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Indonesian teak is wood of very high quality, and must be cared for suitably. Cleaning wooden furniture might sound easy, but it is necessary to keep in mind that teak is not just any wood. Teak is a special small-grained wood, that is naturally resistant to decay and attack by termites. It has a characteristic color that distinguishes it from all other types of wood. Not only does it offer great durability and strength, but also makes excellent material for the manufacture of elegant and grand furniture.
Cleaning teak furniture requires patience and the correct technical knowledge of the right cleaning agents and preservatives. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1) Use sandpaper of fine grain to rub off the uppermost layers of your teak furniture. If your furniture has changed color from it’s natural golden-brown to a silvery-gray, then rubbing with sandpaper is sure to restore it to it’s original look.
2) After sanding, it is a good idea to coat your teak wood with UV-protect. Some UV-protect substances available in the market also double as varnish and leave your furniture with a glossy finish. Application of teak oil is also recommended. Teak oil protects the wood from the effects of the elements and helps it retain its color.
3) Teak wood can be washed with warm water and mild soap to remove the uppermost layers of oxide that form on the wood. It is not necessary to oil metallic screws in your furniture as teak does not corrode metals that are in contact with it.
4) A good cleaning solution is a mixture of mild bleach and detergent in water, taken in the ratio 25:75. The wood can be scrubbed with this mixture using a soft-bristled brush, or even an old toothbrush. Once you have finished cleaning your furniture with this solution, wash the wood thoroughly, ensuring that none of the cleaning solution or residue is left on the wood.
5) After washing, allow the wood to dry completely for 12-24 hours. The drying period is the most important period. If not allowed to dry properly, the life of your furniture will come down considerably. Though the wood is resistant to decay due to moisture, the cleaning process removes many of the protective natural oils in the wood, making it more susceptible to damage while wet.