Teak patio furniture is the highest quality outdoor furniture you can find. Teak is also very easy to clean and care for. Teak wood has special qualities that make it ideal for outdoor use. It requires very little care or maintenance to last decades. There are some recommended products that you can use to treat the wood in order for it to keep a beautiful color long after you buy it. But if you apply the wrong type of product, it can actually be harmful to teak wood in the long run. So let’s look at how you should clean and care for your teak outdoor furniture, so that you do it right.
Why is Teak Wood Good For Patio Furniture?
Teak is a very dense and oily wood. The natural oil present within teak wood offers it protection from pests such as termites. The oil also keeps water from seeping into the wood. This means teak furniture can be left outside and endure years of rain, wind, heat, and cold. If the furniture was skillfully crafted it will last for generations. Teak wood has a golden honey color when new, but after time it naturally fades into a light gray patina. This color change is only cosmetic and does not affect the strength of the wood. But if you prefer the golden color there are a couple things you can do to slow down the aging process. Some regular cleaning is also necessary to keep the wood looking beautiful.
Does Teak Furniture Need To Be Treated With Teak Oil?
Most teak furniture manufacturers recommend not using teak oil. The wood’s natural oil is sufficient to protect it from damage. Teak oil is not actually the same as the natural oil found in the teak tree. It is just called “teak oil” for marketing purposes, when really it is mostly composed of linseed oil and solvents. When freshly applied, teak oil will give the wood a nice attractive glow, but this will be short-lived. Before long, the teak oil on the surface will dry out and your furniture will quickly fade in color again. You will have to keep reapplying oil every few months to keep ahead of the graying process. If you are unlucky, the teak oil stuck to the surface will encourage fungus growth and leave tiny black spots on the wood. This is exactly what you don’t want to happen.
Treating teak with oil depletes the wood’s natural oils, and the wood becomes dependent on a periodic external oil treatment. However the extra moisture of the oil also creates the ideal environment for mildew to flourish. Therefore, this method is not recommended.
Is Teak Sealer Better Than Teak Oil?
The second method of treating teak wood is by applying teak sealer. Unlike oil, sealer will not damage the natural oil of the wood. It is a water-based product that creates a barrier to prevent the natural oil from evaporating and oxidizing on the surface.
Treatment with teak sealer is only needed once a year in order to effectively protect teak wood from color fade. And if later you decide to let the furniture fade naturally, teak sealer treatments can simply be discontinued. After not applying sealer for a while, the wood will simply begin to age as before.
Since teak sealer is more effective at preserving the color of teak wood, and it only requires a few hours of your time each year to apply, it is recommended over teak oil.
Whenever you apply any oil or varnish to wood furniture, be sure to dispose of any oil-soaked rags properly. Improperly disposed rags saturated with linseed oil (the main component in “teak oil”) have been known to spontaneously combust and start fires. Oily rags should be soaked in water, laid out flat to dry, and then properly disposed.
How to Clean Teak Patio Furniture
Teak is very durable and will last for generations. It only needs some basic cleaning to remove dirt and to prevent external mold growth. You should choose a sunny day to clean your teak furniture so that it will dry faster. It is recommended to use a specially formulated teak cleaner such as Golden Care Teak Cleaner, which will clean and brighten the wood at the same time. Soapy water will also suffice for basic cleaning.
Use a non-metallic brush to gently scrub the surface of the wood. Scrub in the same direction as the grain. You should not use much force. Afterwards, use a garden hose to rinse off the teak furniture with water. Don’t use a pressure cleaner as that can damage the wood. After cleaning, pat the wood dry with a towel and let the sun dry up any remaining moisture. If you intend to follow cleaning with the application of teak sealer, make sure that you’ve given the wood ample time to completely dry beforehand.
How to Remove Stains From Teak Outdoor Furniture
Most stains will not be a problem if you clean up spills quickly and wash your teak furniture with soapy water using a soft-bristled scrub brush. However, some stains such as coffee and red wine might get into the wood. For these stains you can rely on a commercial teak cleaning product such as Golden Care. If the stain is really set in pretty well, then another method to remove it is to sand the surface of the wood. Light stains will only need a light sanding, while deeper stains might require you to start with a coarser sandpaper followed by a finer grain sandpaper to leave a smooth finish.
Can Teak Furniture Stay Outdoors Year-Round?
Teak furniture can be left outdoors all year round, even in extreme weather. However, if you live in an area with a seasonal climate you may wish to bring your teak patio furniture indoors or cover it over the winter to prevent it from getting dirty. Be sure to use a cover that does not trap moisture, because you don’t want to encourage mold growing on the wood’s exterior. The best outdoor furniture covers are made from tyvek. If you leave your teak furniture outside over the winter, be sure to give it a good cleaning in the spring before using it for the first time.
As you can see, your teak patio furniture can last a lifetime with very little care on your part. Since it lasts such a long time, teak is preferred to other types of wood. You can enjoy knowing that the teak dining set you buy today will be enjoyed by your children and grandchildren in the future.