We hate to say it, but the winter is coming. There are two primary factors that decrease the shelf-life of wicker furniture: sun/UV rays, and exposure to snow and freezing temperatures. To keep your outdoor furniture beautiful for years to come, it must be properly stored. This is especially true for wicker patio furniture because one defect in the weave can unravel a whole piece quickly. Follow our guide for winterizing wicker pieces to keep your outdoor furniture beautiful, functional, and as amazing as the day you bought it!
Clean It Up
The first step in winterizing your wicker furniture is to ensure it is clean. If you live on or near the water, we strongly recommend you do this in order to remove salt from sitting on the furniture all winter long.
Cushions: brush off any dirt, spray a cleaning mixture of water and mild soap (we love using dish soap), use a soft bristle to clean, rinse thoroughly and let air dry (do not put into dryer). The most important part is that it must be completely dry before you store it away. Otherwise, you are in for an unpleasant surprise of mold and mildew come spring!
Natural Wicker: Wash gently with the same mixture as above, ensure that seat decking, if made of cloth, are completely dry before storing.
Synthetic Wicker: Wash gently with water. Power-washing may damage the furniture and is unnecessary. After washing, turn your frames upside down and make sure all the water is removed from the internal aluminum frames. If you have rocking chairs, it is important to drain the water from the runners.
Lloyd Loom: Frames and wicker can be washed with mild detergent and water. Please use a wet sponge or soft rag to clean, rinse with water and let air-dry. If you see any scratches or chips in the frames of your Loom items, it can be touched up in the spring with Lloyd Flanders touch-up paint.
Dry It Out
This stage is VITAL before storing wicker furniture. After it has been fully cleaned, furniture should be dried fully with a fan or just air-dry.
We’ve already mentioned this, but don’t forget the cushions! If cushions are still damp when they go into storage, they’re likely to develop mold and mildew. They should be dried fully and if possible, placed in bags and brought inside. Mice, squirrels and chipmunks love building nests in warm material, and they’d love to use the inside of a cushion to keep them toasty through the winter months. We say “brought inside” because we have seen these creatures eat through outdoor plastic storage boxes.
Bring It In (Or Under)
Natural wicker furniture should be stored inside during extreme winter weather to prevent damage.
Synthetic wicker and Lloyd Loom furniture can be left outside but we encourage you to put it under an overhang if you have one. The most ideal storage, if space permits, is in a garage or a storage shed. The best option, in our opinion, is to bring your wicker indoors or to a covered patio so you can enjoy it year round!
Wrap It Up
If you do not have room in the garage or storage shed for your furniture, we now offer shrink-wrapping services!
For tips on caring for your wicker furniture, follow our blog. If you’re looking for beautifully woven, long lasting wicker furniture for your home, call The Wickery today! We’d love to help you find the perfect piece.