Teak chairs are popular choices for both indoor and outdoor furniture, primarily because of the durability, strength, ant- and rot-resistance and smooth texture of teak wood. Such pieces can be fitted into most decorative themes and add character to a space. These qualities make teak furniture relatively expensive, which is why it's important to ensure you take proper care of them. Read on to find out how to do this throughout the life of your furniture.
1. Oiled versus fine-sanded teak maintenance
Fine-sanded teak comes with the natural wood texture i.e. without any staining or oiling. Such chairs will be yellow-brown when new, growing to darker shades of brown with time if indoors or silver-grey if outdoors and in direct sunlight. Such furniture has no unique maintenance needs, as teak is naturally resistant to damage from the elements. Simply sand lightly to remove stubborn stains whenever they occur.
In particularly humid climates, the natural oils can cause mould and mildew growth. You can remove these by scrubbing with household cleaner to which bleach has been added. Specialised mould/mildew-removers can also be used if available. Rinse properly to remove all chemicals after cleaning.
Teak chairs can also be oiled using special teak oil, which gives the furniture a light sheen and a darker colour than untreated teak. As teak is a naturally oily wood when mature, oiling doesn't improve the lifespan of your teak furniture, it simply makes the surface harder to stain, easier to clean and less prone to aging on exposure to ultra-violet rays.
Oiled chairs will require re-oiling periodically to maintain their appearance. This involves cleaning the surface of the wood by sanding lightly to remove stains and dirt. Using a clean paint brush, apply oil from up working downwards, taking care not to leave behind too much oil. Once the oil begins to dry, using a clean dry cotton rag to wipe down any surplus oil and then allow the oil to dry completely. Once dry, you may buff the surface with another dry rag.
2. Cleaning teak chairs
Teak furniture can be cleaned with warm water with non-abrasive soap and a soft bristle-brush. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry completely in the sun. You may also invest in specialised cleaners meant for teak material.
Do not clean with steel wool, steel-wire brushes, hard-bristle brushes or high-pressure hoses as this will spoil the texture and grain of your furniture. In addition, residues from steel wool/wire will rust and discolour your wood.
Heavily ingrained stains can be removed by sanding lightly using fine sandpaper, taking care to work along the grain. If your furniture was oiled, you will need to re-oil after sanding.