How To Clean A Teak Boat Deck

Paul Luisi
by Paul
Luisi

Washing and cleaning a teak wood boat deck will remove dirt, grime, grease and dirt and have the deck looking clean and like new.

Cleaning the teak wood will also add a shine and help rejuvenate the color of the deck.

To Clean A Teak Boat Deck: 

  1. Brush the teak wood deck with a deck brush.
  2. Wet the teak deck with water.
  3. Scrub the teak deck with water, a sponge and teak deck cleaner product.
  4. Rinse the deck with a hose.
  5. Dry the teak wood with a towel or microfiber cloth.
  6. Apply teak oil to add a shine and protection.

Following these cleaning steps will help refresh and clean old, dirty and weathered teak boat decks.

1. Brush Teak Deck With A Deck Brush

Brushing the teak deck with a deck brush will:

  • Remove bulky loose dirt: A brush will help sweep the dirt and dust build up on the teak deck.
  • Prepare the teak deck for washing: Brushing the deck helps remove excess dirt first and prepare it for washing in later steps.
  • Help break up and loosen stubborn dirt: Using a brush to sweep the teak surface will help loosen and break up stubborn dirt before washing.

Brushing and sweeping the teak wood boat deck should take 10 - 15 minutes to complete.

This will depend on the size and the condition of the deck.

To avoid scratching or damaging the teak wood, use a soft bristle brush only.

Summary
Brush and sweep the teak wood deck with a soft bristle brush. This will remove loose dirt and dust and prepare the deck for washing in later steps.

2. Wet The Teak Deck With Water

Use a hose or bucket of water to wet the teak deck. Wetting the teak deck will: 

  • Prepare the deck for washing: Wetting the teak surface helps prepare the deck for washing with soap in later steps.
  • Remove loose dirt: Wetting the teak surface helps further loosen the trapped dirt before washing with soap.
  • Removes lighter stains: Wetting the teak area helps remove the lighter stains.

Wetting the entire teak wood area will take approximately 10 minutes.

This will depend on the size and condition of the teak wood.

Summary
Wet the teak boat deck with fresh water to loosen stubborn trapped dirt. This helps prepare it for washing.

3. Scrub The Teak Boat Deck With Teak Deck Cleaner

Get a bucket of warm water and mix it with a teak deck cleaner product.

Once the warm water and teak deck cleaner is mixed in a bucket:

  1. Pour the warm water and cleaner over the teak deck.
  2. Scrub the dirty areas with a sponge. Scrub against the grain and ensure the surface remains moist.
  3. Ensure all areas of the teak deck are washed and scrubbed.

Using a sponge or soft bristle brush will not scratch the teak wood surface. It will also help remove even the deepest stains.

Using a teak deck cleaning product will not damage the teak material or cause fading of the color.

Scrubbing a teak boat deck with water and soap should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

The size and condition of the teak wood will influence how long it takes to scrub.

Summary
Mix boat teak deck cleaner with warm water in a bucket and scrub the entire deck with a sponge.

4. Rinse The Teak Deck With A Hose

Use a hose or a bucket of fresh water to rinse the teak boat deck.

Rinsing the boat's teak wood surface will:

  • Remove dirty water and teak cleaner: Rinsing the deck with fresh water will remove all that dirty water and dirty soap used to clean the teak material.
  • Help spot any missed dirty stains: Rinsing off the teak wood with fresh water will help spot any missed stains or dirt.
SummaryRinse the teak boat deck with fresh water. This will remove dirty soapy water.

5. Dry The Teak Boat Deck With A Towel

Use a towel or microfiber cloth to dry the teak boat deck.

Drying the teak boat deck with a towel will: 

  • Remove the final deep stains: Drying off the soap and dirty water will remove the final deepest stains from the teak deck.
  • Add a shine to the teak deck: With all the cleaning water dried off and stains and dirt removed, the deck will start to shine and look great.
Summary
Use a towel or microfiber cloth to dry the teak wood deck. This will dry off any remaining dirty water and remove final stains.

6. Apply Teak Oil To The Boat Teak Deck

Apply teak oil to the dried teak wood boat deck. Simply use a sponge to rub it in the direction of the wood grain.

Then, let it dry into the teak surface. Using teak oil on a boat's teak deck will:

  • Add a shine to the deck: Teak oil will add a great shine to the deck once it's dried in.
  • Add UV protective coating: Teak oil will add a protective coating against sun damage which will help extend the life of the teak deck.
  • Rejuvenate teak color: Teak oil helps rejuvenate the teak color and enhance.
  • Helps prevent weathering: The formula used in teak oil helps with wear caused by weathering.

Teak oil should only be applied once the deck has been fully dried out after washing.

There should be no dirt on the teak deck when applying teak oil.

Summary
Apply a teak oil to the dry boat teak deck. Simply wipe it into the teak wood and let it dry. This will add a shine and provide UV protection.

Products To Use When Cleaning A Teak Boat Deck

When cleaning a teak boat deck, the products to use are:

  • Bucket Of Warm Water: Use this to mix with the deck cleaner.
  • Deck Brush: This will help with sweeping up any trapped dirt.
  • Teak Deck Cleaner: A top teak deck cleaner product will help remove the most stubborn dirt from the teak surface.
  • Teak Oil: This can be used to add a shine to the teak material.
  • Sponge And Towel: Used for scrubbing and drying the teak deck.
  • Hose: Used for rinsing off the dirty soapy water from the deck.

These products will ensure any teak deck is completely spotless and clean.

Summary
Use simple products like teak cleaner and teak oil, a hose, sponge and some water to help with cleaning a teak boat deck.

Products To Avoid When Cleaning Teak Boat Deck

When cleaning a teak boat deck, products that should be avoided include: 

  • Bleach: Do not clean teak deck with bleach. Bleach will damage the surface of the teak wood.
  • Gasoline: Gasoline will damage the teak wood deck. It will also leave a bad odor and is highly flammable.
  • Pressure Washer: Pressure washers will cause damage to the teak surface. It will cause the color to fade and leave a patchy stained look to the teak surface.

These products should be avoided when cleaning teak boat decks.

Summary
Avoid using bleach, gasoline and a pressure washer when cleaning teak boat decks as it will damage the teak surface.

Takeaway

Cleaning the teak boat deck will have the vessel's aesthetics looking great.

Follow the steps and use the products necessary and it should be washed and cleaned in under an hour.

Do not use a pressure washer as this can cause damage.