Teak furniture is made from wood that is inherently more resistant to fading and decay in the open air than other types of wood. For this reason, teak is used to make a large proportion of garden furniture. But, no matter how durable it is, in order for teak furniture to last longer, you need to take care of it regularly. To clean teak furniture, it is usually sufficient to wipe it down with soap and water. Over time, however, you will likely need to think about staining or oiling the wood to help protect your teak furniture.
Method 1 of 3: Routine cleaning
Step 1. Start at the bottom
Cleaning teak furniture should always start from the bottom and work your way up gradually. This will help avoid streaks and stains caused by the cleaning solution or the cleaning process itself.
Since the top of teak furniture is the most visible, the idea of starting from the top may be tempting to you. But this can damage the furniture or spoil its appearance
Step 2. Wipe the furniture with soapy water
The best way to keep teak furniture clean is to wipe it down with soapy water every few weeks. This is to prevent the wood from fading and the accumulation of dirt and mildew. Just dab some liquid soap on a sponge and wipe the furniture surface with it.
Add some bleach or vinegar to the product to increase its effectiveness
Step 3. Rinse the furniture thoroughly
Be sure to rinse off any soap solution from the furniture surface, as soap can cause dirt to build up more quickly over time. If your teak furniture is outside your home, use a garden hose to flush out the soapy water.
- If the teak furniture is indoors, wipe off any soap residue with a damp cloth. Rinse the rag frequently to avoid rubbing the soapy water back into the furniture.
- When finished, let the furniture dry.
Step 4. Keep pillows separate
Oil in teak wood often leaks out, especially in the first few months after application, and can stain fabrics. If there are pillows on teak furniture, store them separately from the furniture. This will keep the furniture looking acceptable for a longer period of time.
This is especially important in the rain and immediately after the teak has been oiled
Step 5. Do not rinse furniture with pressure water
Pressure washing is a great way to clean many surfaces, but not teak furniture. This may seem like an easy solution, but over time, this method of cleaning will lead to deterioration of the teak surface and serious damage. If cracks appear in the wood, high pressure water treatment will deform the wood.
Pressure washing can also damage the finish that protects the wood and cause further damage
Method 2 of 3: How to remove dirt from teak furniture
Step 1. Prepare a cleaning solution with bleach
Mix 240 ml of chlorine bleach, 240 ml of detergent and 3.8 liters of warm water. A cleaning solution made with these ingredients can remove most of the dirt and stains without damaging your teak furniture.
When handling bleach, be extremely careful not to end up where it should go
Step 2. Apply the solution with a brush
Apply the bleach solution with a soft plastic brush and rub gently into the wood. Wait about 15 minutes and then wash off the solution with water.
Clean outdoors. If this is not possible, spread a protective film on the floor to avoid spilling bleach and damaging anything in the house
Step 3. Wipe the furniture with a brush
Instead of rinsing out the dirt with pressurized water (along with the protective coating), take a hand brush and scrub the teak furniture thoroughly with it. Gently wipe away any stains or imperfections on the wood. However, do not rub too hard to avoid irreparable damage to the wood.
Wet teak wood to improve cleaning performance. Rinse the furniture with a continuous stream of water to remove any dirt during the cleaning process
Step 4. Use a commercially available teak cleaner
This cleaning method fights stains and wear marks more aggressively. Therefore, it is better suited for teak furniture that has been outdoors for a long time. Simply apply the furniture cleaner and scrub with a soft brush. Wait about 15 minutes before rinsing off the product.
- Follow the directions for use on the bottle.
- Make sure the teak cleaner contains the active ingredient oxalic acid.
Step 5. Rinse off the cleaner
Whether you use a store-bought teak cleaner or a cleaning solution with bleach, be sure to rinse off any remaining teak after cleaning. Thoroughly rinse the teak wood with a hose and then air dry.
If you are cleaning teak furniture indoors, wipe off any remaining cleaning agent with a damp cloth
Method 3 of 3: How to prevent further damage
Step 1. Oil the teak wood
Buy some tung or flaxseed oil from your local hardware store and apply it to your furniture. Smoothly apply the oil to the teak furniture with a paint brush. Wipe off excess oil with a damp cloth during operation. Continue applying oil until the wood stops absorbing oil.
Wipe down teak furniture thoroughly before applying oil
Step 2. Apply synthetic rubber sealant
This type of stain or sealant will help protect teak furniture from inclement weather (if stored outdoors) and prevent further damage. Purchase a sealant from your local hardware store and apply with a brush. Let it dry completely before using the furniture again (this usually takes about 24 hours).
When purchasing a sealant or stain, make sure it is suitable for use on teak wood
Step 3. Renew the stain every few years
Like any other wood product, teak furniture needs to be stained again every 2-3 years. Over time, the stain loses its effectiveness and therefore needs to be replaced. If you start to notice cracks in the wood, prepare for re-staining to repair the cracks and protect the wood.
You can skip this step if you choose to leave the teak in its natural, unpainted form. It is worth noting that unprotected furniture will have to be cleaned more often
Step 4. Do not leave furniture in direct sunlight
Nothing accelerates teak aging and wear than prolonged exposure to the sun. The rapid deterioration of the wood will result in teak furniture requiring more frequent maintenance. Move teak furniture to an area that's shaded most of the day.