CARE & MAINTENANCE
(Gloster, Kingsley-Bate, Hiteak, Royal Teak)
Teak is widely regarded as the supreme hardwood furniture for many reasons. It will not rot or warp and its natural oils allow it to withstand the effects of the sun, rain, snow or frost as well as making it impervious to insects. Below are the guidelines, which, if followed properly, will allow your furniture to give you a lifetime of carefree sturdy use.
Care & Maintenance
The general public has the misconception that teak furniture needs to be maintained with teak oil. Although this is an option, teak itself contains and maintains a high level of natural oil and as a result, teak is an ideal timber to withstand damage that can be caused by moisture and temperature changes.
When your teak furniture arrives, it may be slightly dusty and have a waxed or polished appearance. Lightly wipe the furniture with a damp cloth to remove any dust that remains from manufacturing. The waxed appearance comes from the natural oil on the surface of the wood and will evaporate after just a few days outdoors. It is this oil, which remains below the surface of the wood, which gives teak its durability.
With new teak, you have two “looks” from which to choose. You may decide to leave the wood alone and let it age naturally or you may prefer to maintain the honey brown colour of the freshly cut teak. Below are the guidelines to help you maintain either look.
Because of the “photo-sensitivity” of teak, its appearance will, after some months left outdoors, turn a beautiful silver-grey colour. This process may take as long as nine months depending on the amount of sunlight and rain exposure. As years pass, the silver-grey surface colour will continue to darken. The end result is furniture that has a timeless look. During this time, slight “checking” may occur on the top edges of the arms and legs. You may even find a few small cracks. This is perfectly natural, as wood expands and contracts slightly when left outdoors. This will stop after a short time and does not affect the stability of the furniture in any way.
“Natural Weathering” teak can be cleaned easily with a soft nylon bristle brush and soapy water to remove garden debris, moss, mildew or other deposits. Using a mild detergent is recommended. Wire based bristle brushes should not be used because the tiny metal fragments can become embedded in the grain of the wood. These metal particles may then rust and leave black spots on the wood.
For stubborn stains, lightly sand the area with fine grade sandpaper. Remember, not too hard as you do not want to create any uneven surfaces! The original teak brown colour will reappear due to the use of the sandpaper, however, it will soon become the same colour as the rest of the furniture.
If you would like to take the cleaning process one step further, a more thorough cleaning can be accomplished using an industry “teak cleaner” or a wood deck cleaner (i.e. Thompson’s Deck Cleaner), which may be found at local hardware stores. NOTE: This will give a slight “whitewash” appearance to the wood until it is back outside. Within a short period of time, the furniture will return to its silver-grey colour.
Should you decide that you would like to return the teak to the original freshly cut “honey brown” colour, this can be accomplished although it requires a fair amount of work. The steps include applying: (1) a teak cleaner; (2) a teak brightener; and, (3) either a premium teak oil or a teak sealer. NOTE: NEVER apply both oil and sealer. All of these products may be found at the store, however, remember to carefully read the instructions that come with each of these products before proceeding to the next step.
As an aside: When lounges and other teak furniture are used in humid enclosures, such as swimming pools, the surface of the teak may eventually feel a little rougher than when purchased. The reason for this is the natural “raising” of the wood grain. A light sanding with fine grit sandpaper will smooth the surface.
Maintaining the “Honey Brown” Look
If you would like to use your teak furniture outside but maintain its fresh cut colour, you will have to wipe the furniture well with a damp cloth to remove any dust that remains from manufacturing before applying a teak sealer. Teak sealers protect against aging caused by exposure to UV rays and water. It is very important that you follow the instructions that are provided with the teak sealer. Generally, you will have to repeat this procedure every season. At anytime should you decide that you would like to allow the teak to naturally weather, just leave the furniture alone to the elements and simply follow the care and maintenance instructions under the “natural weathering” section.
The use of furniture covers when the furniture is not in use over an extended period of time will minimize the necessity for additional cleaning and extend its life.