The Best Way To Clean Teak Outdoor Furniture

Teak garden furniture is a popular choice for many homeowners, thanks to its durability, natural beauty, and resistance to weathering. However, like any outdoor furniture, teak requires regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure it remains in good condition.

In this article, we’ll cover the best way to clean teak outdoor furniture, including regular cleaning, deep cleaning, and applying a sealant. 

We’ll also discuss the importance of covering your furniture during wet weather and how to clean legs and undersides to ensure your teak furniture remains beautiful and functional for years to come. Read on to learn more about how to properly care for your teak outdoor furniture.

Regular Cleaning is Key

The best way to keep your teak outdoor furniture looking its best is by performing regular cleaning. Teak furniture requires minimal maintenance, but occasional cleaning will prevent built-up dirt and debris that can be hard to remove later. For most regular cleaning, all you need is some mild dish soap, water, and a soft-bristled brush.

Mix Soapy Water

Fill a bucket with warm water and add a few squirts of gentle dish soap that does not contain bleach. Gently stir to combine and create sudsy water. For tough stuck-on messes like bird droppings, grease or tree sap, you can make a solution of warm water, dish soap, and white vinegar. The acid in the vinegar helps lift stubborn gunk from the teak.

Scrub With a Soft Bristled Brush

Dip the brush in the soapy water and scrub the entire surface of the teak furniture using light, circular motions. Pay extra attention to any particularly dirty areas. Avoid using harsh abrasive pads, scrubbers or chemicals which can damage the wood. Rinse the furniture with fresh water to remove all soapy residue.

For Deep Cleaning, Make a Teak Cleaner

Over time, teak oils and tannins can build up on the surface of furniture. For a deep clean to remove built-up oil and grime, you can make your heavy-duty teak cleaner. Mix one part bleach with 4 parts water. Add a squirt of dish soap. Scrub furniture with the cleaner and a scrub brush paying attention to any dark stains, then rinse thoroughly with water. Let the furniture air dry completely. Reapply teak sealer or protector once dry.

Scrub Legs and Undersides

Don’t forget to clean the legs and undersides of your teak furniture. These areas often get the dirtiest but are commonly missed in routine cleaning. Dab your brush in the cleaning solution to reach the legs and arms. Tip the furniture on its side one part at a time to access all angles including the underside of the seats. Wipe away any drips on adjacent parts before flipping the furniture.

Rinse and Let Air Dry

After scrubbing your teak furniture with a cleaning solution, rinse it thoroughly with fresh water from a hose or bucket to remove all cleaning product residue. Allow the furniture to air dry completely – at least 24 to 48 hours. Do not sit on furniture until fully dried.

Apply Sealant (Optional)

If desired, you can apply a teak sealant, oil or wax to help protect furniture and preserve its warm golden tone. Be sure any sealer you choose is specifically for use on outdoor teak furniture. Clean and dry the furniture fully before application. Apply as directed, wiping away any excess product to avoid buildup. Reapply sealer every 6-12 months to maintain protection.

Cover in Wet Weather (Recommended)

While moisture itself will not damage teak wood, covering your furniture in wet, rainy or snowy weather helps prevent saturation. Teak patio furniture covers are an easy solution, or you can use standard outdoor furniture covers, securely tied down. Breathable covers prevent excess condensation buildup which can lead to issues like mold or mildew. Remove covers after precipitation has stopped and furniture has dried.

With regular cleaning and care, your high-quality teak outdoor furniture should give you many years of use. Avoid harsh chemicals, oversaturating the wood or neglecting cleaning, all of which can contribute to damage reducing the lifespan of your teak furniture. By following these basic principles, your teak outdoor furniture will become increasingly beautiful over time as it develops a stunning silver patina.