How to Care for Teak Furniture

Teak furniture is known for its durability, beauty, and resistance to weather conditions. Whether you have a teak dining table, chairs, or outdoor benches, proper care is essential to maintain its appearance and extend its lifespan. In this article, we will discuss the best practices for caring for teak furniture.

Understanding Teak Wood

Before diving into the care tips, it’s important to understand the characteristics of teak wood. Teak is a tropical hardwood that is native to Southeast Asia. It is highly valued for its natural oils and rubber content, which make it resistant to rot, insects, and extreme weather conditions.

Teak wood has a unique golden-brown color that weathers to a silver-gray patina over time. This natural aging process is part of teak’s charm and does not affect its durability. However, if you prefer to maintain the original color, regular maintenance is required.

Cleaning Teak Furniture

How to Care for Teak Furniture

Regular cleaning is crucial to remove dirt, stains, and mildew from teak furniture. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your teak pieces:

  1. Start by removing any cushions or fabric from the furniture.
  2. Use a soft-bristle brush or a sponge to scrub the teak surface with a mixture of mild soap and warm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they can damage the wood.
  3. Rinse the furniture thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  4. Allow the furniture to dry completely before applying any treatments or oils.

It’s important to note that pressure washers should not be used on teak furniture as they can strip away the natural oils and cause damage.

Removing Stains from Teak Furniture

Teak furniture is prone to stains, especially if it is used outdoors. Here are some tips to remove common stains:

Water Stains

If your teak furniture has water stains, you can try the following methods:

  • Light Stains: Rub the affected area with a soft cloth soaked in a mixture of water and mild soap. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
  • Deeper Stains: Sand the stained area lightly with fine-grit sandpaper until the stain is removed. Clean the area with a mild soap solution, rinse, and dry.

Mildew Stains

Mildew stains can occur when teak furniture is exposed to high humidity or damp conditions. To remove mildew stains:

  • Create a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar.
  • Apply the solution to the stained area using a soft brush or sponge.
  • Scrub gently until the stain is removed.
  • Rinse the furniture thoroughly and allow it to dry completely.

Oil and Grease Stains

If your teak furniture has oil or grease stains, follow these steps:

  • Blot the stain immediately with a clean cloth to absorb excess oil or grease.
  • Apply a mixture of mild soap and warm water to the stained area.
  • Gently scrub the stain with a soft brush or sponge.
  • Rinse the furniture thoroughly and allow it to dry.

Applying Teak Oil or Sealer

Teak oil or sealer can be applied to maintain the original color of teak furniture. However, it’s important to note that teak oil does not protect against UV rays and may require frequent reapplication. Here’s how to apply teak oil or sealer:

  1. Ensure the furniture is clean and dry.
  2. Apply the teak oil or sealer using a clean cloth or brush, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Allow the oil or sealer to penetrate the wood for about 15 minutes.
  4. Wipe off any excess oil or sealer with a clean cloth.
  5. Allow the furniture to dry completely before using it.

It’s important to note that teak oil or sealer should not be applied to furniture that will be used for food preparation, such as teak dining tables.

Protecting Teak Furniture

While teak is naturally resistant to weather conditions, it is still beneficial to protect your furniture from excessive exposure to the elements. Here are some tips:

  • During harsh weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow, it’s advisable to cover your teak furniture with a waterproof cover.
  • If possible, store your teak furniture indoors during the winter months to protect it from extreme cold and moisture.
  • Avoid placing hot objects directly on the teak surface to prevent heat stains.
  • Use coasters or placemats to protect the furniture from spills and scratches.


Caring for teak furniture is relatively simple and can significantly extend its lifespan. Regular cleaning, stain removal, and the application of teak oil or sealer are essential for maintaining its beauty and durability. By following these care tips, you can enjoy your teak furniture for many years to come.