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How to Clean and Maintain Teak Furniture

How to Clean and Maintain Teak Furniture

Teak furniture is a beloved choice for outdoor spaces, renowned for its durability, natural beauty, and timeless appeal. Join us on a journey through the art of preserving and revitalizing your teak furniture, ensuring it remains a stunning and functional addition to your outdoor haven for years to come.

Teak furniture is a favorite choice for many homeowners, known for its beautiful appearance, exceptional durability, and timeless charm. Whether it’s a teak dining set, a comfortable lounge chair, or a classic teak bench, this furniture can transform your outdoor living spaces into stylish, inviting havens. However, to keep teak furniture looking its best and ensuring it remains in excellent condition, proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the art of caring for your teak furniture, allowing it to grace your garden for years to come.


Why Teak Furniture?

teak outdoor furniture is perfect on every patio

Teak wood is a preferred material for outdoor furniture for several reasons:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Durability
  • Low Maintenance

Routine Cleaning: Keeping Teak Furniture Fresh

Regular cleaning is essential to prevent dirt, grime, and mildew from accumulating on your teak furniture. Here’s how to do it:

  • Gather Your Supplies: You’ll need a bucket of warm soapy water (use a mild detergent), a soft brush, and a hose.
  • Rinse the Furniture: Start by rinsing the furniture with a hose to remove surface dirt and debris.
  • Scrub Gently: Dip the soft brush in the soapy water and scrub the furniture, paying attention to crevices and joints. Avoid using stiff brushes or abrasive cleaning pads, as they can scratch the wood.
  • Rinse Thoroughly: After scrubbing, rinse the furniture with a hose, ensuring all soap residue is removed.
  • Dry the Furniture: Let your teak furniture air dry completely in the sun.
  • Stain Removal: For stubborn stains or discoloration, you can use a teak-specific cleaner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.


Teak Restoration: Bringing Back the Shine

Over time, teak furniture can lose its original luster and turn gray due to exposure to the elements. To bring it back to life, follow these steps:

  • Sand the Wood: Use a fine-grit sandpaper to sand the grayed surface until you reveal the fresh teak wood underneath.
  • Clean the Surface: After sanding, clean the wood to remove any dust or debris.
  • Apply Teak Oil or Sealer: To preserve the wood’s natural beauty and prevent future graying, apply a teak sealer or teak oil. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times.


Seasonal Maintenance: Adapting to Changing Weather

Your teak furniture may need different care during different seasons:

  • Summer: Regular cleaning and a light application of teak oil or sealer, if necessary.
  • Winter: Store teak furniture in a dry, sheltered area or use covers to protect it from snow, rain, and extreme cold.
  • Rainy Season: Keep the furniture covered when not in use to prevent moisture buildup.


Storing Teak Furniture: Off-Season Protection

During the off-season, proper storage is key to preserving your teak furniture. Here’s how:

  • Clean Thoroughly
  • Disassemble If Possible
  • Use Furniture Covers
  • Choose a Dry Location


Extending the Lifespan: Preventative Measures

teak patio furniture shares it's natural beauty with the area around it

To ensure your teak furniture enjoys a long and beautiful life, consider the following preventative measures:

  • Regular Inspections
  • Proactive Cleaning
  • Minimal Direct Sunlight
  • Use Coasters
  • Avoid Chemicals

By following these guidelines for cleaning and maintaining teak furniture, you’ll ensure that your investment remains an elegant and functional part of your outdoor living space for years to come. Regular care and attention will help your teak furniture continue to shine, providing you with countless enjoyable moments in your garden or patio.

A How-To on 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 is thousands of years old and still standing.


a teak patio table in a honey gold color

Take Teak to its Golden Honey State:

  • 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)
  • 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. (This is especially important before you proceed to the next step.)
  • 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.  
  • Let dry.
  • Optional: Apply a resin sealer made specifically for teak that is water-based. 

We have the expertise and high-quality products to turn your outdoor cooking dreams into a reality. So, roll up your sleeves, put on your chef’s hat, and get ready to create culinary masterpieces in your small but sensational outdoor kitchen! Connect with us on LinkedInFacebook, and Instagram for more tips on enhancing your outdoor kitchen.

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