Teak is an extremely durable hardwood that requires very little care to preserve its good looks and integrity. With minimal teak furniture care, you can maintain your teak pieces over decades of use. The qualities which make teak so attractive to ship builders - its impermeability, resistance to splitting and rot and natural beauty— make it equally attractive as a material for outdoor furniture. In fact, the majority of premium outdoor furniture manufacturers exclusively choose teak as their outdoor wood of choice.
When it comes to caring for your teak outdoor furniture, there are a few simple guidelines to follow. The first thing to address is the two natural states of teak; if you own teak furniture, you’ll have to determine your aesthetic preference between the two. Natural teak retains its golden honey color. This is the natural state of new teak before it has weathered, and with some teak furniture care, it is possible to preserve this appearance. Weathered teak ages to a natural, silvery grey color. This generally occurs after several months or years of exposure to direct sunlight. Most homeowners prefer the soft, silvery look of weathered teak.
Cleaning Weathered Teak
Should you decide to let your teak weather to a silvery grey, there's very little that you need to do. Within 5 to 12 months of leaving the furniture outdoors in the sunlight, it will begin to develop a grey patina. To speed up the process, you can use a product like our Golden Care Teak Patinizer, which will hasten the weathering process and also help prevent the adhesion of dirt and mildew.
Cleaning teak furniture once a year with with a soft bristled brush and soapy water will remove most accumulated dirt. For tough stains and mildew, add one-part household bleach to two parts water to create a soap solution. Be sure to rinse well with clean water after washing. For tougher stains, there are teak cleaning products available online which you can try, including Golden Care’s Teak Wood Cleaner. Pressure washers are to be avoided as they can scour and roughen the wood’s surface. Also, the use of steel wool is not recommended, as it can leave a residue that can produce rust spots. To slow the weathering process, let your teak age to a light silvery grey and inhibit mildew growth, you can also use a teak furniture care product like our Golden Care Teak Whitener.
Preserving Natural Teak
If you want your teak furniture to maintain the golden hue it had when purchased, you should use it indoors or under an awning away from direct sunlight. Eventually, with time, the weathering process will begin. However, weathering is a cosmetic, surface condition only. Hand sanding with a fine grit sandpaper will remove the outer grey layer and once again reveal that golden shade you love. Applying a product like Golden Care Teak Protector will help to extend the life of the natural finish.
To protect a teak dining table from stains like wine, grease or oils from food, salad dressing and butter, we recommend cleaning your teak furniture with a product like Golden Care Teak Shield. This will help preserve your investment and allow you to get the maximum enjoyment from your teak tables.
While some people use teak oil to preserve the original teak finish, we do not recommend using teak oil for furniture which will be used outdoors, as this finish can promote the growth of mold on the surface of the furniture as well as a greasy feel, which will interfere with your enjoyment of your furniture. Instead, we suggest following the cleaning and occasional sanding steps above to maintain your preferred finish. With regular teak furniture care, your teak patio pieces will last a life time.