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How to Clean Teak Wood with this Simple and Effective DIY Cleaner

Teak wood is an excellent choice when it comes to wood furniture, as it’s long-lasting and durable, which means that it’s fairly low maintenance. It’s specifically resistant to mold and doesn’t rot, which is why it’s a top pick for outdoor furniture. Aside from coming in contact with outdoor elements (wind, rain, snow, etc.), teak wood is also a good choice for indoor furniture, especially shower chairs, stools, and benches. They’re sturdy, and just like outdoor teak furniture, teak shower accessories won’t get moldy or break down. Even though teak wood doesn’t rot, it can still fade and get discolored, however, that can be avoided with proper teak wood furniture care.


One of the best ways to keep your teak wood looking like new is to clean it a few times a year, especially when you start to see a fair amount of water stains, mildew, and soap scum (you’ll only see soap scum if you have a teak wood shower bench). If you want to know how to clean teak wood furniture without breaking the bank or taking up most of your day, you’ve come to right place!


Here’s how to clean a teak wood shower chair or bench in three easy steps:


Step 1: Gather your Supplies

You’ll need:

  • ¼ cup of Vinegar
  • ¼ cup of Tap Water
  • 1 tsp of Dawn Dish Soap
  • A small spray bottle
  • A soft-bristle brush


If you know how to make homemade items that clean or deodorize (such as DIY silk plant cleaner or a DIY reed diffuser, this will be just as easy, if not easier! Instead of spending money on expensive teak furniture cleaner products that have lots of chemicals, you can make your own cleaner for about 1 percent of what a regular cleaner would cost. Since you’ll only be using a tiny amount of vinegar, Dawn soap, and tap water, this cleaner will literally cost about 10 cents to make, and only takes about 60 seconds of your time. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!


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Since most of us have vinegar, Dawn, and a spray bottle in our homes, you’ll be good to go if you have a soft-bristle brush. If you don’t have one on hand, you can find one at your local superstore for $5 or $6, which will still make the grand total for all of these items less than what you would pay for a premade teak wood cleaner.


Step 2: Make the Cleaning Solution

Making your own DIY teak wood cleaner is literally so simple and takes about 1 minute, so this part should be fun and easy! Grab your empty spray bottle and pour in 1-part tap water and 1-part vinegar. Since a little goes along way, I put in ¼ cup of water and ¼ cup of vinegar. However, if you’re cleaning a larger piece of outdoor furniture, you can obviously increase the measurements to suit the scale of your project.


After pouring in the vinegar and water, add 1 tsp of Dawn, and shake it up. That’s it! Now it’s time to move onto the part that involves a small amount of elbow grease.


Step 3: Apply the Cleaner and Start Scrubbing

If you’re cleaning a teak wood shower bench like this, you can directly spray it in its normal location since this cleaning solution won’t harm the shower tiles in any way. Grab your spray bottle and spray the bench all over until it’s thoroughly covered in the cleaning solution. (If you are using this to clean outdoor teak wood furniture, you would follow the same steps, ensuring that you thoroughly spray the entire piece of furniture.) Allow the cleaning solution to sit for about 5 minutes before moving onto the scrubbing portion.


This bench is heavily soiled with soap scum and mildew, but already looks a lot better after the cleaning solution has been on for only a couple of minutes! Next, grab your soft-bristle brush, and gently scrub each area until you see the water stains, mildew, and soap scum disappear. It’s important to emphasize that you should not use a hard-bristle brush, as it will strip away the varnish on the surface of your teak wood furniture. If you can’t find a soft-bristle scrub brush, you can use a bottle cleaner brush like this one (a brush specifically designed to clean the inside of water bottles and thermoses that aren’t able to be put into the dishwasher).


Using a small brush with a handle is ideal for this small bench, but if you plan on cleaning a set of teak wood deck chairs and a table, it’s probably best to order a larger soft-bristle scrub brush ahead of time so that you can cover larger surface areas at a time. Once you’ve scrubbed the entire surface area, rinse the bench with clean water and allow to dry.


Look at the difference in the before and after! With a non-toxic, DIY cleaner, and a little bit of gentle scrubbing, this teak wood shower bench has been transformed and looks brand new. Who knew that effective teak wood maintenance could be so simple?


Never underestimate the power of a few common household items, a soft-bristle brush, and a little bit of scrubbing power! Have you tried this solution on your indoor or outdoor teak wood furniture? Show us your before-and-after pictures in the comments below!


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