take-care-of-teak

Easy steps to take care of your natural or sealed teak furniture

How to take care of teak so your outdoor furniture looks inviting all year long.

How to take care of teak

Own an outdoor teak furniture setting? Teak hardwood is an exceptionally durable material that needs little maintenance to keep it looking great and performing well. That’s why it is often used to make quality outdoor furniture.

Here are the steps to take care of your teak furniture

Caring for Natural Teak

If you have chosen to leave your outdoor furniture in its natural state, it will slowly turn from its golden brown colour tones to a silvery grey patina as it weathers. Left unsealed, the timber is allowed to breathe and it will continue to wear well thanks to the high natural oil content.

To Care For Natural Teak Furniture, Follow These Steps:

  1. Give your furniture a decent brush down with a stiff bristle brush to remove any cobwebs, leaves and dirt that has built up on the surface. Follow the natural grain of the timber to avoid scratching the surface.
  2. Lightly dampen the teak surface with clean water and a cloth.
  3. Using a teak cleaner or a homemade solution of vinegar and warm water (1 cup vinegar to 4L of water), evenly wash down the surface with a soft cloth.
  4. Let the vinegar solution soak into the teak for about 15 minutes before cleaning it with a sponge in line with the timber grain.
  5. Lightly rinse the teak from the bottom up with a hose and allow to dry.

Tip: when spills occur, clean the surface immediately to minimise staining.

To Remove Stains From Natural Teak Furniture, Follow These Steps:

Timber left natural can be vulnerable to stains but these can soften over time and add to the character of the furniture. If you do have stains that you want to remove, try these steps:

  1. Using a plastic or stiff bristle brush clean the furniture as above, scrubbing the area in line with the timber grain.
  2. If the stain isn’t lifting, try adding a dash of bleach to the cleaning fluid.
  3. For stubborn stains, you can lightly sand the affected area with a fine sandpaper.

Tip: avoid using metal brushes or scrubbing pads that can scratch the natural timber’s surface.

To Restore Natural Teak Furniture By Pressure Washing, Follow These Steps: 

All timber outdoor furniture left exposed to the elements will experience some surface mould and discolouration from the environment. Leaving teak in its raw, natural state will allow you to restore it and remove any unsightly mould. However, if you choose to seal the timber with an oil, the mould can get trapped under the finish making it very difficult to remove.

To remove mould from the surface and restore natural teak, many people opt to pressure wash their outdoor furniture. Pressure washing can be effective when performed CAREFULLY. However, we typically don’t recommend high-pressure washing as it can result in the timber’s surface becoming pitted and uneven.

If you are wanting to restore your natural teak furniture using a pressure washer, do so carefully following these instructions:

  1. Set your high powered pressure washer to the lowest volume or use one that has a low PSI.
  2. Use a wide nozzle spray that is typically a 40-degree angle. Most pressure washers will have several nozzles to choose from so choose the widest.
  3. Keeping the nozzle at least 30cms away from the surface, pressure wash the timber using long, even strokes. Ensure you pass over the entire surface with each stroke to avoid creating unsightly dirt rings.
  4. Once the timber is dry, lightly sand the surface with 400 grit sandpaper in line with the grain. This will ensure an even surface and prevent the pores of the timber opening, leaving it vulnerable to more mould build up.

Tip:

For best results, start on the underside of the furniture. This will allow you to test the pressure, the nozzle distance and your technique before you commence washing more noticeable areas.

It’s also advisable not to gurney your timber too often as pressure washing can cause discolouration and compromise the integrity of the teak. Instead, take the time to regularly care for your furniture using the cleaning guidelines above.

Caring for Sealed Teak

Sealed or oiled teak furniture can be cared for in a similar way to natural teak but will require a little more maintenance. As mentioned above, oiled teak does not allow for the timber to breathe so it can be more difficult to restore.

To keep your sealed outdoor furniture looking great, follow these steps:

  1. Give your furniture a decent brush down with a stiff bristle brush to remove any cobwebs, leaves and dirt that has built up on the surface. Follow the natural grain of the timber to avoid scratching the surface.
  2. Use an eco-friendly teak cleaner and a soft cloth to clean the furniture.
  3. Wash with a hose and allow to dry.
  4. You should re-seal your teak further annually.

Tip: Avoid applying a teak oil onto a sealed teak surface as this can encourage the growth of mildew and fungus. If you choose to leave it natural, simply allow the sealant to fade and the teak to naturally weather.