Teak Furniture Maintenance

Teak is unique because it produces its own natural oil that makes it very low maintenance in comparison to other types of outdoor wood furniture. Furthermore, teak oil prevents water and moisture from sinking into the wood that can cause dry rot. If you don’t mind the grayish patina teak will develop over time, teak requires virtually no maintenance and can be left on the patio without much more than an occasional dusting to keep it in pristine condition.  Below I will show you how to clean and care for your teak furniture as well as how to remove the silvery patina.

Teak is easy to clean. You can clean it using a brush and mild dish soap.  Always scrub with the grain for best results. You can do this prior to the outdoor summer season. After this, you can usually just dust off your furniture with a soft cloth. To remove heavy stains, you can lightly sand away these areas with fine-grit sandpaper. Refer to the section below to learn how to sand teak furniture. Grease stains are another beast, but you can still get them out. You will need a commercial grade teak cleaner that can be purchased online or at a local hardware store.

Lightly sanding teak wood will reveal a fresh and glowing finish below the surface level. This will restore the original honey brown glow. Sanding can be a bit more difficult on furniture that has hard to reach areas, so you have to work around these spots by hand. Once you’re finished sanding and removing the dust, you can move on to seal the wood to preserve the hues of the wood.

Teak sealant will typically last you a full year. You can find protective sealant to lessen the effects of the sun’s rays on your furniture. To apply teak sealant, leave your furniture out in the sun for 2 weeks to open up the grain. This will help the sealer adhere correctly. Then, spray the area with sealer using a steady hand. Next, rub the sealer into the wood using a lint-free cloth. Apply an additional coat of sealant for an optimum finish. It’s important to keep in mind that once you apply a teak sealer, your furniture will hold the color that it has at the time of sealing. This means that if you seal your teak when it still has the original golden color, it will not age to the silver-gray look.

Caring for Teak furniture is relatively an easy task if you are diligent. The best way to care for teak furniture is to clean it regularly and this can be as simple as hosing the teak down with fresh water. The simplest and easiest way to do this is to pick a sunny day and remove all of the cushions from the furniture. Then using a generic garden house, rinse off each piece with careful attention to get all surfaces wet. Make sure to not miss the undersides and you cannot use too much water. Teak is grown in water and loves it. Let your teak furniture dry well before you put the cushions back on and if the furniture is in a shaded environment, you may want to move it to a sunny spot first, so it dries well.  Frequent hosing off of your teak furniture will keep it clean and also help turn it a grey patina. If you want to keep your furniture from turning grey, you might consider using a teak oil or a teak sealer. These can be applied when the teak is new and once every six months to help maintain the golden color of teak. Remember though, you do not need to seal your teak, only if you do not want it to turn grey. The best and easiest way to care for teak furniture is hose it off regularly and keep it clean.

If your teak furniture has turned dirty and grey and you want to clean it, it can be done with some proper chemicals and some elbow grease. Purchase a 2-step cleaner from the marine store. Make sure to buy a 2-step teak cleaner and not a 1-step teak cleaner.  The latter does not work as well.  Move your teak furniture to an area like a driveway or concrete area that will not get ruined by the harsh chemicals or excessive water.  Wear thick rubber gloves to protect your hands and rubber boots to protect your feet if you like. Start by wetting each piece really well and then apply the step 1-cleaner to each piece. The best way to do this is dilute the 1st step with 50% water in a separate bucket and then using a 3M pad, dip the pad and then scrub the teak, spreading the step one all over each piece and scrubbing away the dirt and grime that is embedded in the grain.  Rinse off the piece, very, very well and then repeat the process with Step 2. Make sure to dilute step 2, 50% with water and watch as the teak turns back to a golden yellow color. After you have neutralized all of step 1, with step 2, rinse each piece very, very well with lots of water and let it dry.  Now you have clean teak.