How to clean outdoor rattan furniture using one ingredient you def have

Dry, brittle edges be gone

Image of rattan chair repeated three times
(Image credit: Future)

The weather has started to heat up, which can only mean one thing — summer is en route. And, if you’re lucky enough to have your own outdoor space, whether it’s a balcony or a larger garden, you’re probably starting to think about getting out your summer essentials, which may involve a selection of rattan furniture

Now, what you might find when you get all your fave rattan buys out, from your TikTok viral egg chair to your luxuriously long outdoor couch, is that they might be in need of a little TLC. Over time, rattan furniture can get a lil’ grubby. 

But, the good news is, there’s a handy TikTok-approved hack that can help revive your outdoor essentials, and, get this, all you need is a basic kitchen staple. 

What’s the secret to reviving rattan furniture?

Ryan Schwarze, outdoor furniture expert at Luxury Rattan, has shared a genius (and inexpensive) tip for treating tired-looking rattan surfaces — use olive oil. 

“If you have an old piece of rattan furniture that is looking worse for wear, I would recommend using a soft cloth and rubbing some olive oil onto the product," says Schwarze. "This will reduce cracking and add shine to your rattan, making it look as good as new.”

Did you know that older and lower-quality rattan can crack over time? This is especially true if it’s been exposed to the elements for an extended period of time. And, over time it can also begin to lose its color. 

According to the experts, the trick to reviving old rattan furniture is to use a small amount of olive oil to clean and buff it. Brb, just running to the store. 

A li'l bit of olive oil should add protection to rattan, as well as help to remove dirt and grime. The oil is also great for repairing and conditioning the fibers. 

How to use olive oil on rattan furniture?

Step 1: Take a clean microfiber cloth and dab it with olive oil 

Step 2: Gently rub the olive oil-soaked cloth across each piece of furniture, being careful not to saturate it. 

Step 3: Leave the olive oil to soak into the rattan, softening and conditioning it. 

Step 4: Use a clean microfiber cloth to gently rub over the furniture, removing any excess olive oil. 

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.

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