Dense and durable, teak is one of the most popular woods for outdoor furniture. Keeping teak outdoor furniture looking great is simple, but there are a few basic things you'll need to know to keep it in the best condition.

Routine cleaning

Teak doesn't need much care to keep it looking great, which is one of its advantages as a material for furniture. Scrub the wood along the pattern of the grain to remove dust; use a firm brush but not a metal one, which may scratch the wood. You can either use a special teak cleaning solution or just soapy water; once you've applied your cleaner to the whole surface, rinse it with water. Don't clean your furniture on a cold or damp day; you want warm sunlight to dry the teak quickly, as long-term exposure to moisture can lead to fungal growth. Pat the furniture with a towel first if you want to speed up drying.


Over time, the natural oils in the outer layer of teak wood will dry out, giving the wood a characteristic silvery grey colour. Although the change in colour is dramatic, it isn't harmful at all, and many teak furniture owners simply allow their furniture to lose its original honey colour. The resulting soft grey isn't unpleasant, but if you want to preserve or restore the wood's original colour, you can treat the wood to protect it. Be warned, though; if you don't want grey teak, you should protect your furniture early rather than waiting until it changes colour.

Teak oil and teak sealer

Unfortunately, it's easy to choose the wrong product to treat your furniture. You'd think that teak oil would be the right treatment for teak that's losing its oil -- that's certainly what the name would seem to imply! -- but the reality is that it's probably not your best bet. Brushing a layer of teak oil onto your furniture will temporarily restore its colour, but it does nothing to stop the drying process. As a result, the oil you've applied will quickly dry out, just as the natural oil dried out. You'll have to reapply it frequently -- and worse, the moisture content of this oil can actually encourage the growth of mildew. Instead, brush on a layer of teak sealer to preserve the wood's oil when you first put it outside. You'll only have to reapply the sealer about once a year.