Your teak garden furniture is one of the best investments you'll ever make because of how long this type of furniture can last if looked after properly. If you're going to spend this much money on your furniture, you might as well go all the way and take care of it, so it can last for years to come. Teak furniture is used extensively both indoors and outdoors, and the outdoor variations are the ones that will require a little more care and maintenance because of the exposure to the elements.
Teak is one of those unique furniture pieces that will continue to produce its own natural oils. This means special care is needed for your teak furniture to avoid too much water or moisture from sinking into it and rotting the wood. A piece of furniture is only as long-lasting as the care that's given to it. If you look after your furniture well, it's going to last you a few solid years. While teak contains natural oils and a natural resin-like that acts as a natural repellent for termites and insects, that doesn't mean it can still survive without being looked after every now and then. You don't have to maintain it as frequently as you would with other furniture material options, but you can't neglect it altogether.
The 5 Steps to Caring for Your Teak Furniture
Your outdoor teak furniture is most likely going to consist of a teak garden bench or two, teak tables, and chairs. While teak furniture is sturdy and durable enough to require the occasional care every now and then, ensuring that they are cared for with the right technique will go a long way in helping the furniture maintain its durable nature. Here are some easy ways to care for your outdoor teak furniture and keep it in tip-top shape:
- Give it a quick brush down using a stiff bristle brush - Teak is made of natural material, and since it's going to be living outdoors, it will be prone to gathering dirt, leaves, and cobwebs on the surface and in between the crevices of the furniture. A quick and easy way to get rid of the surface dirt would be to give your benches, tables, and chairs a quick brush-down using a stiff bristle brush. When doing this, always brush with your timber's natural grain instead of going against it. If you follow the latter, you could risk scratching the surface.
- Clean with a proper cleaner - When cleaning your teak furniture, it's best to use either a teak cleaner or, if you want to go the more natural route, a homemade solution of just warm water and vinegar is okay. The measurements should be one cup of vinegar to four liters of water for best results. What you're going to do is to dampen the surface of your furniture using a cloth, and then evenly wash the surface with your homemade solution. Once you've gone over the entire surface with your cloth, let the vinegar and water solution sit for at least 15 minutes, and then clean it off with a sponge. Once again, you want to follow the grain of the timber when you do this. After that's done, rinse your furniture with a hose, and then let it air-dry naturally.
- Remove stains with a dash of bleach - This technique works best if you have a stain or two on your furniture that you'd like to remove. Although with natural timber, the stains tend to soften with time, if you prefer your furniture in peak condition, cleaning with a dash of bleach might do the trick. You'll want to add just a dash of it to the cleaning fluid, and then scrub the stand with a stiff bristle brush or plastic brush. Always follow the natural grain of the timber when you do this. For those really stubborn stains that refuse to budge, a quick trick that might work would be to use fine sandpaper and gently sand over the affected area. Oh, and one more quick tip to remember is to avoid using metal scrubbing brushes or pads since this could scratch the natural surface of the timber and do more harm than good.
- Applying teak sealer - A teak sealer is best applied once your teak has been cleaned, and you can use it on both new or old furniture. Apply the teak sealer once a year to make your job for the rest of the year easy. All you need to do is to wash it down with water and a soap that's pH neutral when your furniture has already been coated with the sealer. Once a year is all it takes to leave you set for the rest of the year. See how easy it is to look after your teak furniture? A sealer is different from varnish because sealers are breathable. This will allow the teak's natural oils to flow freely, without peeling or causing varnish in the bubbles. It's highly recommended that you consider applying a sealer and teak protector to keep your furniture safe from possible food and wine spills, especially if you have kids at home.
- Investing in a patio cover - One of the best ways to ensure maximum protection for your outdoor furniture would be to invest in a good teak patio cover. Even with all the care and maintenance you give it, your furniture is still going to be susceptible to things like moisture during the colder seasons, bird droppings, harsh UV rays, and anything else that might happen when it's left outdoors. That's the thing about the outdoors. You can never predict what will happen, and your furniture will stand its best chance of surviving for even longer if it has a good patio cover keeping it safe. A patio cover is strong and sturdy enough to withstand any weather, and more importantly, it comes in a variety of sizes to ensure you get the adequate coverage you need.