Teak is an exotic, luxurious wood that looks great just about anywhere, but its beauty often leaves people thinking it must be hard to maintain. After all, the nicest things are always the first to break, right?
Maybe that’s true in a Murphy’s Law kind of way, but teak doesn't play by those rules and that’s why everyone loves it. That’s right – hard maintenance is a myth when it comes to teak.
Teak has a lot going for it right out of the box, so to speak. Natural oils make it impervious to bugs and water, and its density makes it very strong. African teak in particular is some pretty rowdy wood.
As tough as it is, it can still stain, especially with the kind of stuff that stains everything else it touches, like coffee, juice and wine. Clean these spills immediately with soapy water for best results.
If the stain persists, sand it lightly. The more stubborn the stain, the harder you may have to sand.
Also, teak will grow mold on it if you don’t clean it. Again, soap and water will do the trick, followed by a pat down with a towel. (Leaving it in the sun is also helpful.)
Unfinished teak starts its journey the color of golden honey, but will take on a soft gray patina over time. Some people don’t want the patina, and so they’ll choose finished teak, or treat their unfinished teak.
“Teak oil” is not oil made for teak, and unfinished teak doesn’t need to be oiled unless you want to preserve that honey color. But, if you do, you should use a teak sealer rather than teak oil. And, keep in mind you’ll have to treat it frequently if you want that color to last.
But, if you really want to let the teak magic loose, you can just leave it be. It will turn gray, but that’s not a bad thing, and it doesn’t impact the wood’s strength.
It’s an easy way to let your teak grow old gracefully, and it will be all the more lovely for it.