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Teak is a beautiful hardwood that has a natural honey brown colour. This coarse, close-grained wood is popular for its strength, stability and resilience to weather. It is for these qualities that it had been used for shipbuilding and outdoor furniture. This wood contains oils that makes it rot and termite resistant. The natural oil it produces also keep the wood in good condition. Here are some cleaning and maintenance tips to preserve teak furniture for a long time:

General Cleaning

Teak outdoor furniture doesn’t require regular cleaning and maintenance. Generally, if it looks like it needs washing, it probably does. Regular cleaning supplies would include a soft-bristled brush, mild soap or detergent, and water. When scrubbing, do it following the grain of the wood to avoid scratching the wood’s surface. Rinse and wipe dry with a soft cloth.

Weather Protection

Teak is strong and durable when exposed to weather even in its untreated finish. Having a teak outdoor furniture in Australia means exposing it to the elements. It is normal for the wood to expand and contract especially when it’s outside. To preserve the teak furniture, make sure that its legs don’t sit on a puddle after the rain. If the weather is torrential or during harsh winters, move the furniture indoors if possible. Overexposure to rain and moisture could cause build-up of mildew.

Stain Removal

Spill stains can be easily remedied with a quick wipe off followed by a quick spot wash. Use warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush. Remember to scrub with the grain of the wood. Alternatively, you can use a teak cleaning solution for more stubborn stains like coffee or red wine. If those didn’t do the trick, the wood can be sanded lightly.

Maintaining the Colour

The natural wood finish of teakwood is honey/golden brown. Continuous exposure to the elements will naturally turn its patina into a silvery grey hue. For those who wants to maintain the natural wood finish of their teak outdoor furniture, annual application of teak sealant is recommended. Others prefer the weathered look and would let the natural patina process turn the wood into silvery grey. It can easily be restored to its natural finish by sanding the wood to remove the grey outer layer.

Dos and Don’ts

Although teak outdoor furniture is durable and low maintenance, there are a few things that owners should keep in mind. First, only use teak specific products for maintenance. All-purpose wood cleaners may do more harm than good to your teak furniture. Second, do not use steel brush or brass brush to clean teak furniture. They are too abrasive and can damage the wood’s surface. Third, do not use a pressure washer. It can cause discoloration and coarse splintering of wood. Fourth, do not use paint or varnish. The natural oil it produces would cause the coating to chip or flake. Lastly, do not use teak oil too often. Regular oiling of teak furniture would keep its natural finish, but it would also slow down the wood’s natural oil production. Follow these maintenance tips to make sure your teak outdoor furniture last long enough to become heirloom pieces.

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