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How to Clean Wicker Basket: 3 Quick and Easy Tips

How to clean wicker basket.

Wicker baskets are a classic cottage accessory. These practical and fashionable bits of decor add a casual character and functional flexibility to any room. But that vintage vibe we all love can’t have the same effect when it’s hidden under layers of dirt and grime.

Cleaning wicker baskets is too easy to leave off your tidying checklist, and the difference it can have on the look of your space is too significant to pass up. Give your interior aesthetic a boost the easy way by following our guide on how to clean wicker basket materials of all kinds!

How to Clean Wicker Baskets

Wicker isn’t a material but rather a woven style that can incorporate synthetic or organic fibers. Rattan and willow are the most popular of many fibrous natural materials. Hard plastic resin has become popular in recent years, particularly in outdoor furniture where the wicker pattern reigns supreme.

Wicker weave items are easy to clean. Like genuine and engineered hardwood flooring, natural wicker fibers only require mild solutions to stay clean and avoid damage.

The most popular way to clean a wicker basket is to brush and hose it down at the same time. Here is a quick video on how to do that. But, we recommend that you read on to learn other simple methods on how to clean wicker basket too.

tIP 1: How to Clean Wicker BASKET with Vacuum Cleaner

If cleaning wicker baskets around the house is part of your weekly chores, you can ensure they look their best and last as long as possible. Plus, simple dusting and vacuuming can help you prevent the more time-consuming deep-cleaning methods.

Tools and Materials

  • Vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
  • Microfiber duster or soft brush (optional)

1. Empty the Wicker Basket

Remove the basket’s contents, and wash fabric liners separately if needed.

2. Vacuum the Outside and Inside

Vacuum the basket’s entire interior and exterior surface. Use the brush attachment to loosen dirt stuck in the wicker weave. 

Tip: For light cleaning, save energy by dusting with a clean paintbrush instead of hauling out the vacuum cleaner. The bristles are efficient at digging into the hidden areas in the weave that collect dust.

3. Wipe Down with a Microfiber Cloth (Optional)

Remove leftover dust by wiping the wicker basket with a dry microfiber cloth.

tIP 2: How to Clean Wicker Baskets with Soap and Water

Dirty and disregarded wicker baskets may need a full-blown deep clean. Fortunately, it rarely entails an exhausting effort. If your wicker basket shows noticeable dust and grime buildup, wait for a bright, sunny day, and follow these steps to freshen the material.

Tools and Materials

  • Microfiber cloths or duster
  • Clean paintbrush
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Mild dish soap

1. Empty the Basket

Remove everything from the basket. Wash any cloth liners or covers separately. Flip the basket upside down, and gently pat the sides and bottom to knock out any stuck dirt or dust.

2. Brush the Inside and Outside

Dust the outside and inside of the basket with a microfiber duster or dry microfiber cloth. Even better, use a clean paintbrush to whisk away dust and debris.

3. Mix Dish Soap and Warm Water

Mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a bowl of warm water. Dampen the microfiber cloth (or, any soft cloth) in the soapy water and wring well to ensure it isn’t overly wet. 

4. Wipe Down the Basket with a Damp Cloth

Wipe down the entire wicker basket with the damp cloth. Lightly scrub stubborn stains with an old toothbrush or soft-bristled scrub brush.

5. Let the Basket Dry

Wipe away any remaining moisture with a clean microfiber cloth, and let the basket air dry in a breezy spot under direct sunlight. Do not let the basket’s shape warp while air drying, as it could keep that form permanently once dry.

tIP 3: How TO Clean Wicker bASKETS THAT ARE dIRTY?

Cleaning wicker baskets is a breeze, only requiring some mild soap and a few essential cleaning tools. Some situations create more soil that will need extra elbow grease, like baskets that hold indoor plants or those that just got home from the flea market. Vacuum the wicker well using the brush attachment, and wipe it down with soapy water and a microfiber cloth.

Spray It Down: A Quick Cleaning Tip for Dirty Wicker

The easiest way to clean a dirty wicker basket is to hose it off outside. You can also wash small baskets in the sink. A gentle scrubbing with soapy water will whisk away dug-in soil and grime. Rinse to remove any remaining suds, and towel off the basket before placing it in a sunny, breezy spot to air dry.

Can Wicker Baskets Get Wet?

Wicker baskets can get wet without suffering damage. After all, soaking the natural fibers is crucial in making them flexible enough to weave. But that doesn’t mean you can carelessly leave them dripping wet.

There’s a reason outdoor furniture generally only uses resin wicker. Natural wicker baskets can get wet temporarily, but the fibers can warp and swell from absorbing water or get moldy from staying moist for too long. Whether you wash your wicker basket with a hose or a damp microfiber cloth, letting it air dry completely without changing the shape is crucial in keeping it in good condition.

Tips to Maintain Wicker Baskets

  • Keep your baskets in a dry, temperature-controlled area out of direct sunlight to prevent mold and splitting
  • Avoid hanging or stacking baskets, as stress can distort and damage the wicker
  • Use cloth liners to protect wicker basket interiors from dirt and liquid
  • Apply a stain or spray-on sealer to protect the wicker against moisture, grease, and mold and restore the warm glow

Can You Clean Wicker with Vinegar?

Yes. A simple vinegar cleaner of half water and half distilled white vinegar can combat mold on the wicker basket’s natural wood fibers. Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle, spray the mold spots, and gently scrub them out with an old toothbrush.

Cleaning wicker with vinegar is particularly helpful if your wicker pieces are looking a little spotty or giving off a musty smell. Humidity and resting water can lead to mold and mildew on organic material. Mold usually takes 24–48 hours to develop in an ideal environment. It shouldn’t be an issue if you maintain and clean wicker baskets on a schedule, but you never know what condition they might be in when you pull them out of storage. 

What Is the Best Thing to Clean Wicker?

Water with mild soap, like dishwashing liquid, is the best way to clean wicker baskets. It’s convenient, gentle, and no less effective than abrasive cleaners at removing noticeable dirt and grime. Don’t be afraid to get the wicker wet, but always let it air dry completely before you use it again.

How Do You Make a Wicker Basket Look New Again?

You have numerous unique ways to breathe new life into aging wicker items. Change the look with a coat of paint, or apply an oil or stain finish to revitalize the wicker’s naturally warm tones. Otherwise, follow these tips to keep your wicker baskets clean, and you’ll ensure these essential home decor pieces always make the best impression.


Noah Hoit