Caring for Outdoor Teak Furniture

Overview

Teak is a naturally oily tropical hardwood native to Southeast Asia, which remains the largest producing region, although cultivation has spread to Africa, the Caribbean and South America. Teak is highly valued for its ability to resist rot when exposed to the elements, which makes it a preferred choice in boat building, exterior construction and outdoor furniture. Teak is also prized for indoor furniture.

General Care

Caring for outdoor teak furniture can be as easy as brushing off surface grime once a year and rinsing with a garden hose. Left alone outdoors, teak will gradually soften in color to a silvery grey as surface oil evaporates. DWR suggests that approach for the easiest maintenance and excellent appearance. A teak protector may be used to condition weathered teak, sealing it against moss growth, promoting an even appearance and protecting it against spills. Finally, for those who prefer the “new” look of teak, a teak sealer is recommended, although once that path is taken, it will have to be repeated a couple of times a year to maintain the appearance. Sealer does not lengthen the life of the furniture in any way, merely the appearance. Never paint or varnish teak.

Teak Cleaning

Spray-on teak cleaner may be used once a season or as necessary to remove surface grime. Moisten the furniture with clean water, then apply cleaner. Rub with a soft sponge for an even coat. Allow cleaner to rest for 5–10 minutes. Using a scrub pad, brush surface in direction of wood grain. Rinse furniture thoroughly with clean water. Never use a power washer on teak. After furniture dries completely, apply teak sealer.

Teak Sealing

For new or weathered teak, clean thoroughly with a teak cleaner before applying sealer. Cans of sealer must be shaken for one minute before use to ensure a fully homogenized coating of product surface. Apply with a clean cloth, never a paint brush. Allow to dry one hour, then apply another coat. Dry thoroughly before use. We recommend applying sealer to a small area first to ensure result matches your expectations. Apply sealer once a year.