Spruce up old or grubby teak – Our top tips for cleaning, maintaining and restoring teak furniture

How do I clean teak wood outdoor furniture? 

We suggest cleaning your teak wood outdoor furniture annually, preferably in the spring on a fair, breezy day so that the teak may dry off quickly.

The best way to clean your teak furniture is to scrub it down with a solution of soapy water and a splash of either white vinegar or bleach. You can then hose it down (at a normal water pressure) to remove the soapy solution and any build-up of dirt, grime, bird-droppings and so on. Please do not use a pressure or power washer as these will loosen the joints and strip away teak's natural, protective oils.

You can remove stubborn stains with a light sanding with very fine sandpaper in the direction of the grain. Don’t worry about the lighter patch that will now appear where you sanded, it will gradually even out to the same colour as the rest of the teak.

We also sell Teak Cleaner to help brighten weathered teak and kill off mould and mildew.

You can then treat the wood as you wish (we recommend either our Teak Protector or Teak Patinizer), or even leave the teak untreated at this point.

How to clean and restore old teak furniture? 

To clean and restore your old teak garden furniture, simply use our Teak Cleaner, which is specially designed to kill mould and mildew spores in teak, as well as brighten the wood, restoring it to its former glory.

Before using our Teak Cleaner, cover the ground under your working area. Eye protection and rubber gloves should be worn. Then you should follow these steps:

1. Moisten the furniture with water
2. Shake the Teak Cleaner before use
3. Apply the Teak Cleaner with a soft cloth or sponge
4. Allow to soak for 3 minutes
4. Brush the furniture clean with a scrubbing pad in the direction of the grain
5. Rinse furniture well with water
6. Allow to dry

For prolonged colour, you can then apply our Teak Protector, but ensure your furniture is completely dry beforehand.

Can I pressure wash teak wood furniture? 

We discourage jet, power and pressure washing teak wood garden furniture. Hose pipes at normal water pressure can be used but high pressure water could affect joints, strip away the teak wood’s natural protective oils and cause the teak to age prematurely.

we recommend against pressure washing teak furniture

How do I clean food and drink spillages from teak furniture? 

As teak furniture is naturally absorbent, you should clean as much of the spillage as possible by dabbing the area clean with kitchen towels or an absorbent cloth. Remove as much of the spillage as you can in this way, then allow it to dry thoroughly. A light sanding should then remove what’s left of the spillage.

You can also apply our Teak Sealer Shield if you wish, as this makes it difficult for wine, oil, butter or coffee to seep into teak, and after meals you can simply wipe your teak table with a damp cloth so that no unsightly stains remain.

teak sealer makes it hard for stains to penetrate teak

How to remove oil and grease stains from teak wood furniture? 

1. Firstly, soak up as much of the oil or grease as possible with kitchen paper towels or even cat litter, which can be very effective for this task. It’s very important that you are as thorough at this step as possible, and it is even possible to remove all the oil at this stage.
2. Then clean the teak with a medium-stiff brush and a mild solution of water and washing up liquid.
3. You might then like to consider using our Teak Cleaner, which will help to clean and brighten the wood.
4. When the teak is dry, if any stains remain you should then use a very fine-grade sandpaper to sand the teak in the direction of the grain.
5. At this stage, you can either apply our Teak Protector for that honey-gold colour, or our Teak Patinizer for that silvery look of weathered teak. You can bypass this stage if you wish.
6. Then apply our Teak Sealer Shield, which will form an invisible barrier to protect your teak furniture from future spillages.

our range of teak care products

How to clean rough, weathered teak? 

Although it may look rough and weathered, teak has enough natural teak oil inside to keep it protected from rot. Simply put, rough teak is a cosmetic problem, not a maintenance problem.

If you prefer a completely smooth surface we advise hand-sanding your teak with very fine sandpaper. Power sanding generates extra heat that can create black marks on your teak. After sanding, use a dry, rough cleaning sponge to remove any remaining sawdust. Then you can use our Teak Cleaner to brighten the wood back up, and our Teak Protector to bring back teak’s natural honey-gold colour.

rough, weathered teak

How to remove dark, black spots and mould from teak garden furniture? 

Black spots are typically caused by humidity in the wood that is developing into mould or mildew. This can be remedied by cleaning the dark spots with our Teak Cleaner. To prevent this from happening again, use Teak Protector after the cleaning step. Do not oil your teak garden furniture as this can encourage mould growth.

How to bleach teak? 

If you’re looking to remove black spots, mould and mildew stains and watermarks from your teak, you could try bleaching it. To bleach teak, make a solution of warm water and washing-up liquid. Add a small amount of liquid bleach to the mixture – about 1 part bleach to 9 parts soapy solution. Then clean your teak with this solution and a scrubbing brush or scouring pad. Ensure that you thoroughly rinse the teak with clean water afterwards.

You can use white vinegar instead of bleach if you prefer. Simply follow the above advice but replace bleach with vinegar.


We hope you found this article helpful. If you’d like to know more about our teak garden furniture, please see our other FAQ pages or contact us by phone or email and we’ll do our best to help.

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