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Teak cleaning and maintenance: Keep outdoor teak furniture looking shiny and beautiful longer with these home remedies and tips

Teak is known for its beautiful golden brown hues and is an exceptionally durable hardwood native to South and Southeast Asia. The high natural oil content of teak increases its strength and durability, making it an ideal material for outdoor furniture. Although this wood is relatively hard-wearing and requires very little maintenance, you should not neglect your outdoor teak furniture for long periods of time. Prolonged neglect can cause your valuable teak furniture to become dirty and discolored, losing its aesthetic charm. Here are some tips on how to clean and maintain teak so that it can stay shiny, beautiful and in prime condition for longer.

Cleaning teak

Teak cleaning - removing mold and stains

Outdoor furniture is a magnet for dirt, bird droppings and mold. While you can’t prevent these natural contaminants, you can set up a special cleaning routine for your outdoor furniture.

Teak cleaning and care - helpful tips

Regular cleaning can do wonders for your outdoor teak furniture. It is recommended that you thoroughly clean your furniture annually, preferably in the spring on a nice, windy day to allow the teak to dry quickly. In general, it is best to lightly scrub outdoor furniture with a stiff brush at least four times a month. This will remove dirt, leaves, cobwebs and other contaminants from the wood surface. Be sure to follow the natural grain of the wood to avoid scratching the smooth surface.

Washing teak furniture with dishwashing detergent

Teak cleaning with dishwashing detergent

Wash your teak furniture from time to time with a highly diluted solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water. Alternatively, you can gently scrub your furniture with a mild teak cleaner purchased from the store. You can make your own solution by adding a small amount of dishwashing detergent to a mixture of 250 ml of bleach or white vinegar and 4 liters of water. Apply the solution to the furniture and let it sit for five minutes. Use a soft cleaning brush that will not damage the surface of the wood.

Do not use a high-pressure cleaner when cleaning teak wood


After that, you can either wipe the wood surface with a soft cloth or spray it with the hose. Do not use a pressure washer, as it will loosen the joints and remove the teak’s natural protective oils. Be sure to dry your teak furniture completely after each cleaning.

Cleaning teak with chemical cleaner

Remove deep grease stains with cleaner - teak furniture

You can also use a store-bought teak cleaner, but be aware that store-bought chemical cleaners can be harmful to your furniture and your skin. However, these cleaners are best for removing deep grease stains.

Remove black stains and mildew from teak garden furniture.

Teak cleaning with chemical cleaner - removing stains


Black stains are usually caused by moisture in the wood that develops into mold or mildew. If you want to rid your teak of black stains, mold and water spots, you can bleach it . Teak whiteners contain bleaching agents, usually oxalic acid. Bleach can damage the surface of the teak, so be careful with it. You can mix your own oxalic acid solution in a bucket of water, but use it sparingly and rinse the surface thoroughly.

Cleaning teak by sanding

Teak cleaning and care by sanding

You can also sand your outdoor teak furniture. To do this, use a random orbital sander with 120-grit sandpaper. Vacuum or brush off the resulting dust and wipe the surface with a dust cloth.

Teak care

Remove spills as soon as possible

Maintain teak properly - Remove spills quickly

Accidental spills are inevitable. And if they are not removed immediately, they can leave unsightly stains on your valuable garden furniture. To prevent this, you should remove any spilled oil, chemicals or food from your teak furniture as soon as possible. If you discover a stain, use a cleaning brush to gently remove it. Again, always scrub in the direction of the wood grain. If scrubbing the stain doesn’t help, try washing it off with a diluted mixture of water and wood cleaner. For stubborn stains, you can sand the area with fine sandpaper. Avoid using scouring pads and metal brushes as they can damage the wood surface.

Oil or seal outdoor teak furniture.

Oil and seal outdoor teak furniture

Teak is usually available either finely sanded and untreated or treated with teak oil. The untreated wood is naturally a light golden color, while the treated tends to be a darker honey gold. Untreated teak weathers to a silver-gray tone over time – this layer that develops is called patina. We’ll give you a few ideas on how to care for teak.

If you’d prefer your outdoor furniture, decking and fencing to be golden rather than gray, you can oil or sand it down and seal it with teak sealer. Sealers prevent the wood’s natural oils from being used up, delaying the weathering process. Sealers also protect the wood from UV rays, mold and water damage.

Use teak sealer for outdoor use

While oiling preserves the color, it dries out the teak’s natural oils and can lead to faster deterioration. It is recommended to avoid teak oils in this regard. Oiling your outdoor teak furniture can lead to a number of maintenance issues. Quality teak has all the oils it needs to stand outdoors, so you should stay away from sealants and protectants. Instead, sanding and sealing is recommended to preserve teak furniture for the long term. Regardless of whether you choose to oil or seal the wood, you must first clean the surface.

Correct care and sealing of outdoor teak furniture