The short answer is yes, wicker patio furniture can be left outside, but it depends on the type and quality of the wicker and how you protect it from the elements. Wicker is a general term that refers to any woven furniture made from natural or synthetic materials. Natural wicker is made from plant fibers such as rattan, bamboo, or willow, while synthetic wicker is made from plastic, resin, or vinyl. Each type of wicker has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to outdoor use.
Natural wicker is more aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly than synthetic wicker, but it is also more susceptible to damage from moisture, sunlight, and insects. Natural wicker can rot, fade, crack, or split if exposed to harsh weather conditions for a long time. Therefore, natural wicker patio furniture should be treated with a water-resistant coating or paint to prevent water absorption and mold growth. It should also be covered or stored indoors during winter or rainy seasons to avoid snow, ice, or heavy rain. Natural wicker patio furniture should be cleaned regularly with a mild soap and water solution and a soft brush to remove dirt and dust.
Synthetic wicker is more durable and resistant than natural wicker, but it is also less breathable and comfortable. Synthetic wicker can withstand rain, snow, sun, and wind without fading, cracking, or rotting. It is also easier to clean and maintain than natural wicker, as it can be wiped with a damp cloth or sprayed with a hose. However, synthetic wicker can also get hot, sticky, or brittle over time, especially if it is made from low-quality materials or exposed to extreme temperatures. Therefore, synthetic wicker patio furniture should be cushioned with weather-proof fabrics and pillows to provide comfort and protection. It should also be shaded from direct sunlight or heat sources to prevent fading or melting.
Tips for Choosing and Caring for Wicker Patio Furniture
Whether you choose natural or synthetic wicker patio furniture, there are some tips that can help you extend its lifespan and beauty. Here are some of them:
- Choose wicker patio furniture that is made from high-quality materials and has a sturdy frame and weave. Look for wicker that is smooth, uniform, and flexible, and avoid wicker that is rough, uneven, or loose.
- Choose wicker patio furniture that suits your style and needs. There are many colors, shapes, and sizes of wicker patio furniture available, so you can find the one that matches your outdoor decor and space. You can also mix and match different types of wicker patio furniture to create a unique and cozy look.
- Protect your wicker patio furniture from the elements. Use covers, umbrellas, or awnings to shield your wicker patio furniture from rain, snow, sun, and wind. You can also move your wicker patio furniture to a covered or shaded area when not in use. This will help prevent fading, cracking, or warping of the wicker.
- Clean your wicker patio furniture regularly. Dust and dirt can accumulate on the wicker and cause it to look dull or dirty. You can use a vacuum, a soft brush, or a cloth to remove the dust and dirt from the wicker. You can also use a mild soap and water solution or a vinegar and water solution to wipe the wicker and remove any stains or spills. Rinse the wicker with clean water and let it dry completely before using it again.
- Repair your wicker patio furniture if needed. If your wicker patio furniture gets damaged, you can try to fix it yourself or hire a professional. You can use glue, nails, or staples to secure any loose or broken strands of wicker. You can also use paint, stain, or varnish to restore the color and shine of the wicker. However, if the damage is too severe or beyond your skills, you may need to replace the wicker or the whole piece of furniture.
Wicker patio furniture can be a great addition to your outdoor living space, as it is stylish, comfortable, and versatile. However, wicker patio furniture also requires proper care and maintenance to keep it in good shape and last longer. By choosing the right type of wicker, protecting it from the elements, cleaning it regularly, and repairing it if needed, you can enjoy your wicker patio furniture for years to come.