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How to Care for Teak

How to Care for Teak

For beautiful teak, BoatLIFE’s Teak BriteĀ® teak care system is unmatched in appearance and durability. It is a safe cleaning and preserving system that is not harmful to teak wood or seam compounds of polysulfide or Teak Deck Sealant. Recently, there has been a trend toward using the quick and easy two-part liquid cleaning system. Be warned that these liquids do irreparable damage to the teak they clean. These systems are a combination of caustic and acid chemicals, which literally rip out the soft grain of the teak, rendering it rippled and rigid. Furthermore, it will damage the seam compounds that are prevalent in teak decks. The BoatLIFE Teak Brite system is gentle but effective. If you want to maintain your teak and not ruin it, follow our system as follows:

1. Cleaning:

BoatLIFE offers two safe, effective cleaners that will not harm polysulfide, Teak Deck Sealant and other seam compounds, fiberglass, plastics, or vinyl. They are Teak Brite Powder Cleaner and Teak Brite Kreme Cleaner. Teak Brite Powder Cleaner is a heavy duty cleaner in powdered form. It is ideal for restoring badly stained teak decks without sanding.

Decks can be cleaned beautifully by sprinkling gentle Teak Brite Powder Cleaner on thoroughly wet deck surfaces and scrubbing with a soft brush or BoatLIFE’s Life Scrub-All until the desired color is restored. (Scrub with the grain, not across it.) Then, a thorough rinsing is all that is needed to reveal a clean deck.

Teak Brite Kreme Cleaner is a first class cleaner for all teak and hardwood surfaces. It is ideal for inside work, smaller areas around windows, and even overhead. It is not just a surface cleaning agent; it penetrates deeply into teak for a longer-lasting, thorough cleaning job. By forcing Teak Brite Kreme Cleaner into the grain of the teak you permit the cleaning agents to lift out stains, dirt, grease, and grime. Apply Teak Brite Kreme Cleaner to a wet surface with a soft brush or a BoatLIFE Scrub-All (with the grain) and let it stand for 10 minutes. Then wipe up with a wet rag to complete the cleaning process.

Teak, after it has just been cleaned, looks beautiful especially since it takes on a golden color. There are many varieties of teaks from different parts of the world. Some are light grained and almost reddish in color; while others are wide grained and golden. But once cleaned, all teak has had its natural oils removed. If left unattended, it will return very rapidly to its oxidized, grayish look, and more importantly, it will soil easily. Therefore, the teak should be sealed with teak oil.

2. Brightening:

In between the cleaning and sealing of teak, a middle step is useful. Some boat owners use the Brightener after the cleaner and before applying teak oil, because Teak Brite Brightener bleaches teak up to a lighter shade and will remove any residue left in the grain from the cleaning process. This step in the sequence of teak care is optional, depending on the owner’s preference. Mid season, if you care to spruce up your teak, apply Teak Brite Brightener. It will clean up dirt and grime and give your teak a sparkling appearance and will not attack seam or bedding compounds. Just finish with a light coat of Teak Brite Sealer.

3. Oiling/Sealing:

This is the final step in complete teak care. BoatLIFE’s Teak Brite Teak Oil Sealer is applied to the cleaned surfaces to protect the teak against dirt and stains. It sinks deep into the wood. Teak Brite Teak Oil Sealer also restores the natural oils so vital to the life of the timber, especially after extensive exposure to the elements and cleaning. If left unattended, the wood will return very rapidly to its oxidized gray look and will soil more easily.

Teak oil must be applied carefully. When properly applied, it is not noticeable – except to the extent that it has enhanced the color of the teak. Use too much and you will notice a varnished effect from too much build up. Once the wood is saturated, continued application just builds up on the previous coat. Finally, it is no longer a sealer, but rather a “painted” surface. How often have you seen a beautiful teak deck that is a spotted golden? The spottiness is caused by the application of too much teak oil, too often and with too heavy a coating. Then, uneven weathering occurs with the sun and spray wearing down the oil in different areas at different times.

BoatLIFE offers two teak oils to serve the preference of most boat owners. Teak Brite Teak Oil Sealer- Natural Color (clear) is available for those who prefer a lighter tone of teak. Teak Brite Teak Oil Sealer-Golden Color provides teak with a mellowed golden look. Now that you’ve cleaned your deck, allow sufficient time for the teak to dry thoroughly. Ideally, on a dry sunny day 24 hours drying time will give the best results. Teak Brite Teak Oil Sealer should be applied with a soft cloth, toweling or sponge brush and spread over the entire surface. The excess should be wiped off to eliminate puddling. After the oil has been absorbed into the wood, a second application should be made. But avoid using too much. During the season, it may be lost by the drying effects of a hot summer.

Regardless of the number of times it is applied, Teak Brite Teak Oil Sealer will not harm polysulfides, Teak Deck Sealant or other seam compounds, plastic, vinyl, fiberglass or fittings. However, any overflow or spattering of the oil to adjacent materials should be removed at once as it will cause staining if allowed to set. If your boat has teak trim only and just a small amount of cleaner and oil is required, the BoatLIFE Teak Brite Teak Maintenance Kit will provide enough of each to maintain the teak for one season.

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