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Teak Planters - How To Take Care Of Them

Feb 12, 2008
If you love to have planters around your yard, gracing your deck or heralding the arrival of visitors at the entryway, teak planters are the way to go.

The reason is simple. Teak loves to be outdoors. While that could be said of most woods when they were still trees, most wood begins to dry out, crack and rot as it ages, particularly when it's left to fend for itself in the great outdoors where it has to endure endless cycles of wind, rain, snow and sleet.

Teak planters love this kind of stuff. Thanks to the oils that are ingrained in it, it resists water naturally. With just a little care, it can last for years, even in the worst weather imaginable.

Here's our recommendation for taking care of your teak planters:

Teak is pretty happy when left alone, but it does require periodic maintenance. You can clean your teak planters with a very soft brush or pad and some mildly soapy water. There are some propriety cleaners out on the market for teak but usually the soapy water does the trick. Just be sure to wash your teak planters with clean water after you're through soaping them up.

High pressure hoses, steel wire brushes and steel wool are the sworn enemies of teak planters. They leave residue in the grain and these remnants will rust and ruin the look of the wood.

If your teak planter has some stains that just won't go away with a good gleaning with mild soapy water, it's time to kick things up a notch. Start by sanding the spots with fine grade sandpaper. Don't go across the grain. Go with it.

After you clean or sand, you'll want to re-oil the teak. You can get real teak oil from a marine supply store or online. You don't want to use consumer level cleaners or waxes on teak. You just want to replenish the natural oils teak is famous for. This will help the color return to its normal rich shade, rather than turning silver gray as the oils deplete.

Every once in a while, you want to clean unfinished teak by doing a deep cleaning. This will remove the mold and bacteria that can create splotches on the surface. There are commercial cleaners specifically made for this, such as Tip Top Teak Cleaner. You don't want to use other products because they are acid based and they will dissolve the top layer of the wood. Over the years, layer after layer is removed by these cleaners, eventually reducing your teak to expensive toothpicks.

Some experts recommend using a solution of household ammonia and concentrated high phosphate detergent, such as Wisk. Add one quart of sudsy ammonia and a half cap of determent per quart. The ammonia keeps the organic materials while the detergent does a general cleaning.

One of the great things about teak planters is that they not only resist the elements on the exterior, but interior as well. With just a few easy steps, you can keep your teak planter looking like new for years, long after other wood planters have been reduced to sawdust.
About the Author
Jesse Akre, owner of a wide variety of online stores specializing in niche products, shares information on how to furnish and decorate your indoor and outdoor space. Here he offers advice when buying lavish patio furniture, comfortable patio chairs, and durable outdoor patio furniture.
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