Rattan furniture on patio

How to care for rattan garden furniture

Is your rattan garden furniture looking a little bit worse for wear? Or perhaps you’ve just purchased some and are not sure how to keep it looking its best? Then take a look at our handy guide to learn how to keep your rattan furniture looking newer for longer.

Rattan furniture on patio

Types of rattan

Before we dive in, you might want to check what material your furniture is actually made out of. This is because genuine rattan furniture is not as common in the UK as you might think. Although rattan is very strong and durable, it originates from the jungles of Asia, Africa and Australia and sadly does not hold up too well when exposed to our cold and damp climate.

That’s not to say that you do not own genuine rattan, it’s just more common to own synthetic rattan effect furniture usually made from PVC or PU.

How to clean rattan garden furniture

To keep your furniture looking its best, we recommend giving it a clean every month or so.

  • Using a soft brush, gently brush down the surfaces to remove any dirt and dust. You could also use a vacuum cleaner with a soft head attachment.
  • Mix up a soap solution using a mild detergent and agitate the water to create bubbles. Make sure you do not use any soaps with harsh chemicals that could alter the colour or strength of the rattan.
  • Using a lint-free cloth, scoop up the bubbles (not the water) and use them to wipe down the furniture.
  • If necessary, you can use a toothbrush or make up brush to wipe the bubbles into the smaller crevices.
  • Rinse out the cloth with clean fresh water, wring out the excess and wipe down the furniture to remove the soap bubbles.
  • Leave the furniture to dry.

How to care for your rattan garden furniture

Now you furniture is nice and clean, you can do other things to care for it to keep it looking its best.

Use a cover

Using a rain cover will increase the longevity of your furniture. This is because a cover will not only protect from direct rain, but it will also protect it from moisture in the air. If possible, bringing the furniture inside the shed, Summer house or even the garage will improve its longevity even more.

Protect it from the sun

Although it may seem like a natural product such as rattan wouldn’t need UV protection, it can suffer damage and become weak from exposure to harsh rays. Where possible, try to give the furniture shade at times. This will allow the wood to retract and breathe and increase its longevity.

Bring in cushions

Whilst most garden cushions can tolerate the odd shower of rain (this is the UK after all!) they can’t handle large amounts of rain. When not in use, you should bring any cushions inside. They can go inside the shed, the Summer house or somewhere inside your home. Covers may slow down the process, but won’t stop the moisture from the air from getting into the cushion, potentially causing mould or mildew.

Move the chairs around

This might seem like a bit of an odd one, but usually people have their ‘favourite’ or ‘go to’ chair. This will cause the cushions to be worn faster and potentially lose their shape and plumpness as well as the chairs them selves being exposed to the same about of UV every single day. We recommend rotating the chairs around every so often so they all get the same amount of use.

Rattan furniture on deck

How to clean synthetic rattan garden furniture

Synthetic rattan is more tough and so can get wet as opposed to genuine rattan:

  • Using a brush, gently brush down the surfaces to remove any dirt and dust. Be careful not to use too stiff of a brush as you cold damage the finish. You could also use a vacuum cleaner with a soft head attachment.
  • Mix up a soap solution using a mild detergent and agitate the water to create bubbles. Make sure you do not use any soaps with harsh chemicals that could alter the colour or strength of the synthetic rattan.
  • Using a lint-free cloth or soft brush, apply the soap solution to the furniture being sure you get into all the small crevices.
  • Using a hose or bucket of fresh clean water, rinse the soap solution off. Make sure the hose is on a low, gentle setting so it does not damage the synthetic rattan.
  • Leave the furniture to dry.

How to care for your synthetic rattan garden furniture

Care for synthetic rattan furniture is pretty much exactly the same for genuine rattan:

  • Use a cover
  • Protect from the sun
  • Bring in the cushions
  • Move the chairs around

If your synthetic rattan furniture has become dull and lost its shine, you could also use a product such as Polytrol colour and shine restoring oil. It works by saturating deep into the surface to re-wet the pigments that have dried out due to UV rays and wet weather.

Faded rattan restored with Polytrol

This garden storage box has been restored with Polytrol. As you can see, it looks as good as new!


So there you have our handy guide on how to care for rattan garden furniture.

We hope you found this post helpful. If you have any other tips, tricks or advice, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. We love hearing from you!

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How to care for rattan garden furniture - Pinterest

About Owatrol Team

Our team are ready and willing to support you with your requirements whether it is protecting your newly laid deck or renovating a luxury yacht, whatever the application Owatrol has the solution you are looking for.

2 thoughts on “How to care for rattan garden furniture

  1. Dear Sir,
    I received my ordered fence and shed Owatrol paint yesterday evening from the delivery driver. Unfortunately, the paint can slipped out of the bottom of the box as there was only 1 staple left in it ( there were markings of 2 more but nowhere to be seen). The paint tin dented at the top and the lid came off a little so that the paint spewed out onto the hall floor. Fortunately it is tiled and could be cleaned up easily. I am now concerned that I might not have enough paint to complete the job that I need to do. Can you help?
    Order number 43704
    Thank you for your help
    Julie lennie

    1. Hi there Julie,

      We are sorry to hear about your order.
      Please give us a call on: 01582 592707 or send us an email to: sales@owatroluk.com so we can discuss this further.

      All the best,
      The Owatrol Team

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