How to Properly Store Outdoor Wicker Furniture in the Winter

When the cold months roll around, it’s crucial to take steps to protect your outdoor wicker furniture. Proper storage not only ensures that your furniture stays in great condition but also extends its lifespan. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to store your outdoor wicker furniture during winter.

#### 1. **Clean Thoroughly**

Before storing your wicker furniture, give it a thorough cleaning:
- **Dust and Debris Removal:** Use a soft brush or a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove dust and debris from the surface and crevices.
- **Washing:** Mix a mild detergent with warm water and use a sponge or cloth to clean the furniture. Avoid soaking the wicker to prevent weakening the fibers.
- **Rinsing and Drying:** Rinse the furniture with a hose but ensure it's done gently. Allow it to dry completely, preferably in the sun, to prevent mold and mildew growth.

#### 2. **Inspect for Damage**

Check your wicker furniture for any signs of wear and tear:
- **Cracks and Splits:** Repair any minor cracks or splits using a wicker repair kit available at most hardware stores.
- **Loose Ends:** Tuck in any loose ends of the wicker weave and secure them with a dab of glue.
- **Rust:** For metal frames, inspect for rust and treat with a rust remover or a new coat of paint if necessary.

#### 3. **Apply a Protective Coat**

To further protect your furniture:
- **Sealant:** Apply a protective sealant designed for wicker furniture. This can provide a barrier against moisture and help preserve the material.
- **Waterproof Cover:** Consider using a waterproof cover for an added layer of protection. Ensure the cover fits well and is secured to prevent wind from blowing it off.

#### 4. **Choose the Right Storage Location**

Deciding where to store your wicker furniture is crucial:
- **Indoor Storage:** If possible, store your furniture in a garage, basement, or shed. These areas typically provide better protection against the elements.
- **Outdoor Storage:** If indoor storage isn’t an option, place the furniture in a sheltered spot like a covered porch or patio. Elevate the furniture off the ground to prevent contact with snow or standing water.

#### 5. **Store Cushions Separately**

Cushions should be stored separately to avoid mildew and damage:
- **Clean Cushions:** Wash and thoroughly dry the cushions before storing them.
- **Use Storage Bags:** Place the cushions in breathable storage bags to protect them from dust and moisture.
- **Dry Environment:** Store them in a dry, cool place to prevent mold growth.

#### 6. **Regular Check-ups**

Even during storage, periodically check on your wicker furniture:
- **Moisture Check:** Ensure there is no moisture buildup that could lead to mold or mildew.
- **Pest Control:** Look for signs of pests and take measures to keep them away from your furniture.

#### Conclusion

Proper storage of outdoor wicker furniture during the winter is essential to maintain its beauty and functionality. By cleaning thoroughly, inspecting for damage, applying protective measures, choosing the right storage location, storing cushions properly, and conducting regular check-ups, you can ensure your furniture is ready for use when the warm weather returns. Taking these steps will help you enjoy your wicker furniture for many years to come.
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