How to Clean and Care for Rattan Furniture

Rattan furniture is not only stylish and versatile, but can also last for years with proper care. 

Whether you have rattan arm chairs, tables, or other pieces, it's important to know how to clean and maintain them to ensure their longevity and keep them looking their best. 

In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of cleaning and caring for rattan furniture, which applies to both skin off and skin on (i.e. with horizontal notching) rattan furniture. 


Signs That Your Rattan Furniture Needs Cleaning

Before diving into the cleaning process, it's essential to identify when your rattan furniture requires some TLC. Here are some signs to look out for and this applies to most natural rattan products but excludes the fabric cushions which should have care instructions listed on their tags:

  • Discolouration: If the rattan has lost its original colour or appears dull, it's time for a clean.
  • Debris and Dust: Accumulated debris, dust, or pet hair can make your furniture appear dirty and unkempt.
  • Stains: Spills or stains on the rattan surface should be addressed promptly to avoid permanent damage.

A Note On Outdoor Rattan Furniture

We suggest keeping outdoor rattan furniture undercover as much as possible when not in use, as natural rattan can turn to a faded grey and suffer from the fibres unravelling over time. Some people like this look, but others want to maintain the fresh rattan colour for as long as they can.

What You Will Need to Clean Rattan Furniture

Before you begin cleaning, you’ll need to gather the following items:

  1. Soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
  2. Mild dish soap or a gentle cleaner
  3. Warm water
  4. Soft microfiber cloth
  5. Soft sponge or toothbrush
  6. Optional: Furniture wax or oil for maintenance

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Rattan Furniture

Follow these steps to properly clean your rattan furniture:

  1. Remove Loose Debris: Use a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris from the surface and crevices of the rattan.
  2. Prepare a Cleaning Solution: Mix a few drops of mild dish soap or a gentle cleaner with warm water in a bucket or basin. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the rattan - especially bleach based products - as this will strip the natural oils from the rattan, especially if it is skin off rattan.
  3. Dampen a Cloth or Sponge: Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution, making sure it's damp but not soaking wet. Excess water can cause the rattan to warp or become discoloured, so you’ll want to be careful here.
  4. Gently Clean the Rattan: Wipe the rattan surface, working in small sections at a time. Use gentle, circular motions to remove dirt and stains. For stubborn areas, you can use a soft toothbrush or sponge to scrub lightly.
  5. Rinse and Dry: Rinse the cloth or sponge with clean water and wipe away any soapy residue from the rattan. Then, use a dry microfiber cloth to absorb excess moisture and allow the furniture to air dry completely.
  6. Optional: Apply Furniture Wax or Oil: To maintain the natural shine and protect the rattan, you can apply a thin layer of furniture wax or oil. Follow the product instructions and buff the surface gently for an even finish. This may take the colour shade a tone or two darker, but it does look rich and make the rattan last.

How Often Should I Clean My Rattan Furniture? 

The frequency of cleaning depends on the amount of use and the environment in which your rattan furniture is placed. Here are some general guidelines and apply to natural rattan not the outdoor pvc rattan which doesn’t require much maintenance:

  • Indoor Rattan Furniture: Light cleaning, such as dusting or wiping with a soft cloth, should be done regularly. A more thorough cleaning, as outlined above, can be done every 2-3 months as needed.
  • Outdoor Rattan Furniture: Due to exposure to sun, rain, and other weather conditions, outdoor rattan furniture may require more frequent cleaning. It's recommended to clean it every 1-2 months and apply a protective coating to prevent damage from the elements.


Consistent care and maintenance are vital to preserving the beauty and lifespan of your rattan furniture. By following these cleaning tips and performing regular upkeep, you can enjoy your rattan pieces for years into the future.

If you want lots of inspiration and interesting rattan furniture items please check out our rattan furniture on the OneWorld website.

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