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How to Get the Gray Out of Teak

Liz Tomas

Teak turns gray because of mildew and mold growth on the wood. Cleaners such as trisodium phosphate, bleach or power washing will not remove the mold spores in the wood.

Remove the gray from teak using teak cleaner.

There are two versions of teak cleaners: a one-part cleaner that contains a mild chemical and a two-part cleaner made of a harsh acid followed by a neutralizer. The acid in the cleaner is what kills the mildew and mold, removing the gray color. A one-part cleaner is recommended as it will not damage the paint or clear coat on the teak.

  1. Wash the teak to remove any dirt and debris on wood surfaces, as debris will impede the cleaner from working optimally.

  2. Spray the teak cleaner onto the surface of the teak. Rub the cleaner into the wood with the bristle brush to allow the cleaner to get into pores of the wood where the mold spores are. After brushing, let the cleaner sit for a maximum of 15 minutes.

  3. Rinse off the cleaner with water. While rinsing, rub the surface with bronze wool to keep the pores open and remove all the cleaner. Rub the wool in the direction of the wood grain.

  4. Allow the teak to dry, then apply teak oil or teak sealer, if desired, to protect the teak from the elements. Teak sealer is recommended as mold tends to feed on teak oil.