CLEANING TEAK FURNITURE

Of its many other desirable traits, Teak showcases excellent durability and strength. Being able to withstand extreme temperatures makes it the ideal wood for outdoor furniture. As one of the toughest hardwoods available, Teak is also well suited for larger building projects such as patio decks, other large furniture and even boats. Find out how cleaning teak furniture and caring for it can prolong its life.

Teak, which is the common name for Tectona Grandis, a species of hardwood tree that can grow to over 130 feet tall. It is native to South and Southeast Asia and can be found naturally in India, Malaysia, Burma, Thailand, and Indonesia. It takes 40 to 80 years to grow the best wood providing Teak trees, then a further 1 to 2 years of drying before it can be cut into lumber.

Photo by Markus Spiske

With a natural rot resistance, teak furniture makes for minimal maintenance. However, higher humidity can lead to mould and mildew growing on the surface of the wood. This will require regular treatments and cleaning. Here’s how to remove mildew and other natural stains safely and effectively:

REMOVING MILDEW AND STAINS

Things you will need:

  • 4L of water
  • 1 cup of bleach/ white vinegar
  • dishwashing liquid
  • A bucket
  • and finally, a soft plastic brush

Step one:

Gently rinse your furniture. Do not power-wash teak furniture as this can damage its surfaces. Use your hose to rinse it thoroughly.

Step two:

Mix a small amount of dishwashing liquid with your cup of bleach (or the white vinegar) and the water. Using this solution, gently scrub down your furniture with the soft plastic brush. It’s better to use plastic brushes as they don’t scratch the surface of the wood.

You can use a store-bought teak cleaner. But keep in mind that chemical cleaners can be damaging when they come into contact with your skin.

Step three:

Let your furniture sit for about 15 to 20 minutes before thoroughly rinsing it with clean water.

Step four:

Place your outdoor furniture out in the open to dry. Direct sunlight prevents the growth of mildew and other moulds.

Cleaning Teak Outdoor Furniture
Photo by Markus Spiske

TREATING YOUR TEAK FURNITURE

Time for a treatment:

Teak as a whole is a very durable wood. It requires little to no special treatment to maintain its strength. However, it may need treatment to preserve its golden brown colour. Achieving this is done with a teak oil treatment. And here’s how to do it yourself:

Please note:

Oiling outdoor furniture requires regular applications as the wood will become dependent on the oil applications to prevent it from drying out. Especially if exposed to direct sun day in and day out.

Things you’ll need:

  • Teak oil of your choice
  • Sandpaper
  • Bristle brush
  • Lint-free cloth

Step One:

Clean and dry furniture thoroughly.

Step Two:

If needed, use the sandpaper to remove prior treatments. This step allows for the newly exposed wood to absorb the oil easily.

Step Three:

Apply an even coat of the oil with the bristle brush or cloth. Be sure to wipe off any excess oil.

Step Four:

Allow for the furniture to dry completely. This can take up to four hours.

Step Five:

Repeat steps three and four until the oil no longer absorbs into the wood.

Treatments for teak furniture should happen every few weeks, or months depending on the state of the furniture and exposure to the elements.

Quality Teak wood furniture can last for generations with the correct care and maintenance, we hope that this article helps you in cleaning your Teak furniture so that your family can enjoy the pieces for years to come.