Teak’s inherent durability and resistance to elements are why it is so widely used for building outdoor furniture. you would be hard pressed to find a material that is as tough and good looking as teak, which is why people continue to invest in it.
Though you might have already heard that teak requires very little maintenance, it still cannot escape dirt and grime, especially they will be exposed to all kinds of elements outside. If you look around online, you will get varying techniques and opinions from different teak owners—some prefer not touching the furniture at all, some think that applying sealants and oil will allow it to last longer. Following is some advice from all schools of thought.
Let’s start off with the basic materials that you’ll need in order to always keep your teak in great condition: soap and water. Whether you like it natural or coated with sealant, washing with soap and water is the essential first step to protecting your teak furniture. Make a 50-50 mixture of soap and water (or about 5 tablespoons of detergent and or 1 tablespoon of bleach for 1 gallon of water) and gently scrub your furniture with a soft bristle brush. Mild types of soap such as laundry detergents will do wonders. Wear old clothes when you do this, because some bleach could be sprayed on you while you scrub.
Sanding & Washing
Teak starts out with a reddish/maroon color, but over time, it will turn into a shade of brown and ultimately a grey color. There are people who prefer this aged, natural look, and maintaining it is a no-brainer. In order to keep that nice, light color and still keep the furniture clean, you can sand it to get rid of the stains. Once a year, it will also be best if you wash it with non-toxic soap and lightly scrub it. Some people do some pressure washing for untreated teak, so they can really get into all the hard-to-reach places, but many also believe that putting water pressure on the furniture will affect the product’s quality. The best thing to do if you really need to pressure-wash is to just aim for the areas that are not reachable by your brush.
There are also teak owners who prefer having their furniture looking new all the time, so they opt for methods of staining and oiling. Teak already contains natural oils that make it weather-resistant, so some believe that oiling it is no longer necessary. However, many still believe that finished teak furniture needs reapplication of oil to always ensure good quality and brand-new appearance. Different kinds of teak oil are available out there, and if you’re not using the top-of-the-line ones, it has been suggested by many teak lovers that oiling it once or twice a year will give it the moisture it needs to protect itself from harsh weather. Teak oils are natural products or tung oil or linseed mixed with some chemical solvents from the trees, but some products claim of having the bonus of adding more UV protection. Apply the oil outdoors, and make sure you use a cotton cloth. You also need to allow at least 24 hours to absorb before you apply the sealant.
Staining teak furniture is done to maintain its deep brown color, so if you prefer it being more bright and vivid, you can purchase a teak sealer with a UV protection to not only look good as new, but to allow them to block the grime and dirt. Note that this process is good for 1-2 years—the sealer will do its job for quite a long time, so you don’t need to reapply constantly.
This is an alternative to the water and soap mix discussed earlier. There are already lots of commercial teak cleaners available in the market, many of them containing a kind of bleach (oxalic acid) that will allow you to remove the stains not easily removed by scrubbing with laundry detergent.
Outdoor Furniture Covers
If you’re not using your teak furniture for a long time, you can cover them with canvas / vinyl covers. Many teak owners will tell you that you can just always leave it outside because it can take care of itself with, but if you feel that you need to add extra effort in preventing dirt to grow in them, you can cover them when not in use. Make sure that you purchase the ones with proper ventilation.
How to protect teak outdoor furniture,