Summers are always fantastic, spending time with family and friends, and lounging on your wicker furniture. The worldwide popularity of wicker furniture is due to its durability, usefulness, and aesthetic appeal. But as the weather gets chillier, it could be harmful to your outdoor wicker furniture, making it deteriorate over time.
That’s why at the first sign of snow, you must protect your wicker furniture against the harshness of the winter.
The question is, how should you store wicker furniture during winter? Well, for starters, store wicker furniture in a dry place that’s not exposed directly to the cold. But there’s much more you can do.
Read on to learn why it’s important to protect your wicker furniture from cold weather and some tips on doing so.
Tips For Storing Wicker Furniture Over the Winter
It’s important to protect your wicker furniture against the snow as well as raging winds, and the best way to do that is to store it properly. Here are tips on how to store wicker furniture.
1. Clean the Furniture Before Putting It Away
Before storing wicker furniture during winter, the first thing you need to do is clean it. Cleaning is vital as it removes any dust, debris, or dirt that might have settled on the furniture. Which helps to preserve the finish.
Additionally, cleaning keeps bugs off wicker furniture so that when the summer and spring come around next year, your furniture still looks brand new.
Another thing you need to do is remove the cushions and decorative pillows and use this opportunity to clean them as well. And while doing so may seem like an unnecessary chore, it will surprise you how refreshing clean pillows are for your patio when you use them next.
You can follow these instructions to clean your wicker furniture in the right manner:
- First, clean the cushion covers if you have any on your wicker furniture. Separate them from the cushions and loosen any dirt on them using a soft-bristle brush.
- Using a small handheld vacuum cleaner (if you have one), vacuum the cushion covers to remove any dust or dirt left behind after loosening with the brush. The lack of a vacuum shouldn’t worry you as it’s not compulsory. It just makes your work easier.
- Take one tablespoon of dish soap or mild laundry detergent and mix it with warm water (two cups). Stir the mixture until frothy, and put a sponge into the solution to let it dampen.
- Clean the cushion fabric rubbing it with the dampened sponge gently. If there are any tough dirt stains, try to dislodge them using a soft-bristle brush. Make sure to soak it in soapy water lightly beforehand. Now let the cushion covers hang dry for about an hour.
- Now, to clean the wicker furniture, soak it in water first. Don’t worry about getting it wet as it’s waterproof. If you have a garden hose, use it to spray down the furniture. If you don’t have a hose, use a bucket of warm water.
- Mix a quarter cup of soap dish or mild laundry detergent with a gallon of warm water and stir until the water foams. Dampen your soft-bristle brush in the solution.
- Using the dampened brush, scrub the grime and dirt from your wicker gently. The soap solution makes it easier to break the dirt apart, and you can now hose it down or rinse it off. Ensure you try as much as possible to get the bristles in the cracks in between the weaves to reach the dirt hidden in the little spaces there.
- To remove tree sap and mildew, use cleaning agents specifically formulated to brush it off. Note, it’s vital to rinse off these cleaning agents immediately after you’re done using them, as their prolonged exposure can cause some fading or bleaching on your wicker furniture.
- After you’ve finished brushing, the next step is to spray your furniture with a garden hose. Spray until all the soap is washed away. Alternatively, you can use a bucket of warm water. After the furniture is clean, give it about two hours to dry.
When all the components are dry, you can now store them. Once the warm weather rolls around, you’ll be relaxing on your clean as new wicker furniture in your outdoor area.
2. Cover Your Wicker Furniture for the Long Haul
Different areas have different climates, meaning the harshness of the winter weather will vary from place to place. This determines how you need to store your wicker furniture.
Covers are very important even during the summer as they prevent furniture from fading under the sun. What’s more, the covers also keep dirt off of wicker furniture.
Consult your wicker furniture maker to see if they can customize covers to fit your collection. With the right fit, you’ll keep moisture and other weather elements off your furniture during the harsh winter season.
Good wicker furniture covers should:
- Fit each piece of furniture snugly.
- Be made of heavy-duty fabric capable of withstanding the harsh weather, animals, leaves, and other outdoor elements.
- Be waterproof to protect your furniture against damage from moisture generated from rain and snow. Subsequently, this reduces the possibility of your wicker pieces cracking.
- Feature built-in venting to allow air circulation, which will hinder the growth of mildew and mold.
- Bbe durable with reinforced seams and elastic hems or drawstring ties to help secure the covers in position on strong-wind winter days.
If you live in a place that experiences harsh winters, the best thing to do is store your wicker furniture indoors. Since you won’t need to use it during such harsh weather, lock the wicker furniture somewhere safe until the first days of the warm weather.
With proper care and safe storage, your cushions will no doubt last for many years.
3. Protect Your Furniture from Blowing Away
Sometimes during the winter season, the weather can get pretty violent. High winds may blow, which could scatter your wicker furniture all over your yard. You don’t want this to happen and end up damaging your furniture. Therefore, store your furniture in a shed or any other enclosed area where they’re safe from the wind tossing them around.
Alternatively, you can try employing some of the following ways to help prevent your outdoor wicker furniture from blowing away during winter:
- Use an adhesive gel to hold your outdoor wicker furniture in place. Apply the gel on the furniture’s feet and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Most adhesives available in the market are inexpensive and will keep your furniture fixed throughout the winter. When summer comes or you want to change the position of your wicker furniture, all you need to do is loosen the compound.
- Plant a windbreak. With a garden windbreak, you’ll prevent your patio wicker furniture from flying away when strong winds blow during the winter season.
- Use a heavy-duty furniture cover to weigh down your wicker furniture, making it harder for wind to move it. Sometimes using weights can help as well, but we recommend you avoid placing the weights directly on your furniture as they can damage and devalue it. You can use sandbags or get creative and use old items such as junk lying around your house to form an efficient weight.
- Stack your wicker furniture in a corner or in a place that’s secure and unexposed. Doing so will ensure you protect it from the harsh winter winds that may blow them away.
- Try tying your furniture to immovable things such as a fence post or a railing. To provide a snug fit, wrap the furniture with a cord, wrapping it around the furniture several times to create resistance against severe winter weather conditions.
4. Store your Outdoor Cushions
In addition to putting your wicker furniture away, it’s important to store the cushions too. However, make sure you store them well so as not to flatten them.
We recommend storing them in storage boxes. These are available in the market at a pocket-friendly price.
By using storage boxes, you contribute to your décor too. Since the cushion storage boxes are made of wicker weave of the same quality as your furniture, and they use a hydraulic life, they won’t rob your home of its aesthetic appeal. Instead, they’ll add to its value.
5. Protect Your Wicker Furniture That has Wood Trim
There is some wicker furniture that comes with wood trim. If you own such furniture, you need to protect the wooden sections by applying a protective sealant. The sealant shields the wood against water and moisture during the winter season.
Moisture in wood is prone to freezing, which can cause cracking, and sometimes a cover may not provide sufficient protection. Therefore, consider applying a protective layer on your outdoor wicker furniture to bolster safekeeping, ensuring the wooden sections are immune from freezing.
6. Protect the Metal Frames in Your Wicker Furniture
If your outdoor wicker furniture has a metal frame, you need to maintain it properly during the winter months. You don’t want the metal components in your furniture to rust in the freezing snow and rain.
Remember, cold conditions accelerate the rusting process. And when the metal frame rusts, its strength gets compromised as well.
Although galvanized metal can withstand the outdoor winter weather more, it can still break down after some time. Therefore, to protect the metal frame, apply some outdoor furniture protector using a paintbrush. Ensure you do the painting in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask and rubber gloves when doing the job.
That said, the best way to safeguard wicker furniture with a metal frame would be to move it to an indoor environment.
7. Consider Oiling Your Furniture
With a light coating of oils, you can ensure that your wicker furniture is weatherproof. It doesn’t matter whether you plan to store the furniture indoors or cover it with a tarp. Oiling provides an extra layer of protection against the winter elements.
The oil layer ensures snow and rain don’t penetrate the wicker, causing damage.
There are several types of oil you can choose to use on your wicker furniture, including lemon oil, paste wax, and tung oil.
8. Use Your Outdoor Wicker Furniture Indoors
I never thought I could use my outdoor wicker furniture inside until I visited a friend last winter. She’d moved her outdoor furniture in, and I was surprised at how great it looked. I came to learn that this is one of the best ways to protect your wicker furniture in winter.
Today, synthetic resin wicker comes in a fashionable look, allowing you to rearrange most modular pieces to fit your home layout. While this is a new invention, Plato once said, invention is the mother of all necessity.
Is Cold Weather Bad for Wicker Furniture?
Natural wicker is made from organic materials such as bamboo and rattan, among other grass elements, making it highly susceptible to damage caused by extreme weather conditions.
Elements such as hail, wind, rain, snow, and sleet will destroy wicker in several ways, including:
- Moisture from snow, humidity, and rain creates mildew and mold in wicker gaps and crevices. The result is your furniture sagging or warping, losing its shape altogether.
- Excessive cold air makes natural wicker brittle and susceptible to splitting or cracking.
- Strong winds can toss your wicker furniture around, causing plenty of damage from breakages.
Since all these will cause a notable decrease in the life of your wicker furniture, the only way to protect them from damage is to store them properly during the winter months. Store the furniture in a dry place, away from the freezing conditions outdoors.
Some of the best places you can store your wicker furniture include a shed, attic, basement, or garage. Because wicker furniture is lightweight, moving it into a storage space shouldn’t be a problem. If your set includes heavier pieces with metal trim or wood, seek assistance to help move the wicker furniture.
However, even if you are keeping your furniture inside, you should cover it to protect it against temperature fluctuations, mildew, and dust. It’s advisable to not stack your furniture to prevent breaking or cracking during the winter season.
Here are some frequently asked questions about how to store your wicker furniture in winter:
Is it Possible to Make Wicker Furniture Out of Rattan?
Yes, you can make wicker furniture out of rattan. Most wicker furniture makers start with sturdy, strong, natural frames, then wrap and weave the rattan to create a variety of unique wicker furniture designs.
Can You Leave Real Wicker Outside?
Although synthetic wicker furniture can stay outdoors throughout the winter months, you should store natural wicker furniture in a place that’s as dry as possible. You don’t want the high moisture levels causing the wicker to expand and contract, leading to cracks in your outdoor furniture.
That said, regardless of what wicker it is, we recommend you take all the necessary measures to protect your furniture, and the best thing to do would be to take it away from the chilly weather outside.
How Can I Weatherproof My Wicker Furniture?
You can make your wicker furniture weatherproof by painting, varnishing, or both, using paints specifically formulated for use on wicker furniture. Ensure you paint the furniture from top to bottom, not forgetting the lower side of the seat and arms.
To ensure the wicker furniture is waterproof, apply marine varnish on the paint. We recommend two coats of marine varnish for maximum effectiveness.
Can I Cover My Outdoor Wicker Furniture with Tarp?
Yes, that’s a good idea. To cover your furniture with a tarp, you need to tie any excess tarp material around your furniture’s legs. To hold the tarp in place, use a poly rope. We don’t recommend a nylon rope because it won’t hold up in the harsh winter weather.
There you have it. Now you know more about how to store your wicker furniture in winter and why it’s important to do so. It helps offset the normal degradation and damage that comes with the harshness of the cold season. It’s best to store your furniture inside in a dry place. However, if it’s not possible to store it indoors, cover the furniture well to protect it from rain, snow, and wind.
It will only take you a few hours to secure and properly store your wicker furniture when the winter season sets in. Your efforts will pay off when the sunny and warm days return next summer, and your furniture is in tip-top shape.