If you’re like me you love your wicker baskets. They’re a great home decor element plus they’re perfect for hiding items you don’t want out in the open. Yet, it’s frustrating when you go to grab something out of your basket, and dirt and grime get under your fingernails from the filth that’s built up. Let’s remedy that situation. Today I’ll give you three simple methods to clean your dirty wicker baskets to make them look new again.
(Please note- article may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure at the end of post.)
A few things to note- these cleaning methods work on most wicker or rattan items including wicker furniture, Longaberger baskets, and laundry baskets.
Caution: Some would say to dip your wicker baskets in a sink full of water, a large container of warm water, or even to wash them down with a garden hose. I do not recommend any of these. Doing so can cause water to get into the fibers and linger too long which breaks down the natural materials causing your basket to warp.
Method 1 – Vacuum Cleaner Method (Best used when your baskets are mildly dirty)
- Feather duster, microfiber duster or a soft brush
- Vacuum cleaner with attachments – crevice tool and/or dusting brush
- Clean microfiber cloth
Step 1- Remove the Contents of the Basket
Take all of the contents out of the basket and set them aside. Take your basket outside or flip it upside down, over a trash can. Shake it several times to dislodge anything caught inside the wicker weave. Turn it upright and make sure everything has been removed.
Step 2- Loosen The Dust
Take a feather duster, a microfiber duster, or a soft brush and swipe the inside base of the basket and its walls to loosen the dust particles and dirt.
Step 3- Vacuum Out the Basket
Add the dusting brush attachment to the vacuum. Turn the vacuum on and brush over each area of the basket, inside and out making sure to suction up all of the dirt. When finished, attach the crevice tool to the vacuum cleaner. Use the crevice tool to reach the tiny areas you weren’t able to reach with the dusting brush.
Step 4- Clean the Basket
It’s important to wait to do this step after you vacuum because if water is added to dirt, vacuuming becomes impossible. It won’t work.
After you’ve finished vacuuming the basket, slightly dampen a clean microfiber cloth. You can use a spray bottle to dampen your cloth if you’re afraid of getting it too wet. Wipe the basket down completely with the damp cloth making sure to scrub off any marks or areas that did not get clean initially.
Step 5- Let the Basket Dry
Let the basket air dry completely in a well-ventilated room or out in the sun. If you have difficult spots where dirt or grime are left behind, either repeat the process or skip down to Method 2 – Step 5.
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Method 2 – Mild Dish Washing Liquid Method (best used when your baskets are pretty nasty)
- Soft cloth (microfiber is preferred)
- Mild dish washing liquid and water
- Vacuum cleaner with attachments – crevice tool and/or dusting brush
Step 1- Remove the Contents of Your Basket
Take everything out of your basket and set those items aside. For best results, the next step should be done outside or over your trashcan because it can get really messy.
Flip the basket over and shake out the dust and small trash particles that tend to stick in the weave.
Step 2 – Loosen Up the Dust and Dirt
Swipe a soft brush around the inside to loosen up the dust and dirt that didn’t come out when shaking.
Step 3- Wipe the Basket Out
After using a soft brush, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe the entire surface inside and out. This will help remove the remaining dust.
step 4 – Vacuum the Basket Out
Use the dusting brush attachment and/or the crevice attachment on your vacuum cleaner to get the stubborn dirt removed. I like to move the dusting brush in circles to make sure I cover every part of the basket. The crevice tool helps get dirt from between the weaves.
Step 5- Prepare Your Mixture
Using a large bowl or your sink, pour warm, clean water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid into it. Use a ratio of 1 teaspoon of dish detergent to 1 gallon of water. It’s ok to estimate.
Step 6- Clean the Basket
Do not submerge the basket in the water. Instead, dip your soft cloth into the water and wring it out. Use the damp microfiber cloth to wipe the basket down inside and out. Work the cloth between the wicker weave to ensure the basket gets clean.
Depending on what your basket holds, you may have to scrub to remove any built-up dirt or grease. It’s possible you’ll need to repeat the process a few times.
Step 7- Dry Your Basket
Once your basket is clean, let it air dry or put it outside to dry in the sun. If after drying, the basket is not fully clean, move on to Method 3.
Want to know how to decorate with baskets? Click here: Creative Basket Decor Ideas to Make Your Home Fabulous
Method 3 – (Best used when your baskets are disgusting)
If your baskets are very dirty, now’s the time to bring out the big guns – Lemon Juice. Your grandmother would have used it to clean her baskets.
- Soft Brush
- Vacuum cleaner with attachments – dusting brush and/or crevice tool
- Dry microfiber cloth
- Lemon Juice and water
Follow Method 1 – Vacuum Cleaner Method – Steps 1-4
Step 5 – Make a Mixture of Lemon Juice and Water
Using a large bowl or bucket, mix several cups of warm water with approximately 1/4 cup of lemon juice.
Step 6 – Apply the Lemon Juice Mixture to the Basket
Dip your soft brush into the mixture and lightly scrub all areas of the basket.
Step 7 – Let Your Basket Dry
Let your basket air dry, or even better set it outside in the sun to dry. If your basket is not entirely clean, repeat the process until you’re satisfied.
This process can be used to clean outdoor furniture too.
Tips for Clean Wicker Baskets
- The best way to keep your baskets clean (between deep cleaning times) is to dust them with a clean, dry paint brush. Paint brushes are great for getting between the weave of the wicker.
- To keep your baskets from getting grimy, a good idea is to use basket liners like the ones pictured here. When they get dirty, all you need to do is empty your basket and toss them in the washing machine. Be sure to check the label, if they’re 100% cotton, don’t put them in the dryer, they could shrink.
I hope this How-to helps you in your quest to get your baskets nice and clean. If you’d like to get ideas on how to decorate with baskets, check out my post: Creative Basket Decor Ideas to Make Your Home Fabulous
Or click this link if you’d like to learn How to Create a Basket Wall
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