Teak furniture can provide many years of enjoyment, but if you want it to keep the appearance you like, then it’s important to know how to look after it. Your maintenance needs will depend on the climate and whether you’re on the coast or inland. From maintaining new and older teak pieces to fixing discoloration and damage, find out more about the benefits of teak furniture and how to keep it in top shape.
Teak is a luxurious wood with abundant natural oils and silica, making it an excellent choice for outdoor furniture. Most other woods lose their protective oils over time, but teak’s natural oils make it rot-resistant, meaning that it doesn’t require additional oiling or coatings. Since teak has natural protection, it does well in all weather conditions with varying maintenance and cleaning techniques that allow you to customize the look. Teak wood works best with rust-proof stainless steel hardware and waterproof fabrics.
Many consider teak furniture to be most beautiful when it is unfinished in its natural state. In fact, what attracts most people to buy this type of furniture is its natural honey blond look. If you are interested in keeping the most natural appearance of your pieces it can be serviced to keep it that way.
Teak cleaning is used to keep the wood looking its best without the application of a protective coating and not allowing it to weather gray or oxidize. However, sometimes owners allow their furniture to weather and oxidize to a natural gray appearance. To achieve a clean and uniform gray appearance, the surfaces must be cleaned periodically to remove surface contaminants. This is also considered a form of teak furniture cleaning.
The wood has oxidized but it is still unfinished in its natural state. Both of these techniques have become increasingly popular in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Santa Monica over the past few years because they are cost-effective and beautiful.
Teak Cleaning Fact Sheet
|How to Clean Teak?
|The two most common ways to clean teak furniture is by using a soft bristle brush or mild power wash.
|How to Clean Teak Mold?
|Mold and mildew growth is a common problem on teak furniture. Apply wood brightener or wood bleach and follow directions per manufacturer suggestions.
|Can you Clean Teak with Oxiclean?
|Oxiclean can be useful product to clean teak wood and furniture. Make sure to rinse thoroughly to remove residue.
|Can you Clean Teak with Vinegar?
|Vinegar is not the best method to clean teak. Simply use a mild detergent such as Simple Green or Mrs. Meyers for best results.
|Cleaning Teak on a Boat
|Cleaning teak on boats can be done using a deck brush and a mild biodegradable detergent.
How to Clean Teak Wood: Unfinished & Silver Appearences
Cleaning Technique for Natural Unfinished Appearance
The natural honey blond look of your furniture will gradually fade when it is outside unprotected. To keep Teak wood from oxidizing and keep its natural appearance starts with a thorough cleaning. We begin our teak cleaning technique by gently washing the wood with a proprietary cleaner to remove oxidation, weathering, black mold, and contaminants. The surfaces will be washed by hand to remove these impurities with specially designed brushes to get between each and every slat. Our brushes are soft and special attention is given to preserve the grain. The wood will be washed with wood brightener to promote the natural color and help eliminate and prevent black mold and algae. Drying takes 24 hours and it is ready to use thereafter.
Cleaning Technique to Promote a Natural Silver and Oxidized Appearance
Teak and hardwood furniture is often sold as “maintenance-free”. You may remember your salesman suggesting to do nothing and allow your furniture to gracefully weather to a silver patina. If you have taken this route, you have probably found out the hard way that any outdoor furniture requires some form of maintenance and unfortunately, teak furniture is no different. Yes, the wood will change color and oxidize and patina over time with exposure to the elements, but doing so evenly and gracefully without any maintenance is out outright lie. Just as anything left outside eventually gets dirty, so will your furniture. The wood will change color over time, but doing so evenly will take a very long time and is almost impossible without assistance.
If your furniture has oxidized and does not have a coating on it, it can be washed to remove surface dirt and debris and keep the gray look. This type of teak cleaning technique will remove black mold, dirt, and algae from your wood and keep and promote the silver patina you desire. We want to keep and promote Teak’s beautiful silver patina, a do so by using a mild surface wash to remove contaminants. The wood is rinsed with a wood brightener that will eliminate black mold and algae. A brightener is also used to bleach the wood, promote an even appearance, and promote a more graceful weathering pattern.
Furniture can also be stripped of its current coating and allowed to weather over time. We can come in and clean the furniture after it has been outside for over 6 or 8 months. New furniture can be allowed to weather and change color and we will come in and clean and brighten to promote the silver patina you desire. A natural unfinished look is perfect for English Gardens, Cape Cod, and Colonial-style homes. Many homeowners in beach cities such as Malibu, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and Manhattan Beach prefer this type of look.
How to Maintain Your Teak Furniture
Teak is expensive, so you want to keep it looking its best and get the most out of your investment. Maintenance consists of periodically performing the same teak furniture cleaning procedure. Your investments will stay looking great all the time when we establish your maintenance schedule. Beach cities such as Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and Malibu will need maintenance more frequently than inland cities in Los Angeles and Orange County. Maintenance should be performed at least once a year or whenever necessary depending on your microclimate.
How Often Does Teak Need Cleaning?
Most teak pieces should be thoroughly cleaned once a year unless you are in an area with excessive humidity or dusty conditions. While frequent cleaning is normally considered a good thing, it’s possible to overclean teak furniture and damage its natural beauty. Harsh cleaning chemicals, stiff brushes, and improper cleaning techniques can cause more harm than good.
Teak sealer, applied after annual cleaning, will help retain the wood’s color and inhibit the growth of mildew, fungus, and mold. While teak oil makes teak furniture look good, it can wear off in a month or two, and mineral spirits and solvents can cause teak wood to weather faster.
How Can I Keep Teak My Desired Color?
New teak furniture has a light honey wood grain. Grade A teak, from the center of the tree, is the most sought-after and has the best grain and highest durability. Natural oils and resins protect the wood, but the wood will fade after about six months and take on a silvery-gray natural patina after about two years. Color changes may vary depending on weather and sun exposure. Stain and paint are not recommended for teak; you should only use specialty products for stripping and sealing the surface.
New Golden Tone
To keep the furniture’s new look, apply a recommended sealant and protectant once it has been thoroughly cleaned and dried. Water-based sealants allow the wood to breathe and will last longer. Look for a sealant with UV inhibitors for further protection from the elements. Be sure to use teak sealer instead of teak oil, as teak oil can leave a sticky residue and cause the furniture to darken and retain mildew when mixed with other oils and solvents.
Clean and air dry the furniture. Following manufacturer instructions, apply two thin coats of water-based sealant with a cloth. Make sure the coat is even, and wipe away any excess sealant. You should touch up or reapply the sealant every year or two. You can also apply a clear gloss coat of urethane sealer over the sealant to prevent stains.
Sealants should be stripped to the natural surface every few years, with new sealant applied to keep the new look.
Natural Gray Patina
Many teak furniture owners prefer the natural light gray look that appears after about two years of use. Natural oils and resins offer low-maintenance protection, and careful yearly cleaning will keep the furniture looking sharp for decades.
All you need is to follow a regular cleaning schedule using mild cleaners and a soft brush. Be careful to avoid scrubbing or using fine sandpaper against the grain to keep the natural tone. Excessive cleaning may leave blonde wood areas, but they will age back to gray over time.
Teak that has weathered for years can be restored to its natural light honey-blonde look using specialty products that dissolve old finishes and contaminants and then neutralize and restore the original appearance. After thoroughly cleaning, use a specialty stripper to remove old sealants and other coverings. Sand any rough spots, shine the hardware as needed, and apply an approved sealant and additional coatings as desired.
For stained areas, specialty cleaning products can help remove oils and other contaminants. To prevent an uneven appearance or undesirable results, test products and cleaning techniques in a small hidden portion on the underside of your piece of furniture. Keep furniture away from puddles and excessive moisture or weather exposure to avoid heavy weathering.
If you want to find out more about taking care of your teak furniture, contact Teak Master at 888-639-8424 or via our secure online form.