Teak timber comes from the tree species of Tectona grandis, which naturally grows within the regions north of the Indian Ocean; however it is now also cultivated on plantations in Asia, Africa and South America.
Due to its many favourable characteristics, teak timber is used for a wide range of uses such as decking on boats and garden furniture. As teak timber is very resilient to water damage and can also naturally repel insects and rot, is it great for use outside, hence why it is a popular wood used for garden furniture.
Cleaning your garden furniture twice a year is usually the recommended amount to ensure the maintenance and appearance of the furniture, a clean in the Spring and a clean in the Autumn is ideal.
With regards to the method, you should use a scrubbing brush and soap, being sure to avoid detergents. In order to protect the silver patina you should scrub lightly in the direction of the grain, if you use excessive pressure on teak timber the colour of the wood may be altered to a blonde. If this happens, don’t panic, leaving the furniture outside should help to restore it back to the silvery patina.
Once the obvious dirt and debris has been removed you can gently hose down the teak furniture with clean water and leave to dry naturally. It is not recommended to use a pressure washer on teak furniture, this can damage the surface of the wood and cause it to become bumpy and pitted.
Throughout the year when you are not undertaking a thorough clean of your garden furniture it is a good idea to regularly dust off any dirt with a soft cloth.
In order to maintain the appearance of your teak garden furniture, throughout the year spillages should be kept on top of and wiped away as soon as possible with warm and soapy water to avoid long term staining and damage.
For tougher stains such as dried food residue or red wine, if warm and soapy water will not remove it, gentle sanding can help to get rid of the stain. Ensure that you are sanding with the grain of the wood to avoid scratching the teak and using a fine-grade sandpaper. Although the sanded area may appear lighter than the rest of the furniture, with time it will fade to the same colour as the rest of the furniture.
If your furniture is prone to unsightly water marks then these can be easily removed with the use of a little bit of toothpaste. Rubbing the toothpaste on the areas will help to clean away any residue, similarly combining salt and white vinegar will also create a paste that can remove water marks.
Teak is a popular timber used for garden furniture, its appealing silver appearance and durability make it perfect for using outside all year round. If you want your teak garden furniture to last then you will need to ensure that you care for it with regular cleaning and maintenance.