Guide to Caring for Teak on Your Boat

What are the best ways to clean and protect teak wood

The global boat market is expecting to reach $31.7 billion by the end of 2026. Many boat owners require maintenance for the popular boat material known as teak wood.

But, what are the steps going into caring for teak wood? This guide will give you all the ins and outs for caring for teak to make your boat last longer. So read on!

Teak Maintenance

Applying teak wood to your boat can give it a stylish finish. It can also provide excellent grip when wet. But, they do develop grime if they're not given the care they need.


teak deck cleaning


These quick sets of steps will get your boat up and running with a fresh outlook. Before you get started, you need a few simple items that will aid the process.

First, you will need a teak cleaner and a teak brightener. This is similar to using a shampoo and conditioner on your head for a post-shower shine on your hair.

You will also need a garden hose or light pressure washer of some kind with a bucket. This is used to wash the teak afterward. The one specialty product you can use is a steel wool ball.


teak brightener to lighten teak wood


This scrub set will enable you to brush the boat soap into the teak while caring for your boat. There is one great tip for anyone caring for a boat teak.

When you are scrubbing, make sure you scrub perpendicular to the teak grain. The reason being, if you go with the grain, you'll scoop out the soft material. This uprooting of the grain will weather and wear the teak away.

Caring for Boat Teak

The first step in starting the teak maintenance process is to make sure you spray your teak down with water for cleaning. This is so you can distribute your product evenly across the deck.

Next, grab some of your teak cleaners and pour a tiny bit of it into your normal-sized bucket. Spread it across the base of the bucket so you can use it to soak your brush.

Dip the brush in, and then start applying it evenly over the surface of the wood. You're going to clean and distribute it for further applications. Continue scrubbing it with a little bit of pressure.

Once you scrub, you'll start seeing the dirt coming out of the teak. Keep moistening the product onto the brush as you cover more and more areas.

Don't do too much product onto one area at once because the teak will begin to dry in certain areas. You don't want this to occur while you're busy brushing other regions.

As you continue scrubbing, you'll begin to see the color change in the teak. You'll start seeing the dirt build-up in the foam itself. You'll notice a change in the foam once you continue cleaning up.

Once you clean more, you'll notice the foam that you clean up change to a whiter hue. This will indicate that the teak is thoroughly scrubbed.

Clean Teak on Boats

Once you finish scrubbing, it's best to leave the teak cleaner to sit for a little while. It will enable the product to seep in a bit to help degrease. So, it does need to soak into the oils in the teak to help degrease.

Let it soak in for a bit after scrubbing until you're happy. Once you're satisfied, give it a good spray down. Take the garden hose and apply a rinse to the soaked teak deck. 

You'll notice that you may need to do this a few times. This is because there's quite a bit of dirt coming out of the teak.

Now that it's rinsed off, you will keep it wet again like before. Once it is thoroughly soaked with the water, you can move on to the next step.

Teak Brightener for Shine

How do you look after teak on a boat? The next step in teak maintenance is to use the teak brightener; this is a similar approach. Pour a little bit of the brightener into your bucket.

Pour a little bit of the brightener into the bottom of your bucket. Allow it to spread across.

Rinse your brush thoroughly to clean out the soaked in teak product. After you've rinsed it, dip it into the teak brightening product.

Use the same method of scrubbing as the previous teak cleaner. That is, scrub perpendicular to the grain to avoid causing damage to the grain.

Try and spread it across the teak. You'll find that you don't need to apply much effort at all. You'll begin to see the teak change color. It'll go at a much faster rate than before.

The teak color will become a much lighter color than before. This will be a rapid change, so make sure to pay attention to the differences.

It doesn't hurt to apply a bit of pressure. Give it a scrub to help push the product into the teak. This will help remove the last bits of dirt we may have missed the first time.

Leave the brightener on the deck to soak for as long as possible. But, five minutes is probably more than enough time. Now, repeat the rinsing process, go through and rinse off the teak brightening product once again.

As you can see, the water is nice and clean now. The teak brightener product will give shine to your teak. Once it dries, the teak will look brand new.

Caring for Teak

Once the teak is dry, you will see the teak return to its natural appearance. Caring for interior sailboat teak and exterior decks will have your boat looking fresh and top dollar.

Clean teak can make your boat look brand new. Following these simple maintenance tips will help clean teak on marine vessels.

We also recommend a final sealing of the teak to ensure you preserve the teak and help it last longer between cleans.


teak sealer to protect wood deck on boat


Looking for a better way to clean the teak wood on your boat? Check out our teak cleaning products to maintain a fresh look for your boat!  For the complete all in one set we recommend our Teak Cleaning Bundle.  This set of teak cleaning products is comprehensive and will provide you with everything you need to restore your teak and bring the wood back to life.  


full teak care set


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