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How to Clean Your Wicker Baskets

The natural wood fibers of wicker baskets can add a warm, decorative touch to any home. In addition, they’re great organizational tools for items that can quickly clutter up your house, such as mail, toiletries or even electronics and their cords.

The downside to wicker baskets, however, is that they have a nasty tendency to collect dust and grime, and grungy is probably not the vibe you’re going for when it comes to interior decorating. Don’t let dirty wicker ruin your home’s style. Learn how to clean wicker baskets, so that you can uphold your reputation for having a fabulously decorated — and uncluttered — house.

How to Clean Wicker Baskets with a Microfiber Cloth

Microfiber cloths can help you clean almost anything, including wicker baskets.

You’ll need:
  • Mild liquid dish detergent
  • Microfiber cloths
  • A bucket or large bowl
  1. Empty the contents of the basket.
  2. Wipe down the wicker with a dry microfiber cloth.
  3. Mix one to two drops of dishwashing liquid in a large container of warm water.
  4. Lightly dampen a clean microfiber cloth in your soapy water. Take care not to oversaturate the cloth, as too much water can make cleaning ineffective and could damage the wicker.
  5. Clean the wicker basket with the damp microfiber cloth, taking care to get into the weave and tackle the base of the basket.
  6. Wipe the basket down with a fresh microfiber cloth or let it air dry. Make sure the wicker is completely dry before placing any items back inside.

Cleaning Wicker Baskets with a Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment is another simple way to keep wicker free of dust and grime.

You’ll need:
  • A vacuum with a brush attachment
  • A clean microfiber cloth or microfiber duster
  1. Remove all the items from the basket and set them aside.
  2. Give the basket a preliminary wipe down with the microfiber duster or cloth.
  3. Vacuum the entire wicker basket with the brush attachment. Don’t forget to clean the grooves between the weave and remember to vacuum the inside of the basket.

What to Do About Mold on a Wicker Basket 

Are your wicker baskets beginning to discolor or give off a musty smell? You are probably dealing with mold growth. This is especially common whenever wicker is exposed to humidity or stored in dark or damp places.

Since it's a natural material that's often only lighted stained or sealed, it's fairly common to have mold growth on wicker baskets. One of the most effective ways to deal with it is to spray or scrub down the fibers with a solution of bleach. 

  1. Vacuum or wipe away loose mold and dirt.
  2. Prepare a 1:1 solution of water and bleach. 
  3. Put on rubber gloves. 
  4. Use a soft-bristle brush, sponge, or microfiber cloth to scrub away mold. 
  5. Use a toothbrush to get tight spaces like in-between the weave. 
  6. Rinse off the solution with a hose or wet cloth. 
  7. Let the basket dry out in the sun. 

If you dislike bleach, you can substitute with a solution of 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar. 

When Cleaning Wicker Baskets Won’t Do the Trick

Wicker is an organic material. Over time, it can break down if dust or grime wears away any protective stains or sealants. Sometimes you just have to face the facts and realize that it’s time to toss your wicker to the curb. That’s not always a bad thing, though. After all, it could give you an excuse to explore new clutter-busting storage solutions and even redecorate your home with organization in mind.

If you want to make sure your wicker baskets are around to add a cozy touch to the house and keep your clutter stashed for a long time, make it a point to work them into your routine housekeeping schedule. Ideally, they should be wiped down, dusted or vacuumed at least every two to three weeks.

Don’t have time to clean the toilet, much less worry about how to clean wicker baskets? Don’t stress: Contact your local Merry Maids for some housecleaning backup from professionals who care.