Teak Care

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Teak care is simple once you get the hang of it. For starters, it may be helpful to know how hardy and self-sufficient teak is. It's definitely not one of those delicate or temperamental woods that need painstakingly special care.

In fact, teak is naturally loaded with self-preserving elements such as rubber, oil, and even some silica. By being naturally lubricated and water resistant, teak actually treats itself. It's even termite resistant, thanks to the silica, which repels wood-eating bugs.

More about Teak Care

Because of these self-preserving properties, untreated teak will never rot. Still, there are some things you can do for optimal teak care, such as regular cleaning. This can be done with a simple utility brush with soft bristles. All you need to do is brush lightly with the grain of the wood.

For more aggressive teak care, such as more stubborn dirt, you can occasionally wash teak furniture with slightly soapy water. Just make sure to rinse all the soapy film off the teak once you're finished; then dry the wood thoroughly. If you desire a more luminous look, you can work hardwood oils or other finishes into your teak furniture.

Left alone to age, the natural color of teak furnishings will patina to a soft, silver-grey. Imperfections, which are inherent properties of the wood, will show over time, enhancing the beauty of the furniture. In humid or wet climates, or after rains, the wood may naturally expand and contract, causing the grain to rise. This is to be expected with exposure to the elements and will stabilize after the initial weathering occurs. To maintain wood furnishings, use a soft bristled utility brush and stroke lightly in the direction of the grain to remove surface dust. For more stubborn dirt, the wood may be washed periodically with a mild solution of soapy water, then rinsed thoroughly and allowed to dry completely. Commercial hardwood oils and bleaching agents may be used to maintain or restore the natural color and luster of teak wood. Depending on climate exposure, furnishings may need to be treated one or more times per year as desired. Some wood furnishings have exposed hardware, which may require tightening from time to time. Care should be taken not to under- or over-tighten hardware.

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