How to remove stains from teak

Written by will charpentier
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Teak brightwork--the unpainted teak woodwork on a boat--makes a gorgeous accent or even an attractive deck on the right boat, but untreated teak stains easily. When a guest spills a drink on your untreated teak deck or other untreated teak, like the chart table, the wood's silver-grey patina will absorb the liquid, and a stain will result. Removing these stains involves a bit of elbow grease, some materials that you may already have around the house and a bit of teak oil to restore the finish and protect the wood.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Bleach
  • Paint brush
  • Clean rags
  • Plastic scrubbing pads
  • Water
  • Teak oil

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  1. 1

    Apply bleach to the stained teak with a paint brush or clean rag. At least one bleach manufacturer produces a "thickened" bleach that will lay on the surface rather than running off.

  2. 2

    Scrub the bleach into the stain with a rag or a plastic scrubbing pad. The stain should begin to disappear as soon as the bleach makes contact.

  3. 3

    After the stain has been scrubbe,d out, rinse the teak with water. Don't soak the teak; use only enough water (Soak a rag in clean water and wipe the teak down; if you can't, put running water on it because of its location.) to remove the bleach from the wood. Allow the teak to air dry completely.

  4. 4

    Apply teak oil to the wood's surface. You can't add "too much" teak oil on the wood because it can only absorb a certain amount. Allow the teak oil to dry, and wipe any excess off with a clean, dry rag.

Tips and warnings

  • It'll cost you that silver patina, but treating your teak with teak oil or varnishing it with a natural varnish or a polyurethane varnish will prevent spills from becoming a problem.
  • Teak oil is a drying oil. As it drys on a rag, the drying process generates enough heat to cause a fire. When you're done with rags or paint brushes or whatever tool you use to apply the teak oil, dispose of rags in a metal waste container with a top to prevent a fire from "spontaneous combustion."

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