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August 21, 2018
How to Clean and Maintain Teak furniture

How to Clean and Maintain Teak Furniture

Caring for Teak Furniture

Teak patio furniture is durable, robust, and able to hold up to the elements outdoors. First and foremost, teak holds its natural oils and rubber extremely well after harvesting which prevents dry-rot and waterproofs the wood from moisture and other elements. Also, because of these natural oils, fungus and insects are repelled from teak which can be a problem in other types of woods.  In some reported cases geologists have found furniture made from teak that thousands of years old and still standing.
When you purchase new teak patio furniture you have two choices; oil your new patio furniture, or let it develop a silver patina look. If you choose not to oil your new teak patio furniture over time, (in about 8-10 months) your furniture will take on a natural silver/patina look. If this is the look you are going for, then please see simple cleaning instructions below. Many people, however, like the natural honey look of the furniture when initially purchased. If this is the case, please see the second set of instructions below.

maintaining teak patio furniture

Cleaning and Maintaining Teak for Silver/Patina look:

If you decide to go this route, your cleaning and maintenance will be minimal.

  1. Mix a solution of dish soap and water. (you can add a teaspoon of bleach, or grab a cup of water from the pool if there is mildew)
  2. Scrub gently with a soft bristle brush or use a microfiber cloth to clean. Always scrub with the grain.
  3. Rinse with water. Make sure you rinse well and leave no soap residue. You can use a hose, but never a power washer.
  4. For tough stains, sand the wood lightly before cleaning with fine sandpaper.
  5. Let dry for 24 hours.

That’s it, The wood may lose some of its “grainy” looks, but that is all part of the natural aging process.   Your furniture will take on a silver/patina look during the process. If you have a build up of dirt and grime on your furniture, the cleaning solution can be left on the furniture for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.  

Cleaning and Maintaining Teak to its Golden Honey State:

The first five steps are the same as above:  

  1. Mix a solution of dish soap and water (you can add a teaspoon of bleach or a cup of water from the pool if there is Mildew)
  2. Scrub gently with a soft bristle brush or use a microfiber cloth to clean. Always scrub with the grain.
  3. Rinse with water. Make sure you rinse well and leave no soap residue. You can use a hose, but never a power washer.
  4. For tough stains, sand the wood lightly before cleaning with fine sandpaper.
  5. Let dry. (This is especially important before you proceed to the next step.)
  6. Oil the furniture. Linseed oil or tung oil is the most common type used to protect the wood.  Apply with a paintbrush with slow even strokes always painting with the grain. Remove excess oil with a clean damp rag. Continue to apply until the oil can no longer be absorbed and this will vary depending on the age of the wood.  This “oiled” state will remain for 3-6 months and will need to be reapplied because oxidation will occur again and the furniture will take on a silver/patina look again.  
  7. Let dry.
  8. Optional: Apply a resin sealer made specifically for teak that is water-based. This will be applied according to manufacturer’s suggestion. These sealers contain UV protection and will prevent the natural oils found in teak from escaping. This process will only have to be repeated every couple of years. If you really don’t want the furniture to turn gray, this is a very good option.

Exposing teak to sunlight constantly will speed up the natural patina process, so if this is something you do not like, keep your furniture in a shaded area (or under an umbrella). Even though purchasing teak furniture is initially more expensive than other types of furniture, simple cleaning and maintenance of your teak furniture will give you years of pleasure.

How To Clean and Maintain Teak Furniture

Teak patio furniture is durable, robust, and able to hold up to the elements outdoors. First and foremost, teak holds its natural oils and rubber extremely well after harvesting which prevents dry-rot and waterproofs the wood from moisture and other elements. Also, because of these natural oils, fungus and insects are repelled from teak which can be a problem in other types of woods.  In some reported cases geologists have found furniture made from teak that thousands of years old and still standing.
When you purchase new teak patio furniture you have two choices; oil your new patio furniture, or let it develop a silver patina look. If you choose not to oil your new teak patio furniture over time, (in about 8-10 months) your furniture will take on a natural silver/patina look. If this is the look you are going for, then please see simple cleaning instructions below. Many people, however, like the natural honey look of the furniture when initially purchased. If this is the case, please see the second set of instructions below.

Cleaning and Maintaining Teak for Silver/Patina look:

If you decide to go this route, your cleaning and maintenance will be minimal

  • Mix a solution of dish soap and water. (you can add a teaspoon of bleach, or grab a cup of water from the pool if there is mildew)
  • Scrub gently with a soft bristle brush or use a microfiber cloth to clean. Always scrub with the grain.
  • Rinse with water. Make sure you rinse well and leave no soap residue. You can use a hose, but never a power washer.
  • For tough stains, sand the wood lightly before cleaning with fine sandpaper.
  • Let dry for 24 hours.

Cleaning and Maintaining Teak to its Golden Honey State:

The first five steps are the same as above:  

  1. Mix a solution of dish soap and water (you can add a teaspoon of bleach or a cup of water from the pool if there is Mildew)
  2. Scrub gently with a soft bristle brush or use a microfiber cloth to clean. Always scrub with the grain.
  3. Rinse with water. Make sure you rinse well and leave no soap residue. You can use a hose, but never a power washer.
  4. For tough stains, sand the wood lightly before cleaning with fine sandpaper.
  5. Let dry. (This is especially important before you proceed to the next step.)
  6. Oil the furniture. Linseed oil or tung oil is the most common type used to protect the wood.  Apply with a paintbrush with slow even strokes always painting with the grain. Remove excess oil with a clean damp rag. Continue to apply until the oil can no longer be absorbed and this will vary depending on the age of the wood.  This “oiled” state will remain for 3-6 months and will need to be reapplied because oxidation will occur again and the furniture will take on a silver/patina look again.  
  7. Let dry.
  8. Optional: Apply a resin sealer made specifically for teak that is water-based. This will be applied according to manufacturer’s suggestion. These sealers contain UV protection and will prevent the natural oils found in teak from escaping. This process will only have to be repeated every couple of years. If you really don’t want the furniture to turn gray, this is a very good option.
Published: August 21, 2018
Author: The Outdoor Appliance Store