Teak Cleaning Process
Teak Techs applys a cleaning mixture with a stiff brush, scrubbing lightly with the grain. We leave it on the wood for several minutes to give the detergent time to suspend the dirt and the bleach time to lighten the wood, then rinse the wood thoroughly, brushing it to clear the grain.
Before teak can be given any coating, it must be completely clean. Your expensive teak is literally dissolved by strong cleaners, so we always use the mildest cleaner that does the job. A 75/25 mixture of liquid laundry detergent (such as Wisk) and chlorine bleach may be adequate, perhaps boosted with TSP (trisodium phosphate). W apply this mixture with a stiff brush, scrubbing lightly with the grain. We then leave it on the wood for several minutes to give the detergent time to suspend the dirt and the bleach time to lighten the wood, then rinse the wood thoroughly, brushing it to clear the grain.
If the teak is still dark or stained when it dries, a we use a cleaner with oxalic acid. This is the active ingredient in most single-part teak cleaners. Then we wet the teak and apply cleaner spreading it evenly with a Scotchbrite or bronze wool pad giving it a few minutes to work, then scrubbing it with a Scotchbrite pad or bronze wool.
Two-part teak cleaners are dramatically effective at restoring the color to soiled, stained, and neglected teak, but these formulations contain a strong acid–usually hydrochloric–and should only be used when gentler cleaning methods have failed. Wet the wood to be cleaned. The cleaner will dissolve natural bristles, so use a nylon brush to paint part one onto the wet wood. Avoid getting the cleaner onto adjoining surfaces. Remove the dissolved surface by scrubbing the wood with the grain with a stiff brush or a Scotchbrite pad.
Part two neutralizes the acid in part one, and it usually has some additional cleaning properties. Paint a sufficient amount of part two onto the teak to get a uniform color change, then scrub lightly. Flush away all traces of the cleaner and let the wood dry.