How to Clean and Restore Teak Outdoor Furniture So It Lasts

Take your teak furniture to the beauty salon by restoring it the right way.

Published April 17, 2023
Woman outside sanding and staining outdoor furniture

Teak furniture is like your children. One day you wake up, and suddenly they look entirely different than you remember. Outdoor teak furniture fades over time, and on top of keeping it clean in the vicious elements, there'll also come a time when you have to restore it back to its original glory. Learn how to restore your outdoor teak furniture to extend its long, service-oriented life.

Ways to Clean Your Outdoor Teak Furniture

Inevitably, your teak furniture is going to get dirty if it's sitting outside exposed to the elements. Don't just wait for a storm to come through to wash off your chairs and tables. Instead, clean it every few weeks to keep it in fighting shape.


  • Bucket
  • Mild soap
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Foam brush


  1. Mix a tablespoon or two of mild soap into a bucket of water.
  2. Wet your furniture.
  3. Using a sponge, work the sudsy mixture across the entire furniture, wiping away grime and dirt.
  4. Use a foam brush to get into between the slats on any parts of the furniture.
  5. Rinse off with fresh water.
  6. If it's still dirty, repeat the process.
Helpful Hack

A stronger cleaning solution alternative is Nilsen Landscape Design's recipe. Just combine 1 gallon of warm water, ⅔ cup of laundry detergent, and ¼ cup of bleach.

Senior woman scrubbing outdoor teak furniture

How to Restore Your Teak Furniture for a Fresh Look

Teak is a perfect wood for outdoor furniture because it withstands practically any weather conditions. Yet, every hero has their weakness, and teak's is that its natural oils dry up under prolonged UV ray exposure, fading the natural color to a drab, ashy tone. Thankfully, this doesn't have to be permanent, so long as you restore your teak furniture properly.


  • Water
  • Mild soap
  • Sponge
  • Clean cloth
  • Gloves
  • Teak sealer
  • Fine grit sandpaper (if needed)


  1. Clean the outdoor furniture before attempting to restore it using a soapy water mix and a sponge.
  2. Sand down the entire piece in the direction of the grain to remove the top layer of worn wood.
  3. Rinse off any excess shavings.
  4. Leave to dry. It's super important that your teak is 100% dry before you go to the next step.
  5. Wearing gloves, apply a teak sealer using a clean cloth. Rub the sealer in and let it sit for an hour.
  6. For seriously faded pieces, reapply more sealer to both protect and bring out the color, and let dry.
    Man sanding and restoring teak furniture

Avoid Using Teak Oil Instead of Teak Sealer

If you ask someone at the hardware store the best way to restore your teak patio sets, you'll probably get directed to the teak oils. Although it's a popular choice, it's not the best one. Packaged teak oil isn't a true teak oil substitute; it's not the 100% pure teak oil that comes from the trees. And since the oil penetrates the wood itself, it can lead to mildew and internal degradation.

Instead, you should use a teak sealant because the sealers don't penetrate the wood. Rather, they sit on top of it and form a protective layer.

Tips for Keeping Your Outdoor Teak Furniture Bright

Of course, the best way to restore your teak furniture is prolonging how often you have to by preventing damage. Here are some tips that'll help you keep your outdoor teak furniture looking bright and feeling strong.

  • When you're not using it, store your teak furniture out of direct sunlight. The harsh UV rays will fade it much quicker than when it's stored elsewhere.
  • Use furniture covers on your pieces if they're going to be stored outdoors.
  • Restore your teak on a yearly basis. If you keep the process up, you won't have to work so hard to bring it back to life.
  • Don't use a varnish instead of a sealer because it won't last, and it'll end up peeling away.

Treat Your Teak to a Little TLC

Good quality furniture requires some maintenance, and teak furniture is no exception. Although it's naturally weather resistant and hearty, the wood does fade in the sun. Thankfully, it's not something you have to hire someone to fix. Instead, you can restore your outdoor teak furniture yourself with a few simple steps.

How to Clean and Restore Teak Outdoor Furniture So It Lasts