Do you need to clean teak patio furniture?

adironcack teak chair

The question of, “Do you need to clean teak patio furniture,” is typically a matter of personal preference. Extremely durable, wooden garden furniture made from teak maintains its functionality with little to no maintenance. 

Why Clean Teak Patio Furniture?

Teak can withstand many of Mother Nature’s extreme highs and lows without cracking or warping. It’s also resistant to mold and rot. However, this doesn’t keep mildew from accumulating on the surface of your teak.

If left unattended, mildew can discolor teak garden furniture, causing the wood to become darker in irregular splotches. Cleaning your teak can help remove mold and mildew before it takes hold, preventing this irregular discoloration.

Explore our favorite teak patio furniture collections.

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How to Clean Teak Patio Furniture

In most instances, cleaning your teak furniture is as simple as washing it with a mild soap and warm water. Keep in mind, you’ll want to use a soft bristle brush when scrubbing teak. Metal brushes can scratch and mar the wood’s surface.

To deal with a heavier buildup of mildew, you may need to add a small amount of bleach or vinegar to the mix. For harder to remove stains, you may also want to consider buying a specially designed teak cleaner. These cleaners have been developed to protect the wood while removing unwanted dirt and grime.

As you begin cleaning, always start with the mildest solution possible, ramping up the solution’s intensity as needed. Additionally, you want to thoroughly rinse the surface with water once you’re finished scrubbing. This will help prevent any leftover residue from building up on the wood’s surface.

Teak Outdoor Patio Furniture

Will Cleaning Teak Patio Furniture Maintain the Color?

In short, the answer is no. The change in color is natural. It has no effect on the durability or functionality of the furniture. It simply impacts how your teak outdoor dining table and chairs look. Most outdoor teak furniture manufacturers suggest leaving teak to weather outside for best results.

If you really want to maintain the golden honey tone, you’ll need to treat your furniture every 2 – 3 months and keep it out of the sunlight. This high level of maintenance and the need to eliminate sunlight traditionally means honey toned teak furniture is seen indoors.

The  most common products to use on outdoor teak are water base protectors that have a tint. There is a variety on the market equipped with UV blockers and mildew retardants.

When applying these products, use a soft cloth or the supplied applicator. Thoroughly clean the teak first and then follow the directions for the product of your choosing.

Why Some Teak is Superior to Others

Teak comes from teak trees. It is grown in South and Southeast Asia. The dense wood is so durable because of the close-grain and high oil content. This makes it very rot-resistant and termite resistant, qualities shipbuilders have been utilizing for centuries.

The best teak is called “heart wood” – the wood which is harvested from the center of the tree. The outer rings, known as “sap wood,” aren’t nearly as dense or durable.

Because ‘teak’ is so valuable, some teak farms overharvest their wood. In cases such as this, the teak is not allowed to fully mature, diminishing the quality of the wood.

Do You Have to Use Cushions with Your Teak Patio Furniture?

No. Cushions and/or outdoor throw pillows are not a requirement for teak patio furniture. Unlike cast aluminum or wrought iron patio furniture, most teak patio furniture is comfortable without a cushion.

However, like a wood chair in your kitchen, you may find cushions make sitting for a long period of time more enjoyable. Additionally, cushions and throw pillows can be a great way to change the look and feel of your patio without completely replacing your furniture.

Visit our Seattle or Bellevue store to view our complete teak collection.