Teak is a dense, close-grained hardwood that is more durable and low-maintenance than many other types used to construct furniture. Teak is suitable for indoor or outdoor furniture and is often used as dining furniture. While it is not difficult to care for teak furniture, you must do some maintenance to keep it looking the way you wish it to look.
As with any dining room furniture, your teak will have to be cleaned regularly. Mold and mildew can build up on the surface and can damage the wood, as can the usual dirt that comes with regular use. To clean surface soil, simply use a sponge, water and a mild soap.
For removing any surface build-up you must go a step further. According to TeakCleaning.net, cleaning should be done with a cleaning solution specifically designed for teak wood. It should be available in places that sell teak or from department stores. Use a one-part formula (not two-part acid cleaners) and a bristle brush to gently scrub the surface of the table and chairs for about 10 minutes. You will also want to buy some bronze wool. Then rinse the table with clean water and wipe the bronze wool across the grain of the wood to remove any cleaning solution that is left behind. This thorough cleaning will not have to be done very often for indoor dining furniture, but should be done when you begin to notice the table top looking dull or discoloured.
The use of teak oil is standard maintenance for those who wish to keep their teak furniture the beautiful golden-brown colour it is when it is first purchased. Teak oil is usually applied about once every three months to the surface of the furniture to maintain the smooth brown finish. The application of teak oil also accompanies sanding. Using light sandpaper, the furniture must be sanded smooth and rubbed down with the oil. Teak oil does not prolong the life of the wood or damage it, according to ClassicTeak.com.
Some people choose to leave their teak furniture untreated. Over time teak will naturally turn to a silver-grey colour that is distinguished and indicates finely-aged teak furniture. This is common for outdoor teak. The furniture must be maintained with cleaners eventually or the silver shade will begin to turn dark and sometimes green.
Staining is an option if you choose to keep your teak furniture a specific colour without the maintenance of oiling or ageing. Just remember that stain is designed to be permanent and you will not likely get back the natural colour once you do it. If you later decide to strip permanent stain from teak, it will require extensive sanding.
If your furniture has already turned silver-grey and you wish to stain it, you must sand it first before applying the stain.