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Old 07-01-2013, 11:03   #1
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De-greying teak?!

Any 'home remedies' for getting grey teak back to it's gold/red/brown colour prior to oiling?

I've spent hours reading old threads without success, but I was sure I read a while back that some concoction works rather than spending a fortune on commercial teak cleaner, then teak brightner. The name oxalic acid comes to mind but I could be way off beam here.

Some of our teak is very grey, some was sanded 3 months ago and is just light silvery gold.

As always, all input gratefully received.

Vic
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:05   #2
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Re: De-greying teak?!

Oxalic acid is a wood bleach. But what's wrong with grey teak?
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:06   #3
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Re: De-greying teak?!

Pressure washer with a wide fan spray
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:17   #4
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Re: De-greying teak?!

Often there is a ton of dirt embedded in the teak, a good scrub with clothes detergent works fairly well. TSP is great but fairly caustic. (always wear rubber gloves) Never brush with the grain unless you dont care about the grooves. a scotchpad works well. Look at the expensive teak cleaner label, I think it has oxalic acid in it, but you better check. I would use this only after you scrubbed it well to get the dirt out.
Wont a pressure washer eat out the grooves (softer wood)?
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:20   #5
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Re: De-greying teak?!

I read it somewhere too

Try here: DIY Teak Cleaner | Morgan le Fay

Of course you can use Zeps purple inductrial cleaner which is Sodium Hydroxide and find almost any phospheric acid based rust remover. Not expensive at all.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:26   #6
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Re: De-greying teak?!

1 gallon on water, 6 oz Clorox, 3 oz Simple Green. Brush across grain with handle grip mounted, soft 3M type pad.
Works on my 28 ft cabinsides/cockpit coaming assemblies.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:42   #7
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Re: De-greying teak?!

Don't mess with it!!!

The whole beauty of teak is that if it is good quality to begin with, it takes care of itself with almost no maintenance and will last for at least 20 years.

It wants buckets of seawater over it at regular intervals, more frequently the more tropical the climate.

Its natural color is silvery grey and it's beautiful that way. Anything you do it -- ESPECIALLY pressure washing, sanding, scrubbing, glopping on any kind of chemicals or oils, will make it look like crap and will shorten its life. Just give it plenty of seawater and otherwise leave it alone! If you don't like the silvery color, then you don't like teak!!!

Let me say again for the avoidance of doubt: pressure washing will destroy a teak deck in five minutes. Teak has very soft pulp between layers of hard wood -- pressure washing, or scrubbing along the direction of the grain, will strip that out and ruin it. Don't ever let a pressure washer get within a boat's length of your teak deck!!!

A good teak deck will withstand a sanding or two (gently, with an orbital not a belt sander) in order to get rid of any idiocies inflicted on it by a previous owner trying futilely to restore the gold color of unweathered teak, or any abomination inflicted with a pressure washer. But if it hasn't been messed with, it will never need sanding. The pulp will wear down leaving the harder strips standing proud, but it will just work better as anti-skid that way. You shouldn't sand it to get rid of that; it will just accelerate wear of the remaining pulp.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:48   #8
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Re: De-greying teak?!

all i use , ever, as i was taught, is sea water with a 3m pad. is all that teak needs. clean out the dirt with the sea water, then oil the wood. perfect teak results. no other bs is necessary. period.

what is wrong with grey teak is the teak wood is deteriorating --grey is another millimeter gone of once good wood.

if you are talking decking, only sea water and a 3m p[ad. look for th e screw heads to try to show thru, as previous owners didnt know how to car efor hteir wood. correct wood care is not something that folks who are yachties know, btw. fact.... unless, of course those yachties are WOOD BOAT yachties, an entirely different breed of sailors.

dry teak leaks worse than badly caulked decks and hulls....needs moisturization--is why SEA water not fresh, and oil.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:55   #9
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Re: De-greying teak?!

Gray teak produces less heat. If your in the tropics you don't want it dark. Just oil it and walk on it. That's all it needs, unless it coming loose.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:56   #10
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Re: De-greying teak?!

oil on dirty teak makes a black wood. clean with sea water--if is deck, only th esea water--no oil. if is other wood trim, oil. never oil your decking if you do not wish to slip on them.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:02   #11
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Re: De-greying teak?!

Zee, What kind of oil are you using. Mine soaks right in and is not slippery.

Here's Don Casey's version. BoatUS - BoatTech - Teak Care by Don Casey
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:06   #12
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Re: De-greying teak?!

Sea water!
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:08   #13
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Re: De-greying teak?!

Star brite tropical teak sealer, but not on decks. Leave decks bare and clean often with sea water, but don't scrub too hard. Second on Zee's recommendation of 3m pads.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:11   #14
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Re: De-greying teak?!

on my exterior teak--i do not have decks of teak any more-- previous owner removed them a while on back in time--but i use watco, which i find in usa in home depot--i also use tung oil finish, also found in home depot....when i neeed to touch up i can use orange oil, but it only lasts a short while--3 months, whereas teak oil will keep fresh water beading up for a year.....
when i had teak wood decks, only sea water, nothing else. daily . they do not need oil.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:23   #15
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Re: De-greying teak?!

Teak Decking Systems is the mildest cleaner (other than seawater). Use with a white 3M pad.The World's Leader in Pre-Manufactured Custom Teak Decks - Teakdecking SystemsŪ

I strongly suggest you do NOT use clorox. It will soften the caulk seams.
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