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How to Care for Teak Outdoor Furniture?
September 19, 2023

How to Care for Teak Outdoor Furniture?

Custom commercial outdoor furniture can transform your business’s outdoor spaces into inviting retreats for your customers and guests. If you’ve recently invested in contract-grade teak outdoor furniture, you’ve chosen a material known for its beauty, durability, and resilience. Read our guide to the best way to care for outdoor teak furniture and ensure your pieces remain in good condition for the long term.

Understanding Teak Wood and Its Origin

Teak wood is renowned for its natural oils and high-density grain, making it an ideal choice for outdoor furniture. These characteristics make teak resistant to moisture, rot, insects, and decay. Additionally, teak’s attractive golden-brown color naturally weathers to an elegant silver-grey patina over time, adding to its charm.

Teak Quality Grades and Types

Teak is categorized into three main grades based on its quality:

  • Grade A: Highest quality, harvested from the heartwood of mature trees, rich in natural oils, making it the most durable and resistant to elements.
  • Grade B: Moderate quality, taken from the outer heartwood.
  • Grade C: Lowest quality, sourced from the sapwood and less durable.

Teak furniture comes in various forms, including benches, tables, chairs, loungers, and umbrellas, catering to different outdoor needs. The origin of teak also plays a role in its quality, with the finest teak often sourced from Southeast Asia and Central America. You can opt for new, used, or reclaimed teak, each offering different aesthetics and environmental benefits.

Caring for Your Contract-Grade Teak Outdoor Furniture

1. Regular Cleaning

Regularly clean your teak furniture to remove dust, dirt, and stains. Use a simple mixture of warm water and mild soap, avoiding harsh chemicals or power washers that can strip the natural oils from the wood. Gently scrub the furniture with a soft-bristle brush, rinse thoroughly with clean water, and allow it to dry completely.

  • Weekly: Remove light dust and dirt.
  • Monthly: Tackle more stubborn stains.
  • Seasonally: Prepare the furniture for changing weather conditions.

2. Seasonal Deep Cleaning

In addition to regular cleaning, give your teak furniture a more thorough cleaning at the beginning and end of the outdoor season. Use a teak cleaner specifically designed for outdoor furniture. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which typically involve applying the cleaner, scrubbing with a brush, and rinsing thoroughly.

3. Preventing Stains

Teak wood can be susceptible to stains from food, beverages, and other organic materials. To prevent stains:

  • Immediate Cleaning: Clean spills as soon as they occur.
    • Blot gently with a clean cloth.
    • Use a mild soap solution if necessary to remove any residue.

4. Color Protector

Many teak furniture owners prefer to maintain the wood’s original golden-brown color by applying a teak protector. While using a teak color protector is optional, it depends on your personal preference. If you choose to protect the color of your teak furniture, do so sparingly and only when the wood is completely dry. Be aware that this will slow down the natural weathering process, so the furniture will not develop the silver-grey patina as quickly.

5. Protecting from the Elements

To extend the life of your contract-grade teak outdoor furniture, consider protecting it from harsh weather conditions. Use high-quality outdoor furniture covers to shield the wood from direct sunlight, rain, and snow. Place your teak furniture under a canopy or in a shaded area to minimize direct exposure to the sun. Consider additional treatments like mildew inhibitors and stain repellents.

6. Regular Inspections

Regularly inspect your teak furniture for loose screws, bolts, or any signs of wear and tear. Tighten any loose hardware promptly to ensure the structural integrity of your furniture.

7. Professional Restoration

If your teak furniture shows significant signs of wear or if you want to restore it to its original color, consider hiring a professional for restoration. They can sand the wood to remove the silver-grey patina and apply a teak color protector to bring back its golden-brown hue. When sanding, use fine-grit sandpaper to avoid damaging the wood. After sanding, apply oils like teak oil, tung oil, or linseed oil to nourish the wood and use a teak sealer or UV protectant sealer to enhance its durability.

8. Proper Storage

If you live in an area with harsh winters, consider storing your teak furniture indoors during the colder months. Proper storage can protect it from extreme temperature fluctuations and moisture. Disassemble your furniture if possible to save space and prevent damage. Store it in a dry, sheltered location like a shed or garage, and use breathable furniture covers to protect it from dust and moisture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What are common issues faced by teak furniture, and how can they be resolved?
A: Common issues include weathering effects, mold, mildew, and cracking. Weathering turns teak to a silver-grey patina, which some may not prefer. To reverse this, sand the surface and apply a teak color protector. For mold and mildew, regular cleaning with mild soap and water or a specialized cleaner can prevent growth. Cracking can be minimized by avoiding extreme temperature changes and keeping the wood hydrated with appropriate oils.

Q: What tools and materials are essential for maintaining teak furniture?
A: Essential tools include soft brushes for cleaning, sponges for wiping, fine-grit sandpaper for smoothing surfaces, and paintbrushes for applying oils and sealers. Safety equipment like gloves and safety glasses are also important. Materials include mild soap, teak cleaner, teak oil or protector, and breathable furniture covers.

Q: How can I ensure my teak furniture is environmentally friendly?
A: To ensure environmental friendliness, opt for sustainably sourced teak, indicated by certifications like FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). Use eco-friendly cleaners and avoid harsh chemicals. Additionally, consider recycling or repurposing old teak furniture instead of discarding it.

Q: What are some alternatives to traditional teak furniture?
A: Alternatives include synthetic teak, which mimics the appearance of natural teak but requires less maintenance, and recycled plastic options, which offer durability and environmental benefits. These alternatives can be more affordable and easier to care for while still providing a stylish look for your outdoor space.

Q: Should I choose a natural or stained finish for my teak furniture?
A: The choice depends on personal preference. A natural finish allows the wood to develop its characteristic silver-grey patina over time. A stained finish can maintain or alter the color of the wood, offering options like golden brown, weathered silver, dark brown, or honey tones. Stained finishes require periodic reapplication to maintain their appearance.

Q: What decorative elements can enhance the visual appeal of teak furniture?
A: Adding decorative elements like carvings, inlays, or custom finishes can enhance the visual appeal of teak furniture. These elements add a personal touch and can make your furniture stand out. However, ensure that any additions do not compromise the integrity and durability of the teak wood.

Q: What is the expected lifespan of teak furniture, and what factors affect it?
A: The expected lifespan of teak furniture can be several decades with proper care and maintenance. Factors affecting its longevity include climate, maintenance routine, and usage patterns. Regular cleaning, protection from harsh weather, and prompt repairs can significantly extend the life of your teak furniture.

Create Custom Commercial Teak Furniture with Caluco

By following these care instructions for teak outdoor furniture, you can maintain the beauty and durability of your contract-grade teak furniture for many seasons to come. Remember that teak’s natural ability to withstand the elements is one of its greatest strengths, so with the right care, your investment will continue to provide comfort in your outdoor commercial space. To create your own custom, commercial-grade teak furniture for your hotel, golf course, park, or other business, contact us today. We can’t wait to hear about your project.

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