, not into the water.
- Wipe the rattan with the bubbles. The slight moisture cleans without over-wetting the rattan, which can cause damage.
- Use a toothbrush or other soft brush to clean in the cracks and crevices, using the same suds-only cleaning method.
- Repeat weekly for best results.
- To restore dry, cracked, or split rattan, apply boiled linseed oil with a brush. When the furniture wonít absorb any more oil, wipe it clean with a soft cloth. Allow it to dry or harden before using the rattan again.
- For a thorough cleaning or to remove stains, apply detergent and scrub with slightly more water than you do for routine cleaning. As soon as youíre done, dry the rattan with a hot hair dryer or set it out in the sun. Once the rattan has dried completely, apply a coat of lacquer with a paintbrush to provide added protection if desired. Repeat annually.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Although rattan may be used outdoors, itís best not to leave it in the sun or otherwise exposed to the elements. The material will break down much more quickly under these circumstances.
- Place rubber stoppers under the legs of rattan. The cushion helps keep the material from cracking or splitting.
- Make sure you use BOILED linseed oil. Raw linseed oil will not dry or harden.
Correctlymaintained, you can expect to receive many years of enjoyment from our wood garden furnitures.
Wood is a natural product and therefore will produce natural oils. However, youíll still need to look after it to make sure it remains in the best possible condition. The way you do that ultimately comes down to a combination of regular care and personal taste.
For general care, clean it with either hot soapy water or a hardwood cleaning fluid at the beginning of the season. If the furniture is really dirty, you can lightly sand it after cleaning, make sure you brush away any dust that remains when youíve finished and remember to oil or paint afterwards as explained below. Teak furniture can also be cleaned using a pressure washer, but make sure you donít use one on furniture made of eucalyptus as the strength of the water jet can cause damage by lifting the grain of the wood.
When youíve finished cleaning your furniture, there are three options to consider:
- Keep your furniture looking like new with stained oil. Using a paintbrush, apply at least 2 coats of oil, leaving an hour between coats and at least 48 hours for it to dry before using.
- Let your furniture age naturally. As wood ages it takes on a silver patina look that can be quite attractive. You can preserve this appearance, using a clear hardwood oil for eucalyptus, or teak oil for teak furniture. At least 2 coats should be applied, allowing 48 hours for the oil to dry.
- Have a complete change. Express your individuality by using wood paint to bring a splash of new colour to your garden furniture. Apply 2-3 coats of paint to achieve a solid colour; and this should last around 3 years with only regular cleaning needed.