Teak outdoor furniture is noted for its exceptional durability, stunning vintage appeal and long life-cycle. But in order to keep it performing and looking exceptional all year round, it does require some maintenance and special care in order to prevent damage. Here are some tips to keep your teak furniture looking great.
Buying teak outdoor furniture is actually like buying two sets of furniture in one. This is because if you choose to leave your teak furniture in its natural state, it will weather over time, causing its golden brown colour to transform into a softer, paler tone. Sealing your teak, on the other hand, will preserve its natural appearance.
This is generally a matter of preference, as both options look great. However, there are some general care tips you should follow regardless of whether you seal your teak or let it age naturally.
It’s important that you brush off any debris such as dirt or cobwebs that may have built up on the surface of your teak. When left over time, these particles can embed themselves into the surface of your teak outdoor furniture and lead to scratching and discolouration. Using a stiff-bristled brush will easily take care of the job. Be sure to brush with the natural grain of the wood and not against it, as this will prevent you from scratching the finish.
Lightly Clean the Furniture with a Damp Cloth & Water
Cleaning your teak outdoor furniture with a cloth and water can be a less abrasive way to remove debris compared to using a brush. It’s also important that you immediately employ this tactic any time a spill occurs on your teak, as cleaning the surface of the furniture immediately will drastically minimise staining.
Caring for Sealed Teak
While general care tips apply to both natural and sealed teak, there are a few extra things to be aware of if you choose to seal your teak outdoor furniture.
Use Specifically Formulated Teak Cleaner
Oiled or sealed teak doesn’t allow the timber to breathe as easily, which means you’ll have to clean deeper without being too abrasive. You’ll need to use a specifically formulated teak cleaner when cleaning your sealed teak. This solution is highly effective at removing stains without being coarse enough to damage the teak itself.
Make Sure to Re-Seal Annually
While it might seem that the upkeep of teak outdoor furniture is hard work, the payoff is worth the effort. In order to maximise your return on investment and ensure your teak furniture will look its absolute best, you should aim to re-seal your teak at least once a year.
A great tip to ensure the sealant really works to its full capacity is to leave your furniture out in the sun for 1-2 weeks. This allows the grain to open up and breathe fully without cracking, ensuring the sealant bonds to the teak correctly.
Things to Avoid
Like with all furniture that requires a specific level of care, there are a few things you should avoid entirely when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your teak outdoor furniture.
The first is to never use any generic wood cleaners or varnishes. As teak requires specific types of cleaners and oils, these generic cleaners will only end up causing discoloration and cracking by weakening the wood.
You should also never use cleaning accessories that are too coarse, such as steel wool pads. And while it may be tempting to save time, it’s best not to use your pressure washer on your teak, as this can cause splintering and cracking of the wood.