Longaberger baskets are classic lifestyle furniture and decorative pieces created by the company of the same name, The Longaberger Company. These baskets have become household staples, renowned for their distinguished wooden weaves made of maple wood.
These baskets can last years when properly cared for, which is why this article will show you how to clean longaberger basket pieces so they can last longer! All you'll need is some baking soda, a damp cotton swab, and a soft bristled brush to keep your longaberger baskets in good condition.
What You'll Need
- Baking soda - to remove stains
- Vinegar - for mold removal
- Dish soap - to clean a greasy basket
- Damp cotton swab or Damp sponge
- Soft cloth
- Vacuum cleaner with brush attachment or Soft bristled brush
How to Clean Longaberger Baskets
Step 1: Check Your Basket
First, check your basket before you clean it. Some old basket pieces may have some value to it that would be removed after cleaning. Handcrafted, signed, and numbered baskets may fetch a high price for collectors, so be sure to check before you wash thrifted baskets or old pieces.
Step 2: Clean Your Basket's Surface
Clean your basket according to how stained or dusty it is. Regular cleaning will simply remove the regular dust and dirt that's already on the basket, while removing stubborn stains will require some elbow grease to clean greasy or moldy stains.
If your basket has a layer of dust on it, but no visible stains or mold, then it just needs some regular cleaning to keep it in good condition. You can do this by using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove the dirt from deep within the basket weave without damaging the material.
A soft cloth dipped in warm water will help remove any stuck-on grime, or you can mix a few drops of mild soap to create a thin soapy water solution that will remove oily residue. Use a cotton swab to reach deep into the crevices of the weave to remove dust hidden between the layers of wood.
Cleaning Moldy Areas
If your basket has been exposed to moisture, and you suspect there's mold growing in it, you will need more than a vacuum cleaner to remove the stains. A good spritz of white vinegar will kill any mold growth and spores on the basket, and a soft brush should get those stains right out!
Give your basket a good spritz of vinegar, focusing on getting the cleaning solution through the weave. Let the vinegar sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then use a brush to scrub the mold stains away. Rinse the basket using a damp cloth to remove vinegar residue.
Removing Stubborn Stains
To remove dirty stains, create a paste with hot water and baking soda. Apply the paste directly on the stained spots, then wait for 10 minutes or until the stain can be easily scrubbed out of the wooden material. Use a soft brush to scrub the stains away, and 'rinse' the basket with a damp cloth.
For oily stains, use a thin soapy water mixture made with dish soap and tepid water. Dip a soft cloth into the solution, then use the cloth to rub out the oily stains. Wipe the basket clean with a clean cloth, and allow it to dry.
Step 3: Dry Your Baskets
It is very important to let your Longaberger basket dry completely as moisture left in the wood can cause the material to rot easily. Let your Longaberger baskets dry in a well-ventilated area, away from high-humidity areas like the bathroom or the kitchen. However, avoid drying your baskets in the sun for prolonged periods as the heat may fade the color.
Step 4: Seal Your Baskets
This step is optional, but recommended as it keeps the wood supple and flexible, while providing a water-resistant seal on your Longaberger basket. However, this step only applies to natural, unstained baskets as the wood oil may activate the stain when left on for too long.
To seal your baskets, place a few drops of wood oil on a soft cloth, and rub the basket with oil until you notice a sheen. Use a non-oiled side of the cloth to wipe away as much oil as possible as excess oil may create a sticky residue on the surface of the basket.
Tips to Keep Your Longaberger Basket Clean
- Avoid placing oily food in your basket. Oils may seep through the wood, causing the material to get damaged from within.
- Always dry your baskets after cleaning. This will prevent mold and mildew from growing in the wood.
- Store the basket in a cool, dry place when not in use. This will keep the wood supple, prevent it from getting moldy, and avoid damage.
- Line laundry baskets with a cloth liner to provide a barrier between dirty clothes, and the wooden material. Keep the basket off the floor to avoid moisture from seeping in, especially if the basket is located in the laundry area.
Housekeeping Made Simple
At Luce Home, we understand the pride of having well-maintained furniture, appliances, and decor, which is why our professional cleaners have been trained to ensure each item in your home is cleaned properly during home maintenance sessions. Trust in Luce Home to tackle the house chores, and get the job done right!
Give us a call, and we can discuss a cleaning schedule that works for you!