Caring For Teak
Teak requires very little care and no preservatives or treatments of any kind to protect it from the elements. When left outdoors untreated, natural teak will gradually weather to an elegant silver-grey ‘patina’. Teak left in this natural state is easily maintained and only requires periodic cleaning.
New teak furniture often appears polished. This is due to natural oils in the wood that comes to the surface following the manufacturing process. Once left outdoors and exposed to the sun and rain, this polished finish will fade as the surface oils evaporate.
Natural imperfections, which are inherent properties of the wood, will show over time, further enhancing the beauty of the wood. In humid or wet climates, or after rains, the wood may naturally expand and contract, causing the grain to rise. Small cracks may also develop periodically in the wood, depending on the seasonal variations. Water spots or other discoloration of the furniture surface may be noticed during the initial weathering process. This again is natural as the surface oils evaporate. Don’t worry - these spots will disappear over time. These natural imperfections will not affect the strength or the life expectancy of your furniture.
To clean teak furniture, start by rinsing it down using fresh clean water. Using a gentle bristled brush and a solution of 2/3 cup of household detergent, ¼ cup of bleach in 1 gallon of warm water, gently scrub the wet wood in the direction of the grain. This will remove the surface dust and dirt. Rinse the furniture thoroughly and allow it to dry completely.
Once teak wood has been allowed to weather the appearance may be further enhanced by a once annual washing in the spring. We suggest using soapy water or a teak cleaner to remove accumulated dirt. We do not recommend using a high-pressure hose as it may result in permanent damage to your furniture! Learn more here.
Should I Oil my Teak?
Treating your furniture with teak oil or other preservatives is not necessary; it is strictly cosmetic, and will not extend the life of your furniture. We do not recommend using teak oil on your outdoor furniture, as it creates unnecessary maintenance and can increase mildew growth and irregular coloring.
Should you decide to treat your furniture with oil or other protective products, we recommend that you wait at least two weeks before applying any product. Make sure that the furniture is thoroughly washed as described above and allowed to dry at least 48 hours. Dirt and residue trapped between the teak protector and the wood surface may result in mildew growth and irregular coloring. Always test the teak protector on an inconspicuous area to ensure you are satisfied with the result before proceeding.
Grease Spot Removal
To remove grease spots, we recommend a de-greasing agent and a gentle bristled brush. Rinse the cleaned areas thoroughly with fresh water.
Teak furniture may be left outdoors uncovered, even during the harsh winter months, however, care should be taken to protect against wind and snow loading. If you prefer to store your furniture, it will be more stable in an unheated, dry shed or garage. Moving it indoors to a heated dry environment may cause breakage. It may also be covered using a breathable covering that allows for good ventilation. Do not wrap your furniture in plastic or tarps since there will be no air flow and it will cause mildew growth. Do not store your teak furniture on wet ground.
Some pieces of teak furniture have exposed screws which may require tightening. Furniture should be checked from time to time to ensure the screws are snug. Care should be taken to not under or over-tighten the screws. This regular practice will avoid breakage and maintain furniture stability. This is specifically the case with teak umbrellas.
Cushions and Umbrellas
Before using your furniture for the first time we recommend that you wipe your furniture with a damp cloth to remove any dust remaining from the manufacturing process. Screws should be checked from time to time to ensure they are tightened.
As mentioned above, your new furniture contains natural oil that will rise to the surface following the first few rainfalls. This will continue until the teak has developed the characteristic silver-grey patina.
We recommend that you bring your cushions in to protect them from the rain!
Indoor Teak Furniture Care
If you purchased your teak furniture solely for indoor use, it should be given a light application of clear furniture wax. This will protect the wood from dust, dirt and natural body oils.