Teak wood is well known for its durability and the longevity of the wood. Teak is one of the most versatile hard woods in the world, having been used for home furnishings, accessories, building materials, bridges, boats, palaces and patio furniture. With all these uses, it is interesting that few people know about the proper care of teak wood. Those familiar with the qualities of teak know that the rich teak oil present in the wood is able to protect the wood and is responsible for its hardness and durability. However, there are things that are done which actually harm the wood and prevent the oil from protecting to its greatest potential. |
No wet (or dry) paint allowed
If your dream furniture is one that changes color frequently through layers of paint, you are better off not having teak furniture. Teak should not be painted nor should it be stained. Staining or painting teak can damage the wood by inhibiting the natural movement of the wood to the surface as the wood ages. This movement of the oil through the wood has been described by some as a similitude of mummification of the wood – persevering it and allowing natural decay and rot to be retarded. This is not a perfect analogy, but it works for some people. Depending on the age of your teak, it will be either a warm, rich honey-brown shade or a have a silvery gray hue. The younger teak is the brown shade and as teak ages and weathers, it changes to the silvery gray.
Scrub and buff
While teak does not need regular maintenance, it does require cleaning. Cleaning your teak is rather easy. It is important to avoid the use of a pressure washer so that you do not damage the wood. Cleaning your teak should be done outdoors with a regular garden hose, rubber gloves, mild soap, a toothbrush and some copper or bronze wool. Do not use steel wool, since it can leave fragments of steel behind and these will eventually rust. Here are some additional tips to ensure a shiny, new look:
• Remove all hardware and set aside • Don your fancy rubber gloves and wet the furniture with the garden hose • Apply soapy water to the teak • Using the toothbrush or cleaning brush, scrub the wood in the direction of the grain, paying attention to tight spots (or as my grandma used to say, “nooks and crannies”) • Use the copper or bronze wool and scrub the wood with the grain, applying light pressure. • Allow your furniture to dry thoroughly and re-attach the hardware
See how easy it is to maintain and clean your teak outdoor furniture? Doing so will keep it looking great for many years to come, possibly even for your children's children!
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