How to Clean Green Stuff Off Rattan Garden Furniture

By   | Last Updated :   August 15, 2021 | Filed In :   Garden Furniture Ideas

Green mould, algae, and mosses can attack your rattan garden furniture. They can crop up in sneaky places like the underside of your table and the leg of your chair.  You can blame your damp and sunless garden spaces for all the green infestation. Plus, our damp weather and erratic downpours only make matters worse.

With patches of green, your furniture won’t just be unsightly, but also slimy. If neglected for too long, green growth can rot natural rattan which is an organic material.

old wicker chair closeup

Natural rattan is prone to algae growth. Credit: Shutterstock

But don’t worry. If your tables and chairs are infested by green, there are 7 sure-fire steps to cleaning rattan garden furniture:

How to Get Rid of Green Stuff From Rattan Garden Furniture

Some vinegar, water, a piece of cloth, a hard brush, and a garden hose are all the things you’ll need to remove algae and other green stuff from your rattan garden furniture.  Once you have these ready, start by preparing your furniture for the cleaning. Remove all dust and debris from the surface.

Next, wash your furniture with soap water. Use a vinegar solution to get rid of the green and rinse your furniture with a hose.  Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps to make sure you’ll get everything right.

Tip: Since the furniture will have to dry after cleaning, you may want to choose a sunny day for the task and start early.

Step 1 – Prepare your furniture

Before you start scrubbing your rattan furniture, take off the covers and remove all cushions from the seats.  If your cushions can’t be removed, cover them with a plastic sheet. Soap water and vinegar can damage the delicate fabrics of your cushions. Plus, foam cushions can soak up the liquid—you won’t like the smell!

Step 2 – Get rid of loose dirt

Next, clean any stuck-on debris from the surface of your furniture. Pick off any stray leaves and catkins, remove cobwebs, clean all stains, and wipe the dust.  You can use a brush and a dustpan to clean the surface. But to reach the deeper nooks and crannies of the rattan weaves, it’s best to use a vacuum cleaner.

Handheld vacuum cleaners are handy, but make sure yours is powerful enough for the task. If you have any doubts, bring in the corded one and up the power.

Step 3 – Wash with soapy water

Time for the actual washing. Add an eggcup of washing soap to a bucket of warm water. Wipe your rattan furniture with the mixture and let it soak for a few minutes.  In the meantime, you can use a brush to clean any stubborn green you spot. Then rinse the soap away.

Step 4 – Clean with vinegar

If the algae is stubborn, use a vinegar solution. In a bucket, mix an equal amount of vinegar and warm water. Now, start scrubbing your furniture.

white vinegar water homemade cleaner

No need for special cleaners, simply use vinegar with water; credit: Shutterstock

If you spot some stained areas, gently clean them with a sponge. You can also use an old toothbrush to help loosen the algae. Using a hard brush can leave marks on the rattan chairs and tables.

Step 5 – Rinse with a garden hose

Once you’ve removed all the green, rinse your rattan furniture thoroughly with a garden hose. Make sure the water pressure isn’t too high. That can damage your rattan and dent the weavings.  Once you’ve rinsed your furniture, leave it outside to dry.

Step 6 – Oil your furniture

Rattan furniture demands an after-treatment too. Once washed, condition your chairs and tables with boiled linseed oil.  This adds moisture to the rattan fibres and helps prevent breakage.

boiled linseed oil varnish paint on wood

Protect furniture with boiled linseed oil for less hassle in the future; credit: Shutterstock

Tip: Other types of oil you can use include teak oil and pure tung oil.

You can apply the oil with a soft brush until the rattan stops absorbing it. Then, wipe it clean with a cloth and let it dry. Don’t use the furniture until it has fully dried.

Step 7 – Prevent the green from coming back

Vicious greens are all attracted to damp and shady areas. You can prevent them from coming back by letting your furniture bask in the sun.  Additionally, sweep your garden regularly, drain away excess water that pools in your garden, and clean your furniture once a month. These simple steps will keep your furniture green-free for a long time.

A greener way to clean

The steps above will help you rescue your rattan garden furniture from algae and mosses. Before you put them into practice, why not adopt a green approach?

Opt for eco-friendly soaps rather than regular cleaning products. Dish soap and chemical-free liquids are also better choices.  For a non-toxic, homemade cleaner, simply use white vinegar mixed with water. Vinegar has antibacterial properties and can prevent the green from attacking your furniture again. For best results, use distilled or filtered water instead of tap water.

Eco-friendly cleaning is as effective as any other. Your furniture will be algae-free in a matter of minutes. Plus, it’s both an inexpensive and sustainable approach.

So, roll up your sleeves and put on your cleaning boots—it’s time to get the green off your rattan garden furniture. And this time, in a green way!


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