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Tips & How-to's12 min read

How To Clean Teak Wood Furniture: The Complete Guide

How To Clean Teak Wood Furniture: The Complete Guide

If you’re the proud owner of some beautiful new teak furniture  (or you plan to be in the future), you’re probably wondering how to clean teak wood and scouring the internet for the best ways to do it.

You’ve come to the right place. As outdoor furniture experts here at Outer, we’ve compiled our top tips for bringing teak pieces back to life. From the tools you’ll need to keep your furniture scratch-free to the best materials to use, we’ve covered it all below.

Read on to learn more about teak wood, how often to clean it, and the techniques we recommend to ensure your furniture stays in peak condition.

What Is Teak Wood?

teak wood chair
Outer Teak Outdoor Armless Chair

Teak is a durable, warm-toned timber often used in luxury furniture. It’s rich in natural oils and silica, making it the perfect choice for outdoor pieces that are up against some tough weather conditions.

However, not all teak is created equal. At Outer, we’re sticklers for quality, and when it comes to sourcing the teak for our furniture, we don’t accept anything less than the best teak wood available — Grade A teak.

We source our high-quality wood from responsibly managed fields in Central Java, Indonesia. For each tree we harvest, three more are planted in its place to promote sustainability and help offset climate change.

Not only that, but the wood we use in our teak furniture is also proudly certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®. This means our teak meets the gold standard for harvested wood, ensuring the whole process is environmentally conscious and economically viable.

From our cozy Teak Outdoor Armchair Conversation Set to our spacious 5-Seater Teak Outdoor L Sectional and our stylish Teak Outdoor Coffee Table With Square Leg, all Outer teak furniture is designed with comfort, innovation, durability, and sustainability in mind.

Each piece is sleek and sophisticated with added features, such as rust-proof stainless steel clips and waterproof performance fabric to ensure you and your family feel safe and comfortable using Outer furniture for many years to come.

What Are The Benefits Of Teak Wood?

Family outside enjoying their teak wood furniture
Outer Teak Outdoor Armchair and Teak Outdoor Sofa - 3 Seat

Durability

Any furniture that lives outdoors needs to be able to withstand harsh weather conditions. From sun rays to heavy rainfall and even occasional snow, teak wood is durable enough to face it all.

There’s a good reason craftsmen have been using teak in boat decks and furniture designs for decades — it’s built to last! This makes teak wood the perfect set-and-forget option for outdoor living.

Longevity

Speaking of being built to last, the durability of teak plays directly into another key quality of this wood. Since it’s able to naturally withstand so many unique conditions, the average lifespan of teak goes far beyond anything else.

Quality teak is known to have a lifespan of anywhere between 50 and 100 years. That’s practically unheard of! It’s just one of many reasons that this wood is so perfect for your yard.

While teak is extremely resistant to extreme weather, proper maintenance is a critical part of ensuring this material adds an unbeatable style to your outdoor space for decades to come.

One great way to do this is to avoid placing it directly on organic material for extended periods. Whenever wood is in direct contact with dirt or grass, it is susceptible to mold, bacteria, and fungus.

Adaptability

Another fantastic trait of teak is that it is adaptable to changing weather conditions. This means that it will remain cool during hotter months and won’t reach chilly extremes when it’s cold outside, so you don’t have to worry about any discomfort from the frame of your furniture.

Compare this to certain metals that don’t fare well during temperature extremes. If it’s too cold, then the metal will follow suit and become frigid to the touch. And once the temperature gets too high, the metal frame is too scorching to even rest your arm on.

Sustainability

Along with our teak wood being certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®, we’ve also chosen this wood because of its sustainability. Overall, teak is a sustainable wood thanks to new and sustainable forest management practices.

Even when demand for teak is high, these practices and regulations followed by ethical companies ensure that more teak wood trees are being planted than harvested so the risk of production-related extinction can be avoided.

Quality

Teak coffee table with outdoor couch
Outer Brown Wicker Outdoor U Sectional - 7 Seat

We hear you loud and clear — you’re tired of products falling apart within a year of purchase because the quality wasn’t what you were promised.

With Grade A teak wood, quality is more than just an expectation — it’s a guarantee. Since our wood is cut from mature trees, you receive a look that is consistent, beautifully colored, and ready to withstand the outdoors.

Low-Maintenance Care

When you think of wood furniture, what comes to mind might be a vision of constant upkeep and regular oiling to stop it from looking weathered. Who wants that? We certainly don’t.

Fortunately, the oils found in teak make it naturally rot-resistant, meaning it doesn’t require any additional oiling. Ever! Talk about low-maintenance living.

Instant Sophistication And Warmth

Last but definitely not least, teak wood can bring instant sophistication and warmth to your outdoor space thanks to its beautiful golden hue.

It’s a timelessly stylish option for outdoor furniture, which makes it an ideal choice for virtually any space.

As teak weathers over time, the color of the material will naturally transform from its rich golden hue to a beautiful silvery-gray patina as a result of extensive exposure to rain and sunlight.

Want to keep the teak furniture in its natural color? No problem! Just be sure to strategically place it where it won’t receive too much sun and properly store or cover your furniture when it rains or snows.

How Often Should You Clean Teak Wood?

As we mentioned above, teak wood is very low-maintenance and doesn’t require a lot of upkeep to maintain a fresh appearance. While it still requires cleaning, you’ll find yourself spending a lot less time scrubbing teak furniture in comparison to other wooden furniture options.

As a general rule, we recommend giving your teak furniture a light clean at the end of each season to keep it free from debris and looking its best.

Aside from that, your teak furniture only needs to be spruced up whenever it’s visibly dirty — maybe after the kids have gone wild or the dog has gotten its paws on your couch. Otherwise, you’re good to go!

Keep reading to learn more about how to clean teak, including our recommendations for specific tools you’ll need and step-by-step instructions to ensure you get the best results.

How To Clean Teak Wood Furniture: Step By Step

Man showing how to clean teak

What You’ll Need

  • A bucket of warm water
  • Gentle soap or detergent, such as Woolite or Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • A soft bristle brush
  • A garden hose
  • A pair of gloves
  • A towel
  • Bleach (optional)
  • 220 grit sandpaper (optional)
  • A tarp to protect surrounding areas (optional)

Let’s Get Cleaning!

  1. Before you begin cleaning your teak, it’s a great idea to set out a tarp to protect surrounding areas, particularly if you’ll be using bleach as a part of the cleaning process
  2. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a few drops of detergent and, if you’ve noticed any tough stains on your furniture, a small amount of bleach
  3. We recommend putting on a pair of gloves to ensure your skin is protected while cleaning
  4. Dip your brush into your bucket of water and gently begin scrubbing. Start at the top of your piece of furniture, working your way to the bottom
  5. Be sure to switch out your water as needed to prevent dirt and debris from building up on your furniture while you scrub
  6. Use a gentle setting on your hose (no pressure washing!) to rinse your furniture. Make sure all suds and bleach have been washed off completely
  7. Towel off any excess water and let your furniture air dry
  8. If you notice any rough areas on your teak wood furniture after drying, use 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out by sanding in the direction of the grain rather than against it (this helps to avoid scratching the surface of the teak)
  9. You’re all done! No oiling required — time to get back to relaxing.

What About The Cushions?

Don’t worry; we didn’t forget about the most spill-prone feature of your teak furniture — the cushions!

Thankfully, we designed all Outer cushions to be a breeze to clean so you can get back to enjoying your outdoor furniture as soon as possible.

All Outer cushion covers are made from solution-dyed performance fabric that’s resistant to just about anything you can throw at it. From UV rays and water to bleach, dirt, and mold, our fabrics can stand up to it all. We like to call them “lifeproof.”

For an extra layer of protection that cuts back on the need for regular cleaning, we added our OuterShell™ to all our cushions. This built-in cover sits discreetly behind each Outer cushion, ready to roll out at a moment’s notice to keep your cushions clean and dry.

As with our teak furniture, we recommend giving your outdoor cushions a clean at least once a season to keep them fresh and ready to use. This is as easy as taking off the cushion covers and throwing them in the wash — thank goodness for removable covers!

It’s important to note that the fabric used in our cushions doesn’t need to go in the dryer — just let them air dry to keep them in peak condition.

There might be times when a simple spot clean will do. Thanks to the nano-coating on our cushions, you’ll find that most stains will come right off with a 1:3 detergent-to-water mix and a soft rag to dab onto the stain.

For more information on cleaning your Outer cushions, head to our dedicated blog post.

Teak Wood Cleaning Mistakes To Avoid

Showing how to clean teak and keep it looking fresh
Outer Teak Table

Along with all the steps to properly clean and maintain your teak furniture, we wanted to make sure you knew about some of the more common cleaning mistakes to avoid.

Pressure Washing

You probably noticed that we emphasize no pressure washing in the steps above, but why is this? Don’t pressure washers offer a quick and convenient way to clean some of life’s bigger messes?

Pressure washing acts as a heavy force against teak, often causing bumps and irregularities to form across the furniture. The last thing we want to do is disturb teak’s natural beauty.

The force from pressure washing also risks wearing away at the teak wood’s natural oils. Since they are what make it such a good fit for the outdoors, any stripping of these oils can significantly reduce the lifespan of your furniture.

Don’t get us wrong — we love the convenience of pressure washers! But when it comes to teak, we strongly recommend cleaning it gently as needed instead of waiting to blast it after the dirt has had time to build up.

Applying Teak Oil

Even though teak doesn’t require any additional oiling to keep it preserved and protected, you might still be tempted to give it some just in case.

Grade A teak should never be oiled because it risks reversing the effects of the sealant. In fact, oiling quality teak wood might end up doing the opposite of what you’d anticipate. Rather than give it another layer of protection, it might cause mildew or fungus to develop.

Using Steel Wool

Hopefully, you’ve managed to avoid these first two teak-management mistakes. But if nothing else, make sure you never clean your teak with steel wool.

The danger of using steel wool to clean teak is that pieces of the steel will separate from the brush and get trapped in the wood. Once it starts to rust, your teak will end up with unsightly orange spots that are difficult — if not impossible — to get rid of.

Storing Teak Wood Furniture

Outer furniture cover to keep teak clean
Outer Cover for Teak Armchair

By this point, you know that teak is durable enough to withstand a range of temperatures and weather conditions. An added benefit of this natural protection is that teak can be left outside and uncovered year-round.

If you want to add even more years to your furniture’s lifespan, then we recommend using a breathable All-Weather Cover once the temperature starts to drop. This will give your furniture an extra layer of innovative defense while allowing the wood to breathe.

Crafted from recyclable fabric, our covers are a quick and easy way to keep your furniture looking like new.

And should you decide to store your teak furniture for the winter, avoid placing it in a heated space. Excess heat can lead to fractures that crack the beautifully smooth surface of the wood.

How We Use Teak Wood

Now that you know the benefits of teak and how to maintain your investment, let’s take a look at some of the ways we turn this luxurious material into hand-crafted furniture ready to spruce up your space.

Sofas And Sectionals

Teak outdoor furniture
Outer Teak Outdoor Furniture Set

The design of our furniture is inspired by nature. That’s part of what makes teak such an excellent pair with timeless fabric colors like Sandstone Gray, Deep Sea Navy, and Dark Pebble Gray.

Plus, all of our outdoor sofas, chairs, and sectionals come with premium multi-layered cushions made with memory foam found in luxury mattresses. It’s a quality, hand-made comfort that makes you feel like you’re sitting on a cloud.

Whether it’s our Teak Outdoor Loveseat or our 5-Seat Outdoor Sofa Set, you’re sure to show all your guests that sometimes the best seat in the house is actually right outside.

Coffee Tables

For that perfect, stand-out centerpiece, or just a functional outdoor table, all of our coffee tables are crafted from teak to complement your surrounding furniture while naturally weathering the elements.

All of the advantages of teak wood come together in our coffee tables. Durability, style, and sustainability give you all the tablespace you need to tend to game nights, cheese plates, and so much more.

Dining Tables

One of the newest additions to the Outer family, our new Dining Collection combines durable teak with strong and sleek aluminum for unbeatable outdoor products.

No matter if you’re having an intimate date night or a dinner party with family and friends, the Dining Table’s removable leaves make it simple to switch from a 6-seat to a 12-seat option so you can make room for everyone.

Ready to take your hosting abilities to new heights? This collection gives you the most durable, comfortable, and sustainable outdoor dining room in any backyard.

Not sure how to arrange your pieces so they bring out the best in your space? With our team of professional exterior design experts, creating your ideal backyard oasis is as simple as booking a free appointment to unlock your vision.

From space planning to overall exterior design, we'll help you discover the pieces and placement guaranteed to fit your space and lifestyle. Bringing your dream yard to life has never been more convenient!

Cleaning Teak Wood Furniture Is Easy With Outer

Outdoor teak furniture near pool
Teak Outdoor Coffee Table - Square Leg

Now you know how to clean teak wood furniture — cushions and all! And we’re willing to bet it’s a lot easier and much less time-consuming than you originally thought.

Whether you’re freshening up one of our seating options, like our Teak Outdoor Armchair Conversation Set or our 5-Seater Teak Outdoor L Sectional, or adding life back into a table, like our Teak Outdoor Coffee Table With Square Leg, our step-by-step guide has got you covered.

Want to see our products in person before you buy? Request an in-person visit and come experience the quality and comfort of Outer at one of our 1,000+ Neighborhood Showrooms.

You get to try out the furniture you’ve been eyeing and also talk with a real Outer customer for honest reviews to give you total certainty before you buy.

And if you’re still on the fence about whether it’s the perfect fit for you, our risk-free at-home trial gives you peace of mind so you can order with confidence.

At Outer, we carefully consider every design detail and ensure the quality construction of every single one of our products. That means if you’re not 100% satisfied with your purchase, we’ll make it right so you’re only cleaning the teak furniture that you absolutely love.

When you do need to clean your teak, be sure to wear protective gear, use gentle detergent, and air dry any fabrics to keep your teak wood furniture and outdoor couch cushions in great condition.

Avoid damaging or scratching your teak by sanding with the grain and it’ll be looking brand new again in no time!