Teak Cleaner and Maintenance
At Indian Ocean we have been asked many a time as to what the best treatment is for teak furniture. Two questions before I answer that are:
- Would you like to do it the easy way in the hope that your furniture will last for at least some period of time or
- Would you like to do it properly so that it may last many years to come and in some cases, customers have sold their property with the value of the teak furniture included in the price.
Both ways are easy really and it just needs to be a habit like mowing the lawn to maintain your furniture although you will not need to do it so often.
THE EASY WAY
- Teak in itself contains a high level of natural oil and characteristically is the best timber to withstand heat, cold, rain and temperature changes.
- Because of the “photosensitivity” of teak, the appearance will after some months turn to a “silver grey”. This is only the loss of colour in the exposed surface of the wood and is caused by light, moisture and oxygen.
- To clean off garden debris, moss, mildew or other deposits, untreated teak can be cleaned simply with a medium stiff bristle brush and soapy water. High pressure water hosing is not necessary.
- Wire wool and wire brushes should not be used if the furniture is going to be exposed to moisture because tiny pieces of metal left on the surface will rust and develop into black spots.
- Fat and oil based products should be used with care as they will stain the furniture. Often these are not permanent and the cleaning process outlined above will ameliorate the unsightliness of the blemish.
- Stubborn stains or deposits can be rubbed away with a fine grade sandpaper (in the direction of the grain only). the original teak brown colour, which appears due to the use of sandpaper, will soon become the same colour as the rest of the furniture.
- Teak oil does not increase the lifetime or resistance of teak to the elements. the only effect of applying a thin film of oil to teak furniture is to darken the original colour of the teak and maintain that colour. Eventually the oil will have to be reapplied to continue this and the old oiled surface will need very careful preparation.
- Furniture should be only be treated with teak oil when it is completely dry. If the wood is not completely dry, when oiled, black specks will appear as the oil dries – these are unsightly and difficult to remove. Furniture that has been treated with teak oil also has to be cleaned regularly with soap and water (dust and moss collect on the oiled surface).
- Indian Ocean do not recommend the use of teak oil and suggest using our own products for the best results. Which brings me to the alternative of the abovementioned.
THE OTHER WAY
I will start this section with a few FAQs that we have had in the hope of answering your own questions:
I have just purchased a new set of teak garden furniture and want to ensure that it retains its original colour. How can I prevent it from weathering to a grey patina?
Apply Teak Care Sealer 3 before using your furniture. The sealer contains UV filters that work for approximately 5-7 months depending on conditions. Over time the layer will wear thin and disappear completely. In order to apply a new layer to prevent discolouration, first treat with Teak Care Cleaner 1, then 2 and then only 3 again. Always clean the surface first before applying a new layer of protective sealant.
How can I restore my teak garden furniture to its original condition if it has weathered already for a number of years?
First treat the furniture with Teak Care Cleaner 1. This removes all dirt, green buildup, black stains and water stains. The apply Teak Care Cleaner 2 to restore the original colour and shine of the wood. Finally, treat with Teak Care Sealer 3 to apply a protective layer which will prevent the wood from weathering to a grey finish and also prevents dirt and stains from sticking to it.
My teak furniture is very grey and I wish to maintain it that way, however, there are small black stains on the legs and arms. What are these?
The grey film offers no protection for your furniture. The small black marks are mould stains which lie deeply engrained within the surface. You can remove these mould stains with Teak Care Cleaner 1. First wet the furniture with water, then apply the product with a sponge or lint free cloth and leave to act for 5 mins. The stains can then be removed with a stiff nylon brush. Rinse with water and leave to dry. Take no action if the surface is not evenly grey after this treatment as it will weather after some time.
How do I remove wine and grease stains form my teak furniture without affecting the protective layer of Teak Care Sealer 3?
You can remove wine and grease stains with Teak Care Cleaner 1. In this case, dilute the cleaner with water (ratio 1:1). remove stains with a sponge or lint free cloth and then rinse off with clean water. This will not attack the protective layer.
Do the products attack metal surfaces such as aluminium or brass?
It is advisable to cover aluminium parts with masking tape when treating your furniture with Teak Care Cleaner 1&2. Teak Care Cleaner 2 contains diluted oxalic acid. The top aluminium layer needs to be sufficiently anodised if this product is not to cause any stripes. Teak care Cleaner 1&2 do not attack brass items.
What should I do to protect my teak garden furniture for the winter?
In principle, you can leave your furniture standing outside. It is advisable to clean the furniture during Autumn with Teak Care Cleaner 1&2. It is also better to cover the furniture during the winter months with a tarpaulin because it gets very dirty. If you don’t wish to cover the furniture, it is advisable to treat it before winter sets in using Teak Care Sealer. this prevents green algae deposits, weather stains and also the furniture does not pick up as much dirt either.
What sort of lifetime does teak furniture have and how can I get the most enjoyment from my furniture?
Teak has a very long lifetime. The important thing is to keep the furniture well maintained. To retain the furniture’s warm colour and shine, it is recommended that you treat it 1-2 times a year with Teak Care. In addition, regular maintenance makes it easier to remove dirt and other deposits. In short, if you maintain your garden furniture well, it will give you years of pleasure.
FOR THE BEST CLEANING AND PROTECTION OF TEAK AND FINEWOOD
Premium Teak Care Cleaner 1
The first step in complete restoration of teak and other fine woods. It removes all deeply engrained dirt and stains. Also recommended for regular minor furniture maintenance jobs such as the removal of water, food and wine stains.
Premium Teak Care Cleaner 2
Bleaches back the wood to its original colour and removes the grey film. Restoring the top surface, it opens up the pores of the wood so that the protective solution, Teak Care Sealer 3, can soak in for optimum effect.
Premium Teak Care Sealer 3
For long term protection against rapid weathering. Polymers make the wood waterproof (whilst still letting it breathe) and prevent it from becoming black. Premium Teak Care Sealer 3 is superior to all other types of teak sealers.
To make the best investment you have ever made with guaranteed results, click here.
To see our range of furniture covers, click here.