Wicker baskets add both beauty and functionality to a home and they’re one of my favourite home decor items ever. They can also collect a lot of dust and grime over the years when you look at them closely! Here’s how to clean wicker baskets!
Admittedly, I’m a little basket obsessed. I love the texture-y goodness that they bring to a space and the fact that they also help you stay more organized is obviously a huge bonus. In my opinion, no space really looks complete without a basket or two. A good quality basket will serve you well for years and years. They can be a bit of an investment, but they’re worth it every time. Have you ever looked up close at your favourite baskets though? Oh wow do those things get dirty! They hide it well, but they definitely collect dust and dirt in every little nook and cranny. It’s time for me to do a little basket cleaning, so I thought this would be a good chance to share my method for cleaning wicker baskets today. 🙂
How to Clean a Wicker Basket
This basket that you see here might be my very favourite basket of all time. It’s strong and sturdy and I’ve had it for about 12 years. I love it more and more every year. It’s just one of those things that has always looked good no matter when I’ve put it or what I’ve used it for. It usually holds extra blankets and pillows in the living room and it just always looks so good and so right sitting over in the corner that I mostly don’t even think about it. Until one day I inevitably notice all the dust and cat fur that has collected around the base. It happens without fail when you have pets and people living in a house!
As a basket fanatic, I have quite a few of them tucked all over the house, but this big floor basket is the one that I find needs the most thorough cleaning, the most often.
If you have a big basket that’s starting to look like this, here’s how to take care of it!
Step 1: Vacuum
The best way to deal with all that dust and pet fur is to use your vacuum’s soft bristle brush to do a combination of manual dusting and removing the dust by suction. Make two passes over both the interior and the exterior of your basket to make sure you get everything.
Step 2: Spot Clean
The tricky thing about this process is that you want to avoid making your basket warp and prevent it from becoming deformed in any way. So when you’re using moisture, you want to work in small sections, about four inches in diameter, and allow each section to dry before moving on to the next section. Obviously if you’re working on a large basket like I have here, that might sound a little crazy. That could take days.
The best way to stay on top of this situation is to identify any areas that you can see that are visibly dirty (like if a bit of juice looks like it splashed up from when your toddler had a spill a few weeks ago) and make those areas your priority.
Dip an old toothbrush or a small scrub brush in a mild solution of dish soap and water and work the brush into the soiled area to clean away the mess. Finish off by removing the excess soap and moisture with a dry microfibre cloth.
*Note* If you don’t have any visible dirty spots, feel free to skip the spot cleaning step. You can just wipe the baskets gently with a very (very) lightly dampened microfibre cloth before moving on to drying it. As long as you don’t have enough moisture to really soak into the wicker, you’ll be fine.
Step 3: Dry the Wicker Basket
The key to success is to make sure that your basket dries very well so it won’t warp or mildew. The trick to maintaining the tight, consistent weave of your basket is to make sure it dries completely in between each little section that you clean if your basket is very dirty and you’re cleaning it one section at a time with a little brush. If you do end up just needing to wipe the whole thing down with a lightly damp cloth, it’s still a good idea to dry it well after that as well, just to be safe.
The very best drying method is of course some nice bright sunshine. If it’s a cooler time of year, putting a fan on your basket, or even placing it in a nice warm spot such as next to a furnace is the next best thing.
One extra note: You want to make sure that the section that you’re drying is exposed to create as much airflow as possible and to allow it to dry quickly. So if you clean the bottom of your basket, turn it upside down while you’re drying it.
And that’s all it takes. This is one of those little jobs that I find strangely enjoyable. It’s just nice to know that my beloved baskets are dust and cat-fur-free. 🙂
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.