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How to care for your Malawi Cane pieces

Cane furniture adds natural warmth, texture and substance to any space. A feel that is hard to achieve with other pieces or materials. The natural, organic nature of cane furniture – and all our Malawi Cane pieces – mean they need to be cared for and proactively cleaned. Doing this will ensure they are well looked after and can last for generations.

Malawi Cane pieces are extremely durable and strong, thanks to the incredible artisans who create each piece. When cared for, they will last a lifetime. Monique, our founder, still has her original kiddies chair from when she was young – over 40 years ago!

We want your Malawi Cane pieces to be part of your whole life – so we’ve put together this information to help you proactively clean and, if needed, rejuvenate your cane furniture to bring it back to its original beauty - especially if ou have selected a natural raw finish.

How to clean your cane furniture

Regularly cleaning your cane furniture is an important – and easy – part of looking after your pieces.

Dust and dirt can build up within the weave of Malawi Cane pieces – particularly because the weave in our pieces is so tight due to the high-quality weaving. Regularly dust each piece of furniture with a soft cloth and soft-bristle brush. A toothbrush is great for getting the harder-to-reach spots. Short on time? You can also use your vacuum with the small brush attachment. Easy!

Any spills can be wiped off with a damp soapy cloth. Then simply put your piece in the sun to ensure any dampness dries out completely.

If you have a trickier stain, softly sand back the area. We recommend using 240-grit sandpaper, as well as the above.

How to rejuvenate your cane furniture

Perhaps dust, dirt, mildew or mould has been allowed to build up over time, and stains have begun to appear on your cane furniture. If so, you will need to give your Malawi Cane piece a more thorough cleaning treatment.

Some furniture can form a residue on its surface over time, particularly furniture living on the coast and exposed to heavy mists.

Iron oxide stains in wood are usually dark spots caused by prolonged exposure to water and/or metal. The iron oxide reacts with the tannins in the timber and reeds, and stains it black.

So, what can you do about it?

  1. Choose a sunny day to clean your pieces, as it’s important they dry fully after you’ve cleaned them.

  2. Start with a similar clean to the above by dusting and/or vacuuming your piece thoroughly to ensure all dirt, dust and mildew has been removed. It’s important they are removed before the piece gets wet in the next steps of cleaning.

  3. Mix together some dish-washing liquid and warm water and scrub your piece with the soapy mix, using a dish-washing bristle brush (really scrub hard)

  4. Ensure you wipe off any soap residue with a damp cloth.

  5. Blot your Malawi Cane piece dry with a towel, and place it in direct sunlight. Allow a good day of drying. Leave them for 24 hours before placing any seat pads, cushions or throws back onto them.

  6. If mildew does build up and creates a green mould or black dots, use Oxalic Acid or a household cleaning bleach. You can pick this up at any hardware store. If using the Oxalic Acid, follow the instructions to dissolve it in water and brush the affected area. Remove the reside with damp cloth. Put your piece out in the sun to dry fully. If it is a varnished product, re-varnish it after it is dry.

With care and love, Malawi Cane pieces can last a lifetime. We hope you enjoy your Malawi Cane pieces for many, many years to come!

If you have any questions about looking after your Malawi Cane pieces, please email us – we are here to help.

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