Best Practices for Cleaning Teak Furniture at Your Vacation Rental

April 24, 2023

Due to its durability, lightweight, and attractive natural appearance, teak is among the most popular wood types used to build indoor and outdoor furniture. However, like all wood furniture, teak can deteriorate over time and requires periodic cleaning to keep it in good condition. This is especially true for teak furniture placed on patios or pool areas outdoors, where the elements can accelerate damage to the wood or even contribute to mold growth.

If you have teak furnishings at one or more of your vacation rentals, read on to learn everything you need to know about cleaning teak furniture and protecting its appearance all year round.

How To Clean and Maintain Your Teak Furniture

Cleaning and preserving teak furniture is fairly easy but requires consistent work. While knowing the best practices for cleaning and restoring teak furniture is essential, it’s also critical to be aware of certain chemicals or cleaning practices that can harm the wood.

Here is some important information to consider for preserving the natural golden color of your teak furniture and keeping it clean.

Keep Out of Direct Sunlight and Apply UV Inhibitors

Given time, UV rays will cause the natural smooth finish of teak furniture to fade, eventually giving the wood a drab, gray appearance. Keep teak wood outdoor furniture beneath shaded areas like awnings or umbrellas to slow this process.

You can also improve the resilience of teak wood against sunlight by applying UV inhibitors to the furniture. Teak wood UV inhibitors or sealers should only be applied to the furniture when it’s dry, and you should always follow the manufacturer's directions. In most cases, adding a layer of a protective UV inhibitor to teak wood once a year is enough to keep it looking like new.

Know Which Cleaning Products To Use and Which To Avoid

While many teak cleaning products made specifically for teak wood are available, it’s best to avoid harsh chemicals or oil-based products whenever possible. Harsh chemicals like bleach can damage the wood, and using this chemical when cleaning teak garden furniture can kill nearby plant life. Meanwhile, teak oil tends to only work for a few weeks before it begins to fade, and using teak oil on outdoor furniture can lead to increased mold or mildew growth.

Use a Soft Cloth To Dust Off the Furniture

Having dusty furniture at your vacation rental is never a good look. Make it a habit to occasionally clean off any dust from your teak furniture using a soft, damp cloth. This is especially important before applying any type of sealant to the wood. Avoid using coarse scrub pads or steel wool when cleaning teak furniture, as this can degrade the wood's natural color and damage any existing coating or sealant.

Use a Soft Bristle Brush and Clean Water To Clean the Natural Wood

A simple combination of warm water and mild soap is often enough to clean teak furniture. Using a soft brush, clean both the exposed and underside of your teak furniture with soapy water, rinsing thoroughly before allowing the wood to dry.

Consider adding a little laundry detergent to warm water for more stubborn stains or to kill mold. Avoid pressure washing when cleaning teak outdoor furniture, as this can create pits or indentations in the wood’s surface, giving it an uneven appearance. This rough surface can make sanding and sealing the furniture more difficult.

Make Cleaning Your Teak Pieces Part of Your Regular Cleaning Schedule

For best results, incorporate teak furniture cleaning into your maintenance routine at your vacation rental. Making it a point to dust, wash, and seal your teak furnishings from time to time will improve your tenants' vacation experience and save you money in the long run because you won't need to buy new furniture as often.

And don’t forget to apply Airbnb cleaning fees to your rental costs to help offset labor expenses and the costs of teak cleaning products or sealers.

Ensure Indoor Teak Furniture Is Free of Mold

While caring for outdoor teak furniture should take priority, it’s equally important to add cleaning teak indoor furniture to your rental property cleaning checklist, especially if there’s a pool or Jacuzzi on the property. After taking a dip, some tenants may not be fully dry when sitting down inside, potentially leading to mold growth on the wood over time.

Use a simple household product like white vinegar or a heavily diluted bleach solution to remove mold from teak furniture.

Use a Cloth or Mat as Protection for Teak Tables

It’s a good idea to consider placing a cloth or protective mat over the surface of teak tables to prevent damage from sunlight, moisture, or spills. Doing this will help to preserve the wood's smooth finish for longer and save you cleaning and sealing time later.

For teak tables outdoors, use a mat made from a waterproof material like plastic or rubber. Protective mats beneath teak tables can also help prevent scuffing and scratching on your deck or wood flooring.

Make Your Cleaning Routines Easier Than Ever

With the Tidy App, it’s easy to keep up with all your vacation rental cleaning tasks in a single, easy-to-manage platform. Quickly and easily book professional cleaning services or automate your books by integrating the Tidy App into your Airbnb account.

The Tidy App also makes it simple to manage cleaning employees or vendors. Create comprehensive to-do lists for yourself or your staff, and contact the Tidy App concierge for immediate in-app support in seconds if you have any questions or concerns.

When you’re ready to discover how the Tidy App can make vacation rental cleaning more efficient and streamlined, sign up today to get started.

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