How to Clean Wicker Baskets in 3 Easy Steps

Pretty woven wicker basket.

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Project Overview
  • Working Time: 10 - 20 mins
  • Total Time: 10 - 20 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10 to 200

While wicker baskets are quite functional for carrying or storing items, they are often used in home decorating because of their natural beauty. Caring for the baskets is easy and requires only a few products. Learn how to clean wicker baskets so they will last for many years.

How Often to Clean Wicker Baskets

How frequently you use and how you use wicker baskets will determine how often they need to be cleaned. If you are using the baskets to hold a plant and they develop mold or mildew from the moisture, they should be cleaned immediately. Baskets used for food storage or food service should be cleaned after every use.

Decorative and dry storage baskets should be dusted weekly and cleaned thoroughly as needed.


These same cleaning tips can be used to clean wicker or woven natural material accessories like placemats, laundry hampers, and purses.

Before You Begin

If the basket has a removable lining, remove it and clean it separately as needed by machine or handwashing. Dry the lining thoroughly before returning it to the basket.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 new paintbrush
  • 1 vacuum with hose and brush attachment
  • 2 microfiber cloths
  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 toothbrush


  • 1 bottle of dishwashing liquid
  • 1 disposable microfiber duster
  • 1 bottle of distilled white vinegar


How to Clean Natural Wicker Baskets

  1. Remove Dust and Loose Soil

    Dust and loose soil can be removed using several methods:

    • Use a vacuum with a hose and brush attachment to suction away dust from the interior and exterior surfaces of the wicker.
    • Use a small, clean paintbrush to brush away dust.
    • Use a disposable microfiber duster to clear dust, cobwebs, and loose soil from the wicker.
  2. Spot Clean Stains

    • Mix a solution of warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a small bowl.
    • Dip a microfiber cloth into the solution and wring until it is not dripping.
    • Spot clean any areas stained with food particles or dirty smudges.
    • Dip a clean cloth in plain water and wipe down the area that has been cleaned to remove any soapy residue.
    • Allow the basket to air-dry away from direct heat or sunlight but in an area with significant airflow.
  3. Remove Mold and Mildew

    • Mix a solution of one part vinegar to four parts water in a small bowl.
    • Dip a toothbrush or microfiber cloth in the solution.
    • Wipe away the mold from the wicker. Use the toothbrush to reach tight corners.
    • Dip a clean microfiber cloth in plain water and rinse the area that has been cleaned.
    • Allow the wicker basket to air-dry.


    Do not use chlorine bleach or harsh cleaners to remove mold or stains from wicker baskets. The chemicals can cause the natural plant elements to dry out and break more easily. Never submerge a natural wicker basket in water or allow it to stay wet for an extended time.

How to Clean Synthetic Fiber Wicker Baskets

Synthetic fibers are much less delicate than natural materials so you can clean them more aggressively.

  1. Remove Dust

    Use a vacuum with a brush attachment, a disposable duster, or a clean paintbrush to remove loose soil and dust.

  2. Remove Soil and Stains

    • Use a solution of warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid to remove stains with a microfiber cloth.
    • If the basket is very dirty, it can be scrubbed with a toothbrush dipped in the soapy solution and then rinsed off with a stream of water.
    • Treat mold and mildew stains with a solution of one part vinegar with four parts of water.
    • Allow the synthetic fibers to air-dry away from direct heat or sunlight.

Tips to Keep Your Wicker Baskets Lasting Longer

  • Store wicker baskets in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight which can fade the material.
  • Store baskets on shelves, not hanging to prevent stress and damage to the handle.
  • Do not submerge natural wicker baskets in water at any time.
  • When drying wicker baskets, provide adequate airflow so that mold and mildew do not have time to form.
  • Do not stack heavy baskets on top of each other, especially if they are damp, to prevent damage and warping to the wicker.