Maintenance and Cleaning Tips for Your Wicker Furniture

Resin wicker is a plastic so it is water resistant and does not show dirt as much as other furniture especially if it is a dark color. However, it can fade from being left in the sun regularly, become brittle, and if there are cushions they can fade and get damaged from the weather as well. The sun can turn white wicker yellow and brown wicker. The longevity of your furniture will be up to you and how well you take care of it over the years.

If you are able to cover the furniture when it is not in use or when there is bad weather that will help. Try to keep it out of direct sunlight if possible and store in dry places so that it doesn’t get mildew or mold on it. In the winter if you have a place to store it indoors that would help the longevity as well. You also want to avoid putting the furniture next to open fires, fireplaces, wood burners, or heating vents as this can dry out the wicker and make it brittle. It is also a fire hazard because wicker is made of wood. If you need to clean your furniture when it gets dirty usually mild soap and water will work on the wicker and the cushions. However, if the cushions get extremely dirty most high quality wicker furniture will allow you to take the covers off so that you can put them through a gentle wash cycle or take them to the dry cleaners or you may just want to hire a furniture cleaner to steam clean it for convenience.

Some other helpful tips if mild soap and water do not work to clean your furniture are to get a hose out and most cleaners like Fantastic and 409 will usually do the trick. Just don’t let the cleaners sit on the furniture long and make sure you rinse it really good. If there is mildew then Tilex works great, again, rinse well. If you get anything sticky that won’t come off such as sap from a tree you can get products that are designed to get grease and other dirt off boats that work well. If there are stains on the wicker that you can’t get off having tried the above methods you can sand the wicker down with sand paper and then refinish it with wax paste or something that will make the area shiny again. In some cases the wicker will need to be painted again after sanding.

All in all wicker is very durable and if taken care of properly by applying everything I spoke of above it will last a long time and you will create lots of great memories socializing, dining, laughing, or sunbathing by the pool. I hope this helps you to maintain and clean your wicker furniture and will make you more confident in your investment in this beautiful outdoor patio furniture so that you will love it for years to come.

How to Wash a Cotton Area Rug in a Washing Machine

Many homeowners want to know if they could wash their cotton area rugs in the washing machines without damaging it. The answer to this question is to check the label that is attached to the back of the rug. It will state machine washable if it is suitable for washing in a washing machine. If you did not see any machine washable term in the label, it means you should not wash it in a washing machine. Learning how to wash machine washable cotton area rugs in a washing machine can help you to save money on sending it to professional cleaning.

Step 1: Removing Dust and Hard Particles

  • First of all, before tossing in the machine washable cotton area rugs into the washer, you must shake off the dirt and other solid particles. You can have another person to help you carry the other side of the carpet. Both of you can then shake the carpet a few times to let the dirt fall out.
  • You can use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum up the dust if you don’t want to carry it outside. You must vacuum gently, especially the fringe, to prevent the fiber from getting pulled off. If you are not yet skillful in using a vacuum cleaner, it will better to take the rug outside and shake off the dust.
  • Shaking off the dust can prevent dust from getting into the motor and damage it.

Step 2: Check the Carpet for Visible Stain

  • After shaking off the dust, you must check the rug for any visible stain mark. The stain should be treated accordingly.
  • If the carpet has beverage stain, you can mix 1 tbsp hydrogen peroxide to 1/2 tbsp of dish soup and apply it on the stain area. You should let the solution sit on the stain area for a few minutes before washing it away.
  • If it is a fat based stain, you can sprinkle some baking soda powder on it and let it sit there for 6 hours. After 6 hours, you can vacuum away the baking soda and use a wet cloth to blot it away.
  • For gum stain, you can use a spoon to remove as much gum as possible and then scrub it with a sponge that is dipped in detergent. Hard gum can be softened with some ice cubes.
  • If the carpet contains bodily fluid like urine, vomit or blood, you can sprinkle some baking soda over it. Next, you are to pour some vinegar over the baking soda so that bubbly white foam starts to form. You are to wait for about 5 minutes or so for the baking soda to absorb the stain before using a dry cloth to wipe it away.
  • There is no need to soak the carpet for days to remove the stain mark. If you soak the carpet for days, your carpet will be damp which means it will take longer to dry. If it takes longer to dry, it is going to give way for mold growth to appear on the carpet. These stains can also be removed by spraying with an enzymatic cleaner which you can purchased at the pet store.

Step 3: Wash the Carpet in the Washing Machine

  • Once the dust is shook off, you can arrange the machine washable cotton area rugs around the agitator in the washer.
  • If it is a white cotton rug, you can wash it with detergent and bleach in warm water.
  • If it is a color cotton rug, you should just use detergent and not bleach it in cold water. It is best not to mix with other color rugs. This is because colors may come off during washing and stain your cotton rug with other colors.
  • If your cotton rug has rubber backing, it is best to brush it with a soft bristle brush gently.
  • If you feel lazy to wash it with hand, you can take it to a laundry shop and get it washed in a heavy-duty washing machine.
  • The buttons on the washing machine will provide illustrations on how much detergent to use. For example, for medium loads, fill the detergent container to bar 1. If it is a large load, fill the detergent container to bar 3.
  • You should set the washing machine to delicate cycle. Doing so will prevent the fiber from becoming damaged as it spin it around several times in the wash cycle.
  • If after washing the carpet, some stain mark remains, you should not put it back into the washing machine. Instead, you should dry it on the clothesline as usual. The stain may disappear as the sun suck out all the moisture from the wet carpet. If the stain did not disappear, you may repeat the washing process again.

Step 4: Air Dry the Washed Carpet

  • Finally, when the wash cycle ends, you must take the machine washable cotton area rugs out and air dry on a clothes line. The carpet is heavier after washing because it is damp and soaked in water. You can have someone to help you carry it to the clothesline where you can lay it out for drying.
  • It is best to air dry it under the sun in the morning or afternoon. The sun will dry up all the moisture and the wind helps to keep away the stale stuffy smell from the carpet.
  • It may take more than 1 day for the cotton carpet to become completely dry. From time to time, you can turn the carpet over so that both sides get to dry under the sun. When it is raining, you can take it indoor and turn on 2 – 3 table fans to the highest power setting to dry it.

Maintaining Machine Washable Cotton Area Rugs

  • Machine washable cotton area rugs are best washed in a separate washing machine used for cleaning dirty stuff. It should not be washed in the same washing machine that you use for washing your clothes.
  • You shouldn’t frequently wash your cotton carpet in a washing machine as it can get damaged. You may toss it into the washing machine once every 2 – 3 months.
  • It is important that you not just wash the cotton carpet when it is dirty with stain. To find out whether it is necessary to wash it, you can pick it up and drop it on the floor. If some dust appear to fly around the air, it means that your carpet is dusty and need to be washed.

What If Your Carpet is Not Machine Washable

  • Handmade cotton carpet is not suitable to be washed in a washing machine so the only way to wash it is to wash it with hand. You can use a soft bristled brush to gently scrub the carpet and work a lather with detergent. The soapy foam should be left on the carpet for around 10 minutes before rinsing it with the garden hose. Both sides must be scrubbed with a brush.
  • When working with soap, always wear rubber glove to protect your hands.
  • When rinsing, you are to keep spraying the carpet with a garden hose until the water that flows down is clear without any foam. You are to squeeze out the excess water with your hand before hanging it on a rack outside.