A common question from teak wood owners is if teak oil or teak wood cleaner is better than teak wood soap or cleaner. To answer that, it depends on how you do your cleaning. Teak wood naturally produces oil from its pores that protect it against moisture; therefore, using any commercial teak cleaner can actually damage the oiliness of the teak by introducing foreign substances in the pores of the wood. If you’re concerned about preserving the teak’s natural oiliness, then there’s no real difference between the two. On the other hand, teak wood soaps are a great way to clean your teak so that you can enjoy its distinctive aesthetic qualities without worrying about damaging its natural environment.
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Teak oil-based formulas are the best choice for light to moderate stains on the wood. If your furniture is stained heavily or has lots of deep-sealing deep stains like mud or tar patches, then you might want to consider using a teak cleaner with a stronger formula. Sealing solutions are more powerful than homemade recipes, but not always as effective in terms of removing deep stains. It’s usually a good idea to use a mild wood conditioner on lightly stained areas. For deep stains, it’s best to use a teak cleaner with a stronger formula.
So, if you clean your furniture regularly and your deep-sealing stains are minimal, then you can put your trust in a teak cleaner. But if you have a lot of dirt, food stains, or pet stains on your furniture (especially teak outdoor furniture since this is exposed to elements the outdoor furniture isn’t accustomed to), it’s best to avoid chemical cleaning products altogether. There’s simply no substitute for the cleansing power of pure, natural wood-based liquid dirt cleaners.