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How to Take Care of Teak Wood

This guide will bring you through the process of taking care of your teak wood furniture, step by step.

To start off, what do we know about Teak Wood?

Well...Teak is a tropical hardwood tree species in the family Lamiaceae. It is a large, deciduous tree that occurs in mixed hardwood forests. It is known for withstanding water well, and has been used to make boats for a long time.

Do's and Dont's of Cleaning Teak Wood: 

  • DO use ground protection, such as a tarp, when cleaning or finishing teak. This is especially important on porous stone, concrete, or deck surfaces, as cleaning products can cause staining.
  • DO test any cleaning products you are using on a small area on the underside of your furniture to see how it interacts with the teak and its color.
  • DO think about applying sealants and protectants to your furniture after cleaning to preserve the color and prevent stains/mold. The teak needs to be clean and completely dry and dust free before applying these.
  • DO wipe up any spills on teak furniture right away, so they don't set into the wood and cause stains.
  • DO occasionally wipe or hose down furniture between cleaning to keep dirt and debris to a minimum.
  • DO use coasters for drinks to avoid water rings on your teak.
  • DON'T use teak oil on your outdoor furniture. Teak oil is linseed oil mixed with other ingredients, primarily solvents – it is not oil from teak trees. It is often touted as a necessary treatment for teak furniture, but it can cause more harm than good, leaving a sticky surface that will collect dirt and debris which causes mold and mildew to grow. Furniture treated with teak oil often turns black and can even feel gummy to the touch over time, especially in warm, humid climates. 
  • DON'T use cleaners, sealers or protectants that are harmful to plants, lawn, or animals (all of Country Casual Teak’s products are eco-friendly.)
  • DON’T use steel wool, as small flecks of metal can lodge in the grain of the wood and rust over time.
  • DON'T sand against the grain as this will "scratch" the teak.
  • DON'T pressure wash your teak furniture as this will cause damage to the wood. This can remove the soft wood between the grain causing a rough, furrowed surface that in turn collects water and debris.

 

Basic Cleaning for New Teak: 

  • Step 1. Prep the area for cleaning by laying down a tarp and placing your furniture on it. Then, wet your furniture with a garden hose.
  • Step 2. Choose a cleaning product. If you would like to use household items, combine two tablespoons of a mild cleanser such as liquid dish soap with a gallon of water in a large bucket. 
  • Step 3. Apply the solution to your teak furniture with a soft nylon brush gently scrubbing with the direction of the grain to avoid scraping up the surface of the wood.
  • Step 4. Once your teak is clean, hose it down once more and allow to dry.
  • Step 5. (Optional) If your teak feels rough to the touch after cleaning, you can do a light sanding with 220 grit paper to remove any rough fibers or wood particulate. Be sure to sand with the grain to avoid "scratching" the teak.
  • Step 6. (Optional) To help keep the golden blonde appearance of your new teak, use a sealer to lock in the original color and add UV inhibitors to prevent weathering. Sealers should be applied on new or recently cleaned teak that is dry to the touch.

Basic Cleaning for Weathered Teak:

Once your teak has weathered to a silvery gray, following these steps to remove dirt and some stains while keeping the gray color.
  • Step 1. Prep the area for cleaning by moving your furniture onto a tarp. Then, wet your furniture with a garden hose.
  • Step 2. Choose a cleaning product. If you are using household items, use a large bucket to combine two tablespoons of a mild cleanser such as liquid dish soap with a gallon of water. 
  • Step 3. Apply the solution to your teak furniture with a soft nylon brush or coarse sponge, gently scrubbing with the direction of the grain to avoid scraping up the surface of the wood. To remove some of the silvery gray color apply more pressure with a course sponge. Note that excessive scrubbing will cause the gray color to become a blonde. If this happens it will weather back to gray with time.
  • Step 4. Once your teak is clean, hose it down once more and allow to dry.
  • Step 5. (Optional)If your teak feels rough to the touch after cleaning, you can do a light sanding with 220 grit paper to remove any rough fibers or wood particulate. Be sure to sand with the grain to avoid "scratching" the teak.

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