Close up of woman cleaning outdoor furniture

Cleaning Outdoor Furniture - How to Properly Care for Your Teak

Feb 24, 2022Trevor Ferguson

If you’re enjoying your TEAK + TABLE pieces, you probably want them to last as long as possible and may have questions about cleaning outdoor furniture. The cleaning process for our fine outdoor furniture is relatively simple and straightforward, but it’s essential to use the right cleaning products and methods. That way, you can ensure that your furniture looks great, lasts for a long time, and is not damaged by harsh cleaning solutions or tools.

Mild cleaning solutions and gentle methods and tools are the keys to cleaning outdoor wood furniture like teak and luxury fabrics. Read on to learn more about cleaning teak outdoor furniture and some of the other luxury materials we use in our collections.

Beautiful Teak for Outdoor Furniture

Like so many teak lovers, you are probably charmed by the warmth and beauty of teak. For centuries, artisans have sought out teak for its unmatched sophistication and durability. They use this warm, honey-colored wood to craft everything from homes to boats to furniture. Today, the wood evokes yacht decks, midcentury modern style, and, of course, outdoor furniture. Teak furniture is always the most prized piece in any outdoor space. Teak lovers value the wood’s honey shades and rustic, natural quality. For many, teak gives a space instant beach vibes and is the perfect way to get the coveted contemporary coast look that you’ll find at so many trendy luxury resorts.

This luxury material can last for decades. Protect your investment in teak by following the instructions for proper care and cleaning.

Protect Your Investment in Luxury Outdoor Furniture

Caring for teak is relatively easy compared to other woods. As you’ll see below, the cleaning process is straightforward and doesn’t require you to purchase special cleaners unless that’s your preference. With proper care and cleaning, your TEAK + TABLE furniture can last for decades and retain its vibrancy. Regular cleaning on an annual basis is sufficient for most furniture pieces in our collections as long as you quickly brush away debris and clean up spills.

For teak, it’s important to know the don’ts of caring for this special kind of wood. Our furniture is made from the highest grade of teak, which produces its own natural oils, making it unnecessary for you to oil it. In fact, applying oil can weaken the wood’s durability by slowing its natural oiling process. You should never oil teak that has been sealed.

Cleaning implements like rough sponges, metal brushes, steel wool, and metal scrubbing pads can damage the wood. Pressure washing can cause discoloration. It should never be varnished or painted.

While teak’s natural oils allow it to withstand the natural elements and moisture, it’s possible that exposing your furniture to severe weather may shorten its lifespan or even damage it.

How to Clean Teak Furniture

You love outdoor teak furniture for its durability and longevity, and proper care and cleaning can contribute to these qualities. An annual cleaning is sufficient for your teak furniture. Of course, if you spill something on it directly, it’s essential to clean it immediately. Teak is stain-resistant, but there’s no reason to risk permanently damaging it by ignoring a spill.

Follow these tips when cleaning your teak furniture:

  • If the flooring underneath your furniture will be damaged by the cleaning solution, put a tarp on the floor or move the furniture to another location that’s safe for cleaning.
  • Spray down the furniture with a hose. Never use a pressure washer on teak furniture.
  • Combine two tablespoons of mild soap like liquid dish soap with a gallon of warm water. Alternately, you can use teak cleaners.
  • Using a soft bristle brush (preferably nylon), apply the solution. Gently scrub in the direction of the wood’s grain.
  • Rinse the furniture with a hose and allow it to air dry.
  • The teak furniture should be thoroughly cleaned and dried first if you plan to apply a sealer.

You also want to decide if your furniture will retain its original honey shades or develop a beautiful silver patina through sun exposure. The wood will keep its original appearance if you continuously seal and protect the teak. Look for a protectant designed for teak and follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly. You’ll also need to ensure that any cleaners you use are compatible with the protectant. You will need to seal the wood annually. Whether you allow the patina to emerge has no impact on the wood’s durability, but you may find it easier to care for teak with a patina. Removing the patina and restoring the teak to its original shade is possible, but the process can be complex and confusing.

How to Clean Fabric Cushions

TEAK + TABLE is proud to upholster our outdoor furniture cushions with high-quality Italian performance fabric made by Tempotest. This upholstery is designed to stand up to the elements and is treated to be stain-resistant and easy to clean. However, this fabric still requires proper care. There are a few tips and tricks you can follow to keep the Temptotest fabric on your outdoor cushions looking brand new.

  • Tempotest can be cleaned in a washing machine for your convenience. Use a mild detergent like Ivory or Woolite. You can also use a household chlorine bleach with a content of less than 5% sodium hypochlorite). Let the fabric dry in the shade.
  • To handwash, combine a cup of bleach with a gallon of water (always use this ratio for Tempotest fabrics), and use the mixture as a pre-wash. Proceed with handwashing the material using a mild detergent. Thoroughly rinse the soapy water from the fabric and air dry.
  • Avoid using non-chlorine bleach, which can damage your fabric. Verify that any threads or trim are resistant to bleach before using this cleaning agent.
  • Do not let the water temperature exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit during washing.
  • If the fabric starts to lose its water repellency, you can spray it with a post-cure spray or 303 protectants.

You can always contact TEAK + TABLE if you have any questions about cleaning the marine fabrics on your furniture.

READ MORE: Learn more about cleaning your cushions from Tempotest, the makers of this fine Italian performance fabric.

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