A select number of fortunate NYC residents have access to an outdoor balcony, patio or rooftop. Now that the autumn chill is here to stay, it is time to clean and store any wicker furniture displayed in outdoor living spaces. Wicker is durable but can deteriorate rapidly in cold rain and snowy conditions. Well-maintained wicker pieces last for years to come.
Dirt and grime will inevitably cling to outdoor furniture in a New York City setting. Always verify wicker furniture is meant for outdoor use before placing it outside. Use a few simple household items to clean wicker and keep it looking beautiful for next spring. Start by scraping the grime out of the crevices with a toothbrush or vegetable brush. Loosen the dirt then use a vacuum cleaner with a dust attachment to suck up the dust on chairs, sofas and tables. Getting rid of the obvious grime reduces the time it takes to completely clean the furniture. Remove the cushions and launder them or bring them to the dry cleaner if they have signs of mildew or staining.
Mix a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of liquid soap in a bucket. If the furniture has wood accents, a wood soap with a vegetable base can be used. Dip a clean sponge in the soapy water and wipe down the wicker furniture completely. Keep a toothbrush handy to get into the tiny weaving in certain sections. If a hose is available, it can be used to rinse down natural or clear coated pieces as well as synthetic wicker. Avoid using a hose on painted wicker. Let the wicker furnishings dry fully before storing them away.
If wicker furnishings are unfinished, they can be sprayed down with waterproof sealer from a local hardware store. Lemon oil can be used bring dulled wicker pieces back to life. Simply rub the pieces down with lemon oil on a soft cloth. Consider varnishing or repainting worn wicker to make it last longer. If the wrapping around the legs of furniture is coming loose, tighten it and secure it to the frame with wood glue.
Most wicker furniture is lightweight unless it is mixed with wood. Another person might be needed to help move and store the furniture if the pieces are heavy. Certain NYC apartments have storage space available in the basement of the building. There are also affordable local storage facilities such as Manhattan Mini Storage where people only pay for the small space needed to put a couple of items away for the winter. While the joy of outdoor living might be over, the excitement of the holidays and New Year’s Eve will soon be filling the streets of New York City.