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How to Treat Teak Wood

teak wood sailboat

Teak has been used in boats for over 2,000 years, so
it stands to reason there’s a good deal of information regarding this tropical hardwood, including how to clean it, maintain it, and keep it shining
for years on end.

So why does teak still
seem so complicated to clean and protect?

Well, just because
we’ve been using teak for thousands of years doesn’t mean you’ve had the time to sit down to read a proper guide. And while
teak is strong and durable, it’s not a kitchen counter you can simply wipe down
with a paper towel, either. But don’t fret: teak care is a breeze once you know
the basic process and gain access to the right materials. In this article,
we’ll share both.

Step One: Clean

Cleaning teak isn’t
complicated—as long as you use the right ingredients. Don’t use cleaners with caustic chemicals. Teak is strong, but it’s
not so strong that it can’t dissolve in an abundance of the wrong chemicals.

Instead, use a
dedicated cleaner that’s designed to go easy on teak while cleaning it
thoroughly. At BoatLife, we provide two types of cleaner:

Choose either
one—whichever fits your fancy. From there, you’ll want to apply using a stiff
brush on all of your teak, and then leave it on for a few minutes just to make
sure that the cleaner can work its magic. Then rinse thoroughly, using the
brush to expose as much teak back to the air as possible. The rinsing will be
key, because you’ve got to clear out all of the debris to expose maximum
surface area to prepare your teak for oiling.

Step Two: Oil

Cleaning is the first
step: next, we work to maintain and beautify the teak itself. Once the wood is
thoroughly rinsed and dried, it’s time to apply oil or brightener that will
bring out a deep, natural color to the teak while adding an extra layer of

Use a paint brush to
apply your oil, and then wipe up the excess. You don’t want a whole lot of oil
left over, as it can stain—especially if it drips to other areas of the boat
where you don’t want the oil making
an appearance. And don’t just settle for one coat, either—it’s almost like
painting a wall. You’re going to want a singular, solid application to your
wood to bring out its best colors and ensure the protection it deserves.

Optional Step: Simplify

If these steps make
sense to you but you’re still not sure which purchases to choose from, you can
always make the teak cleaning and maintenance process simpler by acquiring the Teak Brite®
Maintenance Kit
This contains the Kreme cleaner, brightener, and oil you’ll need along the way,
as well as a stainless steel brush to aid in the process. It’s a valuable
shortcut that will make teak maintenance seem as easy as wiping down those kitchen

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