How To Clean Teak Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor teak furniture gets soiled over a period of time, and one of the questions that homeowners are always asking is how to clean teak outdoor furniture. Teak is an ideal wood for your garden or patio furniture because of its resistance to damage due to weather. As compared to most other wooden furniture, teak doesn’t require many protective treatments like oiling or varnish since it is naturally resistant to outdoor elements. But this doesn’t mean that the teak furniture shouldn’t be cleaned. If you leave it outdoors, the natural teak color will turn silver-grey. But this can be easily treated or prevented and only requires some cleaning.

Here are the steps for cleaning teak outdoor furniture:

  1. First clean the furniture with water. Rinse it well with water.
  2. Take your routine household detergent and mix it with water. If you like, you can add some bleach to this solution. But this is optional.
  3. Take a brush with smooth bristles, dip it in the detergent solution, and gently start scrubbing the wood surface. Remember to scrub it in the direction of the grain. This action will remove all the dust and dirt that has accumulated over it. Do not overdo or you may end up scratching the wood surface.
  4. Once the dirt is removed to your satisfaction, rinse the teak furniture thoroughly again with clean water.
  5. Now let it dry completely.
  6. You can use oil on your teak furniture but it is not necessary. This treatment will not increase the life of the furniture. In fact it is recommended that you do not oil teak outdoor furniture because it will only increase the chances of mildew growth. In case you do decide to oil the furniture, ensure that you do this treatment after 48 hours otherwise if any dust or residue gets trapped between the teak protector and wood surface, it will encourage mildew growth.
  7. If the furniture gets grease stains, you can use a de-greasing agent. With the help of a gentle bristled brush apply the grease cleaner and make gentle coats. Now clean the affected area thoroughly with fresh water.

how to clean teak furniture

Routine cleaning is best

If your teak dining table and chairs are kept outdoors, then it is best to clean them regularly. For this you don’t need any special cleansing agents, but rinsing it with plain water does not always remove all the dirt. In such cases you can use warm soapy water and a soft bristled brush or sponge to clean it. While your cleaning routine may depend on the surrounding environment, washing it once or twice a month will keep it looking clean.

How to clean teak furniture mold, mildew, and moss

If you have bought high quality teak furniture, then rest assured it will be resistant to water and moisture, but don’t think that this furniture won’t be affected by mold, mildew or moss. Mold spores are floating everywhere in the air and under right conditions of moisture and temperature they begin to grow as mold. It is frustrating to see your precious teak furniture speckled with mold spots. If you want to know how to clean teak outdoor furniture that is affected with mold, mildew and moss follow the following steps:

  1. Take the furniture to a well-ventilated area. Don’t clean it indoors or the mold spores released after cleaning will get scattered inside.
  2. If you are using a cleaner you have bought from the market, you should test it on a small section of the furniture. So do a patch test.
  3. Make a solution of household detergent and warm water and use a clean cloth to wash the mold off the wood surface. You can also use antibacterial wipes t available in the market.
  4. Most of the time mold stays on the surface of the wood, but it may enter a crevice. In such cases you can lightly sand the area but it may be discolored.
  5. Lastly simply apply a clear coat finish or wax. This will stop mold, mildew or moss growth and keep moisture out as well.

How to remove stains from outdoor teak furniture

Spilling accidents are common especially if you have kids home. Juices, red wine, and coffee are just some of the liquids that can leave unappealing stains on the wood. Cleaning these is not as difficult as you may think. Use warm soapy water to remove these stains from the teak furniture. Since teak wood is impervious, these stains are most likely only going to affect the surface of the furniture. So even if you don’t remove these stains chances are these stains will disappear over a period of time. Sometimes soapy water is not enough to remove the stains. In such cases you can purchase a stain remover from that is specifically designed for teak. The treated area may become golden brown, but over time the color will even out.

How to take care of teak furniture in different seasons

Teak garden furniture looks beautiful throughout spring, summer and autumn. However, during extreme winters when it is snowing, it is best to keep it indoors in your basement or garage. Snow will not damage teak furniture, but it can result in heavy accumulation of dirt, which will become a gargantuan chore. You can also cover the teak furniture with waterproof covers to protect it from extreme weather changes.

Few more tips on how to clean teak outdoor furniture

In furniture made from grade ‘A’ teak, do not apply oil because it will destroy the teak’s protective oils. Basically, oil, varnish, and water sealers are not required on teak furniture, as the natural oils present in the wood seal out the water. Varnish will only add to chipping and flaking of wood and sanding will be required to remove it. So consider this point before you apply anything. If there is spillage of oily foods, ketchup`, or wine, the furniture will get stained. You can apply a clear coating around food in such cases. Even though teak is naturally resistant to water warping or rot, it is not a good idea to leave it in a pool of water as this may cause issues that will be expensive to repair.

Watch this video on how to clean teak furniture:

Author: John Clax

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