Teak wood is heavy, dense, durable and an ideal choice for your outdoor patio furniture. It naturally requires little maintenance as it is resistant to insects and moisture and is known to last for decades. This is mainly due to the natural oil found in the heartwood of the mature teak trees.
Teak outdoor furniture comes in two forms – finely sanded in its natural form or treated with teak oil. Some people prefer to leave their teak furniture untreated as it weathers and turns silver-grey giving it a beautiful finishing. This is a natural process caused by the evaporation and oxidation of the natural oils from the exposed surface of the wood. During weathering, it is natural to see discoloration, uneven surfaces and slight cracks in the wood. Eventually the process evens out and the wood gets a handsome silver-grey color. This however does not affect the longevity of the wood.
Some people prefer the luxurious looks, the fine finishing and the golden honey tone of teak when treated. To maintain this luxurious color, you will need to clean it by lightly scrubbing with a teak cleaner and maintain it regularly to prevent it from fading.
Regardless of your preference, teak wood remains as the most ideal choice for your outdoor furnishing needs. However, if not cared for, teak wood can still form unsightly mildew on the surface and hence requires regular cleaning.
Here are a few tips to care for your teak wood furniture and keep it shining and clean!
In order to prevent the mildew built-up on and discoloration of your teak wood, make sure that you clean it regularly. Mild soap and water mixed with bleach or vinegar is a good choice for cleaning wooden surfaces. Also ensure that you use a soft brush so that it does not scratch or damage the surface. There are teak cleaners available in the market too, if you prefer a ready-made solution. It is important to remember however, that you must always start with the mildest of the available solutions and then move towards a stronger one if it does not work.
Here are 2 easy homemade cleaning solutions:
– Mix 1 cup of each – chlorine bleach and laundry detergent with 1 gallon of warm water.
– Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water.
Apply the above mixture to the furniture using a soft plastic brush and scrub as you apply. Allow it to settle for 15 minutes and then thoroughly rinse with clean water.
Oiling Teak Furniture
By oiling teak furniture you can retain its natural golden color and enhance the looks. This furniture is prone to weathering and hence you will need to oil it regularly. The recommended time for oiling is every 2-3 months. Tung oil and linseed oil are the most common oils used for treating teak wood. Specialized teak oils with additives such as UV blockers and mildew retardants can also be used. Before you apply oil, make sure that you clean it thoroughly and remove any dirt from the surface.
Use a soft paintbrush to apply the oil on the wood with even strokes. Use a fine cloth that is dampened in spirit to wipe any excess oil. Make sure that the oil does not drip on any fiberglass. Finally, make sure that you keep applying until the wood can no longer soak the oil.
Always remember to keep your furniture out of direct sunlight – select the placement of your outdoor furniture with care!