Many people love rattan outdoor furniture due to it being stylish, lightweight, and easy to move. It is also resistant to insects and can tolerate both high temperatures and high levels of humidity. This is why rattan is commonly used as patio furniture in coastal and tropical climates. But can rattan furniture get wet, and if so, will it get moldy? We’ve researched this question to give you the answers you need.
Rattan furniture can get wet. But if it is made of natural rattan, the furniture tends to hold water inside it. This can cause mold and mildew to grow if the furniture is left untreated.
There are two types of rattan furniture: natural and synthetic. The main focus of this article will be natural rattan, as it is more susceptible to mold and water damage. We will explore how to remove and prevent mold as well as how to weatherproof rattan furniture. Continue reading to learn more.
What Exactly Is Rattan?
Rattan is a tropical vine that is native to Asia. The vines are robust, but they can be easily shaped and woven into furniture. Rattan is usually woven into wicker, although wicker isn’t the name of the furniture. It is the type of weave used to create it.
Rattan is a light-colored wood, and rattan furniture is typically used in warmer climates. It can be used in colder climates to bring a sense of warmth to indoor rooms, but it is usually not used outdoors due to the high amounts of snow and freezing conditions that these climates experience.
Rattan furniture can come in many styles and shapes. Due to it being made of wood, it can fit many different design styles. It is very lightweight compared to other materials that are commonly used for outdoor furniture. If it is taken care of properly, rattan furniture is very durable and can last for a very long time.
Can Rattan Furniture Get Wet?
Since rattan furniture is most often used outside, it is frequently exposed to the elements, including wind, humidity, heat, and rain. This means that rattan furniture will get wet from time to time.
But being made of wood, rattan is susceptible to damage due to rain and moisture, especially since most rattan furniture is untreated when you buy it. Even if you cover your rattan furniture with an outdoor furniture cover, moisture can still manage to get through to the furniture underneath.
Since rattan furniture does receive frequent exposure to water, it is okay for it to get wet as long as you take measures to treat it so that it is weatherproof. Weatherproofing your rattan furniture is crucial for extending the life of your furniture. Otherwise, you will likely need to replace it every few years.
Does Rattan Furniture Get Moldy?
Just like fabric and other wood furniture can get moldy, rattan can as well. Even if you live in a warm climate that doesn’t receive as much rainfall as other places, your rattan furniture can still become exposed to moisture in the air due to humidity.
When rattan furniture does get water or moisture on it, it tends to hold the water for long periods. If the water stays in the rattan and the furniture is exposed to heat and air, it creates an environment that is suitable for mold to grow but mildew and bacteria. While bacteria may not be noticeable, mold and mildew are making your beautiful furniture look less attractive.
How Do You Get Mold Out Of Rattan Furniture?
Mold can not only cause your rattan furniture to look less beautiful, but it can also cause it to have an odor. If your rattan furniture has grown mold, it is not too late. Rattan furniture can be cleaned, and the mold can be removed.
Many people find cleaning rattan furniture difficult due to the woven nature and all the nooks that could hold dust, dirt, and mold. But removing mold from rattan is not as difficult as it might seem and can be done with only a few products that you probably already have on hand.
Here is what you’ll need:
- Feather duster
- Rubber gloves
- Soft-bristled cleaning brush
Follow these steps to remove mold from rattan furniture:
- Use the feather duster to brush the furniture to remove any dirt and dust.
- For the nooks and crannies where more dirt collects, use a vacuum with a handheld attachment to vacuum out these areas as best as you can.
- In the bucket, mix the bleach and water in a 50:50 solution.
- Dip the soft-bristled brush into the bleach and water solution. Be sure to wear rubber gloves, as bleach is harmful to the skin.
- Use the brush to scrub any areas where mold has started to grow. The bleach will help to kill the mold and remove odors.
- If you have any areas where the mold is tough to remove, use a toothbrush to scrub those areas more thoroughly.
- Rinse the bleach off the furniture with a sponge soaked in water, then use a towel to dry it off.
- If possible, move the furniture indoors or into the garage to dry, or cover it with an outdoor furniture cover until it is completely dry.
How To Weatherproof Rattan Furniture?
Weatherproofing rattan furniture is key for extending its life and preventing water damage and mold and mildew growth. There are multiple ways that you can weatherproof furniture, so whatever method you choose depends on which one is the easiest and most budget-friendly for you. We will look at a few options so that you can decide for yourself which one is best.
Cover Your Furniture
Covering your furniture is a great option if you don’t have much time to put into weatherproofing and need a quick solution. However, it is important to make sure that your cover fits your furniture and that it stays free from rips and tears.
A properly fitting furniture cover should extend to the legs’ very bottom to prevent water from getting underneath. Measure your furniture before purchasing a cover so that you know what size you need. You should also make sure that you purchase covers that are durable because any tears can cause water to pass through the cover onto the furniture.
Use Tung Oil
Tung oil is one of the best ways to weatherproof rattan furniture, although it can be time-consuming. To use tung oil, you will first need to clean the furniture with dish soap and water, then use a soft cloth to apply the oil all over the furniture. For best results, apply it every year before you put the furniture out for the season.
The downside to using tung oil is that while it will keep the furniture from retaining moisture and growing mold, it doesn’t offer protection for extended periods of heavy rain. If you live in a climate that receives a lot of heavy rain, you may want to cover your furniture as well.
For more details on using tung oil, check out: How To Oil Outdoor Furniture.
Paint and Varnish
Painting your rattan furniture can help provide a certain level of weather resistance because it creates an additional layer on top of the wood that moisture has to pass through. For extra protection, you can apply two coats of varnish on top of the paint. If you don’t want to paint your furniture, apply three coats of varnish instead.
Like tung oil, varnish will keep moisture out unless you experience prolonged heavy rain. Varnish will need to be reapplied every couple of years for it to remain effective. Marine varnish is the best type to use on rattan furniture.
How Long Does Rattan Furniture Last Outside?
Depending on the climate where you live, rattan furniture can last between five and ten years. However, the key to helping your furniture last that long is to buy high-quality furniture and protect it from damage due to weather using one of the previous section’s recommended methods.
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We hope this article provided you with the information you needed regarding rattan furniture. Rattan furniture is beautiful and stylish, but it is not immune to water and mold damage. Protecting your furniture using a cover, oil, or varnish is essential for extending its life. Otherwise, you will likely have to replace it every couple of years. Thanks for reading!