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Get the Dirt on Cleaning Your Teak

Amber Kingsley

So I’ve been informed that I should talk about Teak Maintenance.  This is really the first blog post directly related to our own products, but could be used on other pieces that you might already have. 

Our teak products are relatively low maintenance, View Instructionsbut do require some to keep that fresh clean look.  Teak is resistant to rotting and molding, however the soap and shampoo used is not. Therefore, if your product is in a shower, or humid area indoors, we typically recommend cleaning it when you clean your bathroom or shower.

The best and easiest time to clean, is while you are showering.  The mat or bench will already be wet, so just take a light bristle nylon brush (similar to what you would use on vegetables or dishes), and brush away that soap residue.  You may want to utilize our teak cleaning kit, or some other cleaning solutions you can find at local stores. After that thoroughly rinse and you should be good to go!  Note:  Never use a power washer on our Teak products.

Now the part that many people forget is to clean the underside of the mat, and the floor.  Yes, you have this nice mat that looks fantastic, feels great, and you absolutely love, but remember it’s covering up some sort of flooring. So when you get out of the shower, lift the mat up, take it out of the shower or lean it against the wall, and wipe up the flooring and lightly scrub the bottom of the mat.  Allow everything to dry and then put it back in place.  Simple enough when you really think about it. Products that are outside, might require a little elbow grease, but still it isn’t anything that you can’t do on your own.  Teak grays/silvers out faster outside than inside. 

Teak Cleaning Kit InstructionsYou will notice you can feel the fibers as the pores open up and the wood dries out.  This is all natural and with a little light sanding and oiling you can bring the look pretty close to how you originally purchased it. Lightly sand with an 80 grit sand paper, and move up in grit (higher #’s) until you like the feel.  Shouldn’t have to go over it more than twice, and you can use a power sander, just know that you don’t need much pressure.  Then a coat or two of Teak oil and you are good to go. 

For products that don’t require sanding, or you don’t want to sand them, but are just dirty give Murphy’s Oil Soap a try and that should clean those products right up. If you have had a product for a long time, look into our Cleaning Kits, which have a tablet that penetrates the wood, and gives it a very fresh look.  We also provide teak oil to bring it back to its finished look.  Hope this helped, and you can continue to enjoy your teak pieces!



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  • Nick Biesanz on

    Donna,

    Hello, and thank you for commenting on our post. We agree with you that the internet can be so confusing and contradicting on almost every topic out there. You kind of have to look at the resource and experiences of those providing advice, and make your own decision. With that being said, on the teak that we sell Burmese Teak (FEQ Grade A teak, heartwood only, highest quality available), we don’t recommend using a power washer simply because teak although listed in the “hard” wood category, is actually a pretty soft wood on the surface. The meaning behind that is basically teak is a hard wood when it comes to bending, snapping, and breaking. Teak is also extremely hard on saws, bits, and other products used to build with it because of the natural sand that is grown into the trees. Again, all together, teak is extremely durable. On the surface however teak is soft, meaning it is easy to put dings and dents in it with just a small bump of a heavy or sharp object.

    This is where the power washing becomes a concern, power washing has been known to cause markings in items that have an even harder surface (cement, certain metals, bricks, etc) than teak. If the power washer is set on too high of a PSI, or like you stated held to close to the teak, it can create grooves, dents and channels. Once those are there it is extremely difficult to get those out, without power sanding or a lot of maintenance on it. Teak itself is also an expensive wood, so damaging it by trying to save some time on cleaning would be a disappointment. Now, I’m not sure what type of teak these tiles are, but I’m familiar with them, and would believe that these would be even softer than the teak we use, based on the prices that are available on them. As you mentioned bending down and cleaning them by hand is not an ideal situation for you. So, you could with caution, test out some of the extra tiles you have with the low pressured PSI and holding the power washer a decent distance from the teak. I can’t say for certain what will happen, as I can only assume there are plenty of people that do power wash their teak furniture, decks, boats, tiles, etc. My advice would also be to utilize the power washer as a last resort, if other options don’t work out for you. I know, cleaning it and then having to potentially power wash doesn’t sound appealing, but it’s far less strenuous and dirty than having to sand it all to get out the dents, and channels a power washer could create.

    We recommend our specific cleaning solution or even better our full cleaning kit that has been tested on multiple different types of teak, and has proven great results. (https://www.teakworks4u.com/collections/teak-maintenance/products/teak-cleaning-kit) I needed to put in a sales pitch at least somewhere in here. We do recommend Murphy’s Soap to our customers, as well as using a nylon bristle brush. There should be some longer brushes out there that maybe wouldn’t require bending down as much. We’ve also had great success with using a simple garden hose and the old finger over the nozzle to create a little more pressure. You could also test out a hose nozzle that has a jet setting to see if that creates too much pressure. Again, testing is going to be the key!

    We do apply teak oil to our teak products, and would recommend it if you desire a darker more universal look of your teak. The teak oil is not a sealant, or a surface protector, but simply brings out the grains, and unifies the coloring of the teak. A small amount of the oil will soak into the teak allowing it to stay a nice brown longer, but it will eventually fade. Teak will turn grey over time, as this is it’s natural protection against the elements. Teak is actually quite beautiful in this state and many people prefer it that way. Even in this state it still maintains all it’s amazing features and durability, and can always be brought back to the golden brown color with some sanding, cleaning and elbow grease!

    To sum it all up a nylon bristle brush, cleaning solution, a hose, and elbow grease is what we’ve found to be the best (maybe not the easiest or most efficient) way to clean our teak products. This will ensure that there is no damage caused to the teak. After cleaning it, applying teak oil will bring out teaks natural beauty! Then you’re able to sit back, relax and enjoy the gratification of your hard work with an amazingly fresh looking teak product, deck, boat, furniture or whatever else you’ve cleaned with the peace of mind that there is no damage done!

  • donna sophia on

    A previous owner put teak tiles on the screen porch floor, looks similar to a parquet floor. Most looks great, 1/4 is weathered and black (probably mold). I’ve read advice from professionals that contradict each other on whether or not to use a power washer, Murphy Oil Soap, and Teak Oil (because it’s misleading to appear to have actual teak in it). Internet can be so confusing. I’ve serious back issues and arthritis so I’m sitting on the floor trying to clean a couple of tiles a day with a mixture of bleach, laundry det, and water with about 70% success. I saw videos of this mixture used with a power washer. I found a couple of extra tiles and checked online, they were advertised as not warping, but these 12" tiles with 6 strips of teak each, have a few strips that did. Along the edge so not a trip hazard. I am afraid to use any kind of oils or sealer based on the frequent need to reapply. Where do you stand on using a low PSI washer, and not holding it too close to the wood?


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