Teak Furniture - The Proper Way to Care For & Clean It
Teak furniture is tropical hardwood that has a rich, golden honey color when new. However, as teak begins to age and is exposed to the elements, the natural, beautiful color changes to a silvery gray patina. In fact, this is how you can distinguish finely aged outdoor teak furniture! The key with teak is that if you were to leave this silvery gray color on the teak furniture without being treated, you would never be able to get the lustrous honey, caramel back.
Although the color change does not affect the strength and durability of the piece, it does give your teak furniture a whole new look. Therefore, if you are going to own outdoor (or indoor) teak furniture you first want to decide if you want to maintain the original golden brown color or let your teak furniture acquire a silver gray patina as it weathers.
To extend the beautification of the lustrous honey color, a leading teak manufacturer, Kingsley-Bate, recommends using a teak protector. Their teak protector is a "cosmetic application" and helps the furniture maintain its color for a season. Reapply as needed.
Kingsley-Bate does not recommend using a teak oil on outdoor furniture because of the high maintenance involved in this process. Every three months, teak oil will need to be reapplied to maintain the brown finish. Kingsley-Bate also states "oiling outdoor furniture may cause mildew or irregular coloring."
When left outdoors without a teak protector or teak oil, your furniture will turn silvery-gray. This process takes approximately 9 months and depends on the exposure to certain elements such as rain and sun. If this is look you wish to maintain, the only care needed for your teak furniture is a periodic cleaning.
The recommended cleaning solution is a 75/25 mixture of a mild laundry detergent with bleach in water. Only a soft bristle brush should be used. When your teak furniture is clean, rinse the entire piece well enough to remove any dirt or cleaning solution residue. This process is adequate for general cleaning of your furniture regardless if it is golden brown or has weathered.
Kingsley-Bate offers a product for those who allowed their teak furniture to weather to a silver gray and now want to return it to the original color. Regardless of how long your furniture is outside, Kingsley-Bate's teak cleaner will restore your furniture to the honey brown color. The process is simple and does not require heavy scrubbing.
Some people want to stain or paint their teak furniture. Manufacturers frown upon this as the natural oil occurring in the teak prevents the paint or stain to adhere to the wood. If you absolutely must have your teak furniture painted or stained, you should go to your local marina store and confirm what they recommend to use.
While some people will allow their teak furniture to remain outdoors all year long, there are those that recommend it be brought indoors. However, if you do keep it out, then make sure it does not sit on wet ground and that puddles of water are not allowed to pool on the furniture. But the great thing about teak is that since it is a dense hardwood, it naturally resists warping, shrinkage, swelling, and rot. In addition, it contains a high oil content the continually preserves the wood, which is why you can leave it outdoors without much problem. The smooth finish does not splinter and looks absolutely beautiful.
Teak furniture is luxury outdoor furniture. You want to make certain you take care of your investment properly as this is intended to last for years.
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