Teak Outdoor Furniture Care [Free Guide]
Caring for your teak furniture is important if you want it to last for years to come. We want to help you make that process as easy as possible and encourage you to bookmark this page and refer to it any time you have a question regarding your new teak wood furniture or any other product for sale here at Teak HQ.
This Teak Furniture Cleaning and Care Guide will help prolong your teak furniture for many years, showing you how to care for your teak wood, canvas slings and furniture cushions (if so equipped).
There's definitely a difference between cheaply made teak wood furniture and high quality teak furniture. The pieces we carry here at Teak HQ are as top of the line as it gets with the following characteristics:
- Made from kiln dried wood
- Joined with mortise and tenon joints
- All hardware is stainless steel
- Made from Grade A plantation teak wood
For more information on why those properties are so important, please read our Buyers Guide: Choose the Best Teak Outdoor Furniture for Your Space.
We get several questions regarding the teak wood and why it has the characteristics that it does. Below, are the questions we get most frequently, along with our answers ...
What happens to Teak if uncared for over time?
Over time, oils are excreted from teak wood that mix with weather elements, spills, dew, etc. This can form mold or mildew that can fortunately be easily cleaned with a Teak Cleaner.
As teak ages, it will begin to develop hairline cracks - something known as “checking”. These small fissures will smooth themselves out eventually given time. If you would like to expedite the process, they can be lightly sanded with fine grade sandpaper to smooth them out faster.
Teak naturally turns to a silver-gray if left untreated. The more moist a climate is, the faster the graying will occur. To bring teak back to its natural finish use a teak cleaner to restore the color and then a teak sealer to preserve it.
How do I regularly clean my teak?
Regularly cleaning your teak will not only help lengthen the life of your teak furniture, but it will keep it looking brand new. Using fresh water, hose down your teak and then wipe it down with a clean cloth. Let the wood dry completely before your next use.
Sometimes, it may be necessary for a more thorough cleaning. For this we recommend using our Royal Teak Collection Teak Cleaner. This will help get rid of more difficult stains. First, hose down the teak with fresh water. Next, use our Teak Cleaner, spraying or wiping it directly onto the furniture. Then, use a clean cloth or soft bristle brush to scrub the furniture thoroughly. Once finished, you should rinse the entire piece of furniture again with fresh water and let it dry before using the furniture. This is especially effective when looking to restore the color from silver- gray back to a more natural look.
- Water based
- Cleans and brightens Teak
- 1 Bottle will cover 1 Dining Table and 8-10 Chairs
Using Teak Cleaner
- Cover anything that is not teak first, as Teak Cleaner could affect it
- Spray or wipe cleaner directly on teak
- Wipe down
- Some areas may require more scrubbing than others to fully clean
Why does teak turn gray and can I prevent this?
Over time if left untreated, teak will turn in a silvery-gray color. This is a completely natural process caused by sunlight drying out the outer layer of teak. As it dries out, it will oxidize and begin to fade, changing colors within a few weeks. This is purely cosmetic and does not change the integrity of the teak.
To prevent teak from turning gray, simply use a Teak Sealer. Our Teak Sealer will seal the teak, preventing the natural weathering process of teak to occur. This allows it to stay its natural golden-honey color, making more vigorous cleaning unnecessary. Depending on the climate, our Teak Sealer should be applied every 1-2 years.
- Gives a layer of UV protection to Teak
- Prevents mildew growth
- Will prevent Teak from turning into silver-grey color
- 1 Bottle will cover 1 Dining Table and 8-10 Chairs
Using Teak Sealer
- Cover anything that you do not want to get sealer on
- Wipe off the teak with a clean cloth before applying any sealer
- Spray or rub on with cloth
- Cover the teak thoroughly with sealer
- Let dry thoroughly before use
Can I pressure wash my teak furniture?
Yes, you can definitely pressure wash your teak furniture. Pressure washing is highly effective on teak that has been left untreated that you would like to restore to its original color. See our recommendations, below, for pressure washing your teak.
Pressure Washing Teak
- Use on a low setting and PSI
- Use a wide spray nozzle
- Spray at an angle of around 40 degrees
- Use even, long, strokes keeping the nozzle around 12” from the teak’s surface
- After finished, lightly sand with fine sandpaper to smooth out the teak.
Why do I see black dots on my new teak?
Black dots are completely normal on teak furniture, especially when it is new. As the teak oil escapes from the wood, it can mix with foreign substances such as dirt, food, moisture or oils and cause it to mildew. This occurs on the outer layer of the teak and is no cause for concern. Simply follow our recommended cleaning instructions, above, to get rid of the spots.
Should I oil my teak furniture?
We do not recommend oiling teak furniture. Our Grade A Teak is naturally filled with plenty of teak oil. Most oils that are marketed as teak oil are made from linseed oil or tung oil. These are not effective and do not mix well with the natural oil from Grade A Teak. To keep your teak bright and looking brand new, we recommend using our Teak Cleaner to clean and brighten the wood and then sealing the teak with our Teak Sealer.
Several teak furniture pieces use canvas slings for the seats and backs. There is a difference between a high quality sling and a low quality one. All of the slings used on furniture sold at Teak HQ are top of the line and have the following characteristics:
Woven from durable, resilient PVC-coated polyester yarns
Extremely strong and durable
Very little stretch so it will not sag or tear under pressure
PVC coating, which allows the sling to withstand the elements, be water resistant, and withstand UV rays
Extremely breathable allowing for quick drying
Slings are extremely durable and perfectly fine to leave outdoors. The only time you should concern yourself with protecting furniture slings are during freezing temperatures, which can damage the fabric. Regular care of a sling consists of hosing it down and storing it in extremely cold temperatures. Other than that, if properly used, your sling will last a very long time.
Although our slings do have UV Protection, it is completely normal throughout the life of a sling for it to fade slightly. If all furniture with the same colored sling are exposed to the sun for the same amount of time, they should all have exactly the same fading effect, maintaining a matching color.
It is very important to avoid direct contact to a sling with oil based products, such as sunscreen, as it can cause accelerated aging of the sling.
Cleaning a Sling
When regularly cleaning your sling, it is always best to use the proper cleaning solution. We recommend 1 tbsp of dish detergent and 2 tbsp of household bleach mixed with a gallon of water.
Clean the fabric with a sponge or soft cloth dipped into the solution. Do not pour the solution directly onto the fabric. Once cleaned, rinse it thoroughly with clean water and let the sling air dry.
If the sling is stained, it is best to clean it right away. How you remove the stain depends on what kind of stain it is. Please refer to this guide from Sunbrella on which solutions to use when cleaning stains.
Let's face it. A cushion can make or break the functionality of any seating piece. If it's not comfortable, your teak furniture is little more than nice looking art.
Cushions not only need to be comfortable, but they need to be built properly in order to endure the outdoor elements. Assuming you like attractive furniture, cushions also need to be made in such a way that they are relatively easy to clean.
All of the cushions sold here at Teak HQ are made of the top quality fabrics and as easy to clean as any cushions can possibly be. Our cushions share these characteristics:
Royal Teak Collection uses only Sunbrella Fabrics for our deep seating
Fade and UV resistant
Fibers are dyed all the way through to retain rich colors over time
Made to resist mold and mildew build up
Engineered to resist stain and water Cushion Maintenance
- In most cases, they are zippered, making them removable for easy to clean in a washing machine.
Made from only the highest quality materials, maintenance of our deep seating cushions is really quite easy. They can be left out in the sun or rain, but should be stored away during extremely cold or freezing weather. Regular cleaning is required to prevent dirt from building up or embedding in the fabrics.
If left out in heavy rainfall, cushions can become saturated with water. This happens and is no cause for concern. Just unzip the cushion and stand it on the corner with the zipper facing down. This will allow the water to properly drain from the cushion. If this is done in direct sunlight, it should dry within 24-48 hours.
To keep dirt from building up or embedding in your cushion fabric, you should clean your cushions regularly. The best way to clean them is with 1⁄4 cup mild natural soap per gallon of water and a sponge or soft bristle brush. Once cleaned thoroughly, wipe them with a water soaked sponge to remove all soap residue and let them air dry before next use.
For harder to clean stains you can refer to this guide from Sunbrella. Let completely air dry and repeat these steps if necessary.