How to care for teak outdoor furniture
Teak is an extremely durable, beautiful, and low-maintenance hardwood, making it a longtime favorite material for outdoor furniture. Teak’s natural oil content also prevents rotting and provides resistance to mold, mildew, and pests. As with any piece of outdoor furniture, it’s important to know how to properly care for teak outdoor furniture to ensure it looks beautiful and lasts for years to come. Here, we’re breaking everything you need to know about how to care for teak outdoor furniture.
Teak’s natural aging process
Before diving into how to care for teak outdoor furniture, consider which of teak’s two states you want to preserve. New teak furniture is typically a honey-brown color with a polished finish, thanks to the wood’s natural oils. When teak furniture is left to age naturally outdoors, these surface oils evaporate and—over the course of 5-12 months—the sun’s UV light will turn teak’s brown color into a silver-gray patina. This weathering doesn’t impact the durability of the teak, but it does give the teak a more aged aesthetic.
Ultimately, you’ll want to tailor your teak furniture to which aesthetic you prefer: the polished look of new teak or the patina of teak’s weathered state.
How to care for weathered teak outdoor furniture
Weathered teak gives off a beautifully aged finish, and weathered teak outdoor furniture care is very minimal (it’s virtually maintenance-free). Because of this, many people choose to let their teak weather to a silver-gray. The good news: doing so is easy. Depending on climate, teak will usually take on a gray patina within 5-12 months.
Teak that is covered and protected from the elements will take significantly longer to weather. You can speed up the process by using a graying agent like Golden Care’s Instant Gray or a whitener—which gives teak more of a silver-grey look—like Golden Care’s Teak Whitener. Both of these also help prevent the adhesion of dirt and mildew.
How to care for natural teak outdoor furniture
To maintain the golden-brown hue of new teak outdoor furniture, UV protection is an essential step in your teak outdoor furniture care regimen. Consider placing your teak pieces under the cover or shade or in an area that doesn’t receive direct sunlight. You can also apply a teak oil, color guard, or sealer to protect against UV rays and slow down the aging process. Teak protector should be reapplied once or twice a year to provide continuous protection. If your teak outdoor furniture has already started to weather, use a good teak cleaner or refinish your teak furniture to restore its original golden color.
Cleaning 101: How to Clean & Care for Teak Outdoor Furniture
When it comes to any outdoor furniture, dirt and buildup are inevitable. It’s generally a good idea to give your teak outdoor furniture a good scrub at the end of every season or whenever it becomes visibly dirty. First, clean your teak furniture with a soft-bristle brush and soapy water to remove accumulated dirt. For tough stains and mildew, add one part household bleach to two parts water in the soap solution. Rinse well after washing. Avoid using pressure washers and steel wool on teak outdoor furniture, as these can cause damage.
See also: Outdoor Furniture Care 101
How to care for teak outdoor furniture in the winter
When it comes to maintaining teak outdoor furniture, we always recommend investing in a high-quality furniture cover, especially during the winter months—or any period when your furniture isn’t in use. Make sure to choose a material that allows your furniture to breathe while also offering protection from the elements. You can also store any cushions or accessories in an all-weather storage chest to protect them when they’re not in use.