How To Clean Longaberger Baskets

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Longaberger baskets bear the name of the family-owned business that still makes them today. Based on the work of the founder's father, J.W. Longaberger, the company was founded in 1976. Longaberger learned to make baskets by hand at the Dresden Basket Factory in Ohio during the late 1800s. Easily identifiable by the baskets' handmade maple weaving, many of the picnic baskets of old came from Longaberger. Use care when cleaning your Longaberger basket to avoid damaging it and to keep it looking good for years to come.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Soft cloth
  • Vacuum with brush attachment
  • Mild alkaline-based dish soap
  • Cotton swabs
  • NIOSH-approved safety mask
  • Disposable outerwear
  • Vinyl or rubber gloves
  • 60 to 90 percent solution of isopropyl alcohol

Regular Cleaning

  • Remove dirt and dust from the basket by applying a soft-bristled brush to its surface. If you have a soft brush attachment on your vacuum's wand, apply it to the basket's surface to remove loose dirt and debris.

  • Wipe the basket with a damp sponge or soft cloth, following the weave to get rid of dust or dirt. To remove stains, mix a tablespoon of mild, alkaline-based liquid dish soap in a gallon of tepid water, and wipe the basket, again going with the weave. Apply gently pressure for stubborn stains.

  • Apply a damp cotton swab into the nooks and crannies of the basket weave to clean these areas.

  • Allow the basket to fully dry to the touch before storing it to prevent mold from growing.

Mold Removal

  • Put on an appropriate safety mask, as identified by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health for cleaning moldy items, and wear vinyl or rubber gloves. A disposable suit, available at home improvement and discount stores, protects your clothes from exposure to mold spores and easily slips over your clothes.

  • Dab a clean, soft cloth with isopropyl alcohol, rated between 60 and 90 percent, and apply it to the moldy areas on the basket.

  • Brush, with a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush, the affected area, first going against the grain of the wood to remove stubborn mold, and then working with the grain after it has loosened.

  • Wipe the loosened mold from the basket with a clean, soft cloth.

  • Repeat as needed to remove all of the mold. If desired, wash the basket, following Steps 2 through 3, to thoroughly remove any bits of mold.

  • Set the basket in the sun for no longer than 8 hours to allow the sun's ultraviolet rays to kill any mold remnants. Remove the basket from the sun once it is dry to keep the sun from fading the color on the weave.

Tips & Warnings

  • Work outside in a well-ventilated area when removing mold.
  • Wear disposable outerwear during mold cleanup to prevent exposing your clothes to mold spores.
  • Place moldy cleanup items, remains and the outerwear in a plastic bag when discarding them to keep from ingesting the mold spores.
  • Keep kids and pets away from your mold-cleaning efforts.

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References

  • Photo Credit miflippo/iStock/Getty Images
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