How to take care of your teak deck?

Teak is a tough material, but it must be treated gently. Teak should not be cleaned with the overly aggressive two-part acid type teak cleaners. While two-part cleaners do clean the teak, they also tend to eat away the light-colored soft grain of the wood, leaving the darker colored grain and overall surface with a rough, washboard effect.

Teak is literally dissolved by strong cleaners, so always use the mildest cleaner that does the job. Another method often used to clean a teak deck is pressure washing, which will unfortunately also remove the soft grain of the wood. A rough, weathered deck exposes more of the wood to environmental deterioration. If left unattended, it will soil easily.

Some boat owners use a teak brightener after the cleaner and before applying teak oil, because the teak brightener bleaches teak up to a lighter shade and will remove any residue left in the grain from the cleaning process. However, before teak can be given any coating, it must be completely clean. Only after that it can be finished with a light coat of oil or sealer. We recommend Teak Life products.

The correct method to apply Teak Life is to first sand and surface using a 60-grit sandpaper for an even, level surface. Then apply a generous amount of Teak life UV by hand using a high-quality brush. Don’t apply in direct sunlight. Allow to dry for 24 hours and then consider a 2nd coat of Teak Life UV or Teak Life UV Topcoat in its respective colour. Maintenance is recommended every 6 to 12 months. Clean the surface with clean water, sand with 80 grit to remove standing fiber and apply a maintenance coat of Teak Life UV Topcoat.

Critical aspects in maintaining your teak deck:

  • Never use a conventional scrubbing brush or a power jet cleaner.
  • The best tool is either a sponge type mop or a very soft deck brush with feathered bristles.
  • It’s very important to sponge or wash across the grain – never along the grain.
  • You may use a mild detergent dissolved in water as cleaning fluid. Use preferable fresh water, but good results can also be achieved by using clean sea water.
  • If the teak is badly soiled or stained, it is possible to use a proprietary teak cleaner by thoroughly following the manufacturer´s instructions. Be patient: bleaches take time to work. Rinse off well once you are satisfied.
  • An occasional oiling does not harm and will in fact enhance the natural appearance of the timber. It will also help to replace the natural oils lost due to weathering.
  • Another approach to achieve a natural look for the teak deck is the application of a well-chosen sealer.
  • However, the most sensible way to ensure that a teak deck maintains its original beauty is by grinding it in two- to three-year intervals. This work should always be done by professionals.
  • Finally, it is important to acknowledge that when exposed to weather, the natural color of teak is always going to be greyish. Learning to like it is the kindest thing you can do to your deck.

About us

Scandinavian Teak Decks vision is to maintain- and strengthen its position as one of the world’s leading yacht decking companies