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Helpful Tips for Teak Furniture Care
Maintenance & Care

Helpful Tips for Teak Furniture Care

The Drift

An extremely durable hardwood and low-maintenance hardwood, teak is a favorite when it comes to outdoor furniture. The qualities that make teak the preferred wood for boats—its impermeability, natural beauty, and resistance to rot and mold— make it equally appealing as a material for luxury outdoor furniture. What’s more, teak furniture care couldn’t be more simple. Here, we’re breaking everything you need to know about teak outdoor furniture care, including:

  • Teak’s natural aging process. Your teak furniture care regimen will depend largely on how you want your teak to look—honey brown and fresh, or patinaed and silver. Both are completely normal results of this material’s unique aging process.

  • Maintaining weathered teak. Teak only gets better with age. Many people choose to let their teak furniture weather naturally, as it’s virtually maintenance-free and creates a beautiful aged look.

  • Maintaining natural teak. With just a few simple steps, it’s easy to preserve the golden hue of new teak furniture.

  • How to clean teak furniture. A good clean once a year is all you really need when it comes to teak furniture care.

  • How to care for teak outdoor furniture in the winter. Don’t worry, teak furniture care is just as easy in the winter as it is throughout the year.

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Before you start a teak furniture care regimen, 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 9-12 months—the sun’s UV light will turn teak’s brown color will into a silver-gray patina. This weathering doesn’t impact the durability of the teak, but it does give teak a more aged aesthetic.

You’ll want to tailor your teak furniture care based on which aesthetic you prefer—the polished look of new teak or the patina of teak’s weathered state.

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Because weathered teak gives off a beautifully aged finish and requires minimal teak furniture care (it's virtually maintenance-free), many people choose to let their teak weather to a silver-gray. The good news: doing so is easy. Within 5-12 months of leaving your teak furniture outdoors in the sun, it will begin to develop a gray patina. 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.

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To maintain the golden-brown hue of new teak, UV protection is an essential step in your teak 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 teak oil, color guard, or sealer to prevent the aging process. If your teak has already started to weather, use a good teak cleaner or hand-sand your piece with fine-grit sandpaper, which will remove the outer grey layer and restore the original golden shade.

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Cleaning teak furniture once a year with a soft-bristled brush and soapy water will remove most accumulated dirt. To remove and prevent mold and mildew, use a mold and mildew cleaner. To prevent food or drink stains, you can also use a stain-shield solution, which creates a water-based “shield” that prevents stains from seeping through.

It’s also important to know what not to do when it comes to teak furniture care. Avoid pressure-washing teak, which can scour and roughen the wood’s surface, or steel wool, which can create rust spots.

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Covering your teak furniture is not a must, as teak can be left outdoors uncovered in any environment. However, when thinking about how to care for teak outdoor furniture, a furniture cover can be a great option for 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. However, as long as you’re following the general guidelines of teak furniture care, this is simply an extra step.

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