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Old 18-07-2006, 13:08   #1
Jay
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Teak Decks and Stains

Hydraulic Fluid has been spilled on my teak decks and has made a nasty stain. Are there any ideas for removing these stains? The decks are silvered with weather-no oils nor stains on them. Thanks.
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Old 18-07-2006, 13:35   #2
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Firstly, if you haven't already, get as much oil off as you can. Use a good detergent. Don't allow oil to penetrate in anymore than it has.
Now for the bad news. What oil is there, will probably have penetrated in by now. The good news about teak, it's waxy nature is good at slowing this process. But it will still penetrate. The bad news is, what will break down oil, will also break done the wax. So you need to be careful about where you allow "detergents" to go.
Start with Brake cleaner. This will strip away all the oil on the surface and imediate subsurface. Keep applying and keep srcubing and then was with a good detergent. Yes it is NOT how you clean teak normaly, but you have no choice, you have to stop the oil from seeping down. A good wash down with a teak Cleaner/brightner to finish up. There are other ways, but I think they will be tooo harsh for teak and especially any paint work.
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Old 18-07-2006, 14:05   #3
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Thanks, Alan. The spill occured yesterday, and I immediately flushed the area with plenty of fresh water, and then scurbbed with mild detergent. But, the stains did not dissipate. Are you suggesting that I use brake cleaner and scrub it into the grain? Then, should I wash it with a detergent again? As I've never used any type of teak cleaner or brightener, do you suggest a particular brand?
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Old 18-07-2006, 14:40   #4
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Brake cleaner can be nasty stuff, wouldn't acetone be good enough? There are also concrete cleaners (i.e. for pulling oil stains out of a garage or driverway) that consist of a white poultice you apply and let set. I don't remember what the powder itself it, but after setting overnight it often pulls out all the oil, that should work on teak as well.

But...since teak naturally has oil in it, and oiling teak helps prevent it from weathering...I'd have to wonder if it might not be easier and more effective to just *lightly* oil the rest of the deck with lemon or or mineral oil, so the oil spreads in evenly and hides the spill. It will be totally absorbed and weathered away in 3-6 months anyway, at which point you'll get your decks back to the dry silver look again. With any luck, uniformly as that hydraulic oil stain migrates and mergers into the rest.
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Old 18-07-2006, 23:15   #5
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The problem with hydraulic oil is it can go black in the timber after awhile. It is the heavey additives (maybe the zinc not sure) that does this in the sun.
Why I recomend brake cleaner, it tends to be like a drycleaning agent. Infact, in early days it was infact carbon tectrachloride. However, today they use stuff a little more friendly. The advantage is, it breaks down the oil and will quickly evaporate both itself and some of the oil away. Acetone only disolves the oil along with the teak wax and will take it deeper into the timber.

Jay, NO, don't scrub the brake cleaner into the timber. It will evaporate to quick anyway. Use aeresol cans of the stuff and use the spray pressure to blast it away. It breaks down pretty well and will wash away. THEN use the detergent. Don't scrub too much so as not to damage the teak fibres. The scrub with detergent is to help clean any residue left behind, which won't be the oil as such, but some of the more non-volatile additives.
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Old 19-07-2006, 07:28   #6
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Wheels, that makes great sense! Caveat to Jay, the brake cleaner label is scary, be careful with it. Don't breath it, don't wear it <G>, and don't get it on anything plastic. With the right precautions it IS absolutely great stuff though.
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Old 19-07-2006, 09:04   #7
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Hi Jay,
Not sure of your location but here in the UK I sourced deck cleaner in bulk from a company named Wessex Chemicals of Poole in Dorset - and the product works.
The containers are out on my boat in Turkey whilst I'm in the UK so sadly can't read you the label - but it is dyed red, mixed 5 or 10 to 1 with fresh water and in use it is simply spread gently over a pre-wetted teak area.
Leave it for five minutes, agitate it is you wish after then with a soft cloth or paintbrush - and you can see the dirt and accumulated dust simply rise to the surface as a dirty scummy solid.
Rinse off gently with fresh water and it's then clean enough to consider a teak brightener if you want to recover the gentle red/gold colour of new teak.
We use both twice a year as we've kept her / sailed her through some dusty / dirt laden environments - and we've left overturned red wine bottles overnight to only find the mess 12 hours later - plus had the inevitable spilled diesel fuel from the filler. But after such a clean / brightening job the teak always looks clean / new enough to eat off.
But then guess it should as the boats only 2 years old.
Good luck in sorting the issues
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Old 19-07-2006, 09:54   #8
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TSP?

I will try the brake cleaner route, in a small spot, and see what occurs. Have you used TSP, with caution on teak to remove oil stains? Thank you, all for your help.
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Old 06-04-2009, 15:06   #9
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Hi, Had a similar problem, but with diesel was just wondering if the Brake cleaner worked??? Thanks Alot
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:29   #10
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Hi,

I was surprised to get a message, as the last posting was 3 years ago. I supposed this shows the "recyclable" nature of the internet. Anyway, delighted to hear from you.

I did try a spot of brake fluid, and it seemed to exacerbate the spot. I do not recommend using it. As it now turns out, I just learned my lesson - to be more mindful, more careful and attentive to all things around me, including open bottles and funnels with hydraulic fluid in them.

Regards from Rhode Island, USA

Jay
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:04   #11
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brake cleaner to clean up oil is like using a missle to kill a fly.

Use SIMPLE GREEN. Bio degradable and it works...
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:32   #12
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Hydraulic oil on teak -

I too have Hydraulic Oil on my teak - I would love to hear of a solution that actually works - For small oil stains such as salad oils - I have sucessfully used baby powder immediately - but when the oil is in the wood - ? I do not know what to do.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:07   #13
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K2R

Hi,
I work on Large yachts, and have had a lot of experience w oil in teak. from huge amounts of hydraulic oil, to spots left from potato chips and canapes. I use a product called K2r which is a product usually used to lift oily stains from fabric/textiles. It comes in a can, and is a spray that comes out "wet", then dries leaving a white powdered substance that can be washed off with water or brushed away. it is brilliant, although we usually use it pretty soon after the incident, so not sure how it would work after long periods. it leaves no marks. we have had major leaks from faulty hydraulic hoses, and still manage to bring the teak back to perfection!

hope this can help someone :-)
Happy sailing,
Luke
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:27   #14
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21 days on the wind in 30 kn - cleans everything
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:33   #15
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I haven't seen K2R around for a while, but it used to be sold in supermarkets in the US as a carpet spot cleaner. It *might* have been carbon tetrachloride or another chemical like that, and pulled from the US market when that was banned?
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