how to clean rattan furniture

Rattan garden furniture has become a welcome and sensible alternative to wooden and plastic patio sets. The intricate weaving of rattan gives it an elegant, modern appeal, but it is still super easy to clean and maintain. It is also light enough to be moved easily, which is important for anyone who has a smaller outdoor space where every inch needs to be utilised.

As BBQ season approaches, it is nearly time to get your rattan furniture out of storage, Whether it’s a rattan sofa set, dining table or rattan swing seat, cleaning your rattan garden furniture is essential to ensure it stays looking its best and lasts for many summers to come.

Here is how to clean rattan furniture.

View our range of rattan garden furniture


  • A small brush or toothbrush
  • Cloths and sponges
  • Washing up liquid
  • Warm water
  • Hose
  • A hot, sunny day

How to clean rattan furniture

Synthetic Rattan Furniture

  1. Brush. Use a soft-bristled brush to dislodge any caked-on dirt.
  2. Vacuum. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum to suck up any loose soil and grime that has accumulated in the weave of the rattan.
  3. Get in the nooks & crannies. Get a toothbrush and use it to scour away dirt that has settled in hard-to-reach spots. Toothpicks are also handy for this.
  4. Wash. Get a bowl of soapy water (washing up liquid will do the job) and use a cloth or sponge to wipe down the full rattan furniture set.
  5. Rinse. Rinse the bubbles off with your garden hose, sticking to the gentlest setting.
  6. Dry. Pat off any excess moisture with a towel, turn your furniture on its side or upside down, and leave to dry thoroughly in the sun.

Natural Rattan Furniture

The above guidance is only applicable for synthetic or outdoor rattan. You should not soak natural rattan, as it can retain moisture which will result in mould and the material breaking down. To clean natural rattan:

  1. Follow steps 1 – 3 to remove dust and grime
  2. Use a damp cloth (with a mild detergent if necessary) to wipe the rattan down
  3. Dry the furniture immediately with a soft cloth or towel
  4. Leave outside to dry and ventilate fully before bringing back inside
  5. You can usually remove the cushions from indoor sofas and chairs, so give these a wash for a full freshen up

Rattan Cleaning FAQ

Can rattan furniture get wet?

Synthetic rattan can get wet, but it should be allowed to dry thoroughly and naturally before being stored or used. You should avoid getting natural rattan wet and should only wipe the exterior of the furniture with a damp cloth.

How often should you clean rattan furniture?

To extend its lifespan, it is recommended that you clean your furniture once a month whilst it is in use. Give it a thorough clean before and after putting it into storage.

How do you restore weathered rattan?

There aren’t many options for restoring weathered synthetic rattan, so you should choose a good quality set and ensure you look after it properly to avoid fading. We recommend keeping it out of direct sunlight, rotating the furniture every few weeks to avoid fading occurring on one side of the furniture and storing it in a dry place whilst it is not in use. Natural rattan can be sanded down and re-painted or varnished to restore it.

How do you remove green algae from rattan furniture?

If rattan garden furniture is not stored correctly, green algae may form. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar together and use the mixture to sponge the algae off.

Can you jet wash rattan furniture?

We would not recommend jet washing rattan furniture. The powerful jet of water may dislodge the intricate weave of the rattan.

Unsure about rattan furniture? Read our Rattan Buyers Guide

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.