Organize & Clean

How To Care For Teak Furniture

updated May 21, 2019
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A couple of years ago I inherited the Danish modern credenza that had been sitting in my grandmother’s living room for at least my entire life. She took incredible care of it and so I’ve tried to do the same. This means dusting, coasters and frequent oiling:

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

What You Need


  • Unwaxed Teak Furniture
  • Teak Oil
  • Dusting rag
  • Oiling Rag
  • Well ventilated area


1. Dust: With a damp (not wet!) cloth, dust the piece of furniture so that you get every bit of dust off of it. Use a bit of elbow grease if somethings actually dirty. (If it’s really really dirty you can use an oil soap, but that’s for another day). Allow it to dry completely.

2. Open a Window: Teak oil is very toxic so you should either take your furniture outside or apply the oil where you can open some windows so you don’t gas yourself out.

3. Apply Oil: Using a clean cloth dedicated to Teak Oil, either put the oil on the cloth or, if the furniture is going to need a lot of oil, pour some directly on the surface and start wiping it in. You don’t want pools of oil to stay sitting on any surface, so wipe it in and sop up any excess. It will stay shiny and sticky to the touch, so don’t put anything back on top, allow the oil to be absorbed.

4. Reapply Oil: If after an hour all the oil has been absorbed by the wood and you still can see dry spots, reapply the oil and allow it to dry. Note: make sure to wipe the top of the teak oil can before you put the lid back on otherwise you will have a heck of a time trying to open it the next time you need to oil.

5. Let it Dry: I like to allow my final oiling to dry over a 24 hour period so that I’m sure it’s all been absorbed. If you’re finding that you used too much, wipe up the excess with a clean cloth. I’ve found that teak can absorb quite a lot of oil.

6. Maintain: Now that your teak is shiny and new looking, make sure to use coasters under glasses, dust it frequently and try not to have it in direct sunlight as this will expedite fading and drying out.

(Images: Laure Joliet)