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Teak Deck Cleaning and Preserving

Cleaning and preserving exterior teak decking and rails on yachts replenishes lost oils in the wood, and gives UV protection which keeps decks looking bright and without the need of continual scrubbing to clean the wood. Once the preservative is applied, continuous cleaning is not necessary as the decks stay bright and only need a light clean and re-coating of preservative once or twice a year.


Teak deck cleaning kits are supplied in two parts; the cleaner being a darker colour liquid, the bleach a yellow colour. Always wear rubber gloves when using deck cleaning products, as they contain strong chemicals that are harmful to skin. Prior to cleaning a deck, it is important to ensure that all areas the chemical cleaner comes in contact with are thoroughly saturated with water, i.e. hullsides, superstructure, scuppers, etc.


Wet the decks and apply the deck cleaner to a 3’ square area with a soft brush or Scotch brite pad. When the wood has darkened, lightly scrub against the grain to remove any dirt or staining and rinse thoroughly with water including the surrounding areas. Work over the deck area in this way until the total area is cleaned, always keeping the wood and surrounding areas saturated with water. When the dirt has been totally rinsed from the deck, the bleach can be applied to the total deck area by a soft brush or sponge, brushing across the grain or in a light circular motion (there should be no scrubbing necessary at this stage).


The wood will change from a dark colour to a light golden hue. Leave to work for 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. When you think the chemical has been thoroughly rinsed, wash the deck again with water. This will ensure that no remaining chemicals are left in the wood, caulking, etc. As the cleaning and bleaching chemicals are a form of acid, if the deck is not thoroughly rinsed the left over chemical may cause damage to the deck caulking. When the wood is bone dry, apply one to two coats of preservative, stirring well prior and during application, allowing to dry in between coats. The preservative can be applied with a brush, foam roller or rag. Any overlaps or splashes on surrounding areas should be wiped immediately with a rag.


We would recommend using the ‘Teak Wonder’ range of products which we have used over the years and find give excellent results.


The procedure outlined above is solely a recommendation.

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