Teak is a hard material that retains its beauty for a long time thanks to care oils and is therefore often used for garden furniture. These instructions show what needs to be considered when oiling the furniture and how to proceed.

4 care oils for teak garden furniture

First, we will introduce you to 4 oils that can be used to care for teak garden furniture. What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages of using them?

linseed oil

Linseed oil is best known as an edible oil, but it can also be used to protect the wood . It emphasizes the warm color of the natural material and is comparatively cheap. Because it is obtained from the mature flax seeds, it does not pose any risk to health or the environment.

A possible downside, however, is that it alone does not provide comprehensive protection against all potential negative influences.


So-called wood oil or tung oil is also obtained from seeds and is also known as “Chinese wood oil” and “Elaeococca oil”. The tree-like plants originally come from South Asia. However, due to its uses in wood care and other areas, it is so popular that the plants are also grown in other parts of the world. Wood oil is used in the following substances, among others:

  • Vaporization of electrical components
  • binder
  • paints
  • Linoleum
  • lubricating oil
  • soap
Note: In combination with linseed oil, it becomes particularly weather-resistant and durable. It also speeds up drying.

castor oil

Castor oil is known for many things, but not for use in wood. It is used, among other things, in the care of skin and hair and in the treatment of constipation. It is also suitable for the care of wood. It does not dry and therefore creates a soft shine on the surface.

One disadvantage of castor oil, however, is that it can go rancid. Unpleasant smell and damage to the material are therefore potential risks. This is at least true if it is used in large quantities and not used correctly. As an ingredient in a blend, however, it makes an ideal complement.

Teak beer

Teak oil is a mixture of different oils and other components. Usually included are:

  • Harz
  • Holzöl
  • linseed oil
  • castor oil

The advantages of these substances complement each other optimally and thus create ideal protection.

Avoid cooking oils

Apart from the variants mentioned, no cooking oils should be used as care oils for teak garden furniture. Although these would initially also produce a soft shine. However, they become rancid and can then negatively affect both the color and the smell of the wood.

frequency of use

How often you have to oil teak garden furniture depends on various factors. Below:

  • type of use
  • quality of the wood
  • Protection against weather

So the cupboard in the living room does not need to be treated as often as garden tables and chairs on the uncovered balcony . Because here the wood is exposed to both precipitation and UV radiation. As a rule, however, even outdoors it is sufficient to apply new oil every one to two years.

The quality of the wood is a crucial factor. When teak is grade A or grade B, it has a high natural oil content. It is therefore more expensive to buy, but requires less maintenance and is more durable. Grade C is so-called sapwood that is obtained from areas close to the bark. Due to the low cost, it is often used on cheap furniture. With the right care, however, it can also retain its natural color and remain decorative for a long time.

Tip: Appropriate protection against the sun, temperature fluctuations and precipitation by storing it in winter and storing it in summer extends its lifespan and prevents the wood from graying. Protective covers can also be used.

Oiling teak: step-by-step instructions

With the right instructions, oiling teak patio furniture is easy. It is important to follow the order and proceed thoroughly.

First step: cleaning

Over time, a lot of dirt accumulates on garden furniture. This also applies if they are protected under a patio roof. Among other things, the following are possible:

These can attack the natural material, cause discolouration and reduce the service life. Thorough cleaning is therefore necessary before applying oil or any other protective agent. Ideally, this is done with teak soap, a brush and water. The wood is soaked, brushed and rinsed.

If you are in a hurry or there is very stubborn dirt, a high-pressure cleaner can be used as an alternative. A potential downside, however, is that damage to the material can occur.

Tip: When using a Kärcher or other cleaner, a low pressure should be selected. 70 bar are completely sufficient. However, it is better to clean frequently and regularly and thus be able to do without this measure.

Second step: drying

Once the dirt has been removed, the teak garden furniture must dry completely. A dry, warm room is ideal for this. Otherwise, rain and other precipitation as well as high humidity could prolong the process or lead to pollution again. Plan at least two days for this!

Third step: oiling

The selected oil is generously applied with a sponge and a brush. The sponge can be used for larger and continuous surfaces. Grooves and corners can be treated more thoroughly with a brush. Apply enough to soak the wood well.

Fourth step: moving in

Care oils should be allowed to soak into the wood for one to two days. As a result, they are also distributed in deeper layers and can dry off well. Do not use the furniture during this time. Also, keep them dry and warm.

Fifth step: surplus

After the exposure time, use a lint-free cloth to absorb excess oil and polish the wood. This gives it an attractive and light shine.

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