Teak oil will help prevent stains from seeping into the wood and will slow down the graying effect caused by exposure to sunlight. There are products on the market that will slow down the bleaching effect of the sun. Some people prefer the weathered look; therefore, oiling is not required. They buy teak and let nature take its course.
If cleaning is required, use a soft bristle brush and mild soapy water. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. There are also commercial cleaners available. Do not use pressure washers, wire brushes or steel wool. Fine steel or wire pieces can get embedded in the wood and start to rust, causing permanent discoloration.
For stubborn stains or to restore the natural color of teak, use very fine sandpaper and work in the direction of the grain. You can either re-oil the furniture or leave the finish natural where it will acquire the silver gray patina from the sun. Some stains will fade with exposure to sunlight.
To apply teak oil, be sure the furniture is clean and dry. Apply the oil with a paint brush and start at the top of the piece and work downwards. The wood surface should look wet but avoid leaving surplus oil. When the oil is tacky (5 to 10 minutes depending on the air temperature), wipe with a cloth.
If a second coat is desired, apply one hour later. After the oiling process is complete, buff the furniture with a clean dry cloth. Do not apply teak oil over accumulated oil or dirt because it will eventually blacken the wood.
Storage of Teak Wood Furniture
If you live in a climate with severe winters, you may consider storing teak furniture indoors during the off season. Perhaps choosing a style with folding table and chairs may be the best bet for saving space. If this is not possible, consider buying covers. Manufacturers claim that teak can withstand all weather conditions so it's a matter of personal choice.
Genuine teak is resilient and can be restored to its original beauty or allowed to age gracefully. Although it's not the cheapest furniture to buy, it will last a very long time. That's why your investment in premium teak furniture will be worth it.