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Old 04-13-2017, 02:22 PM   #1
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household bleach for teak

I'm going to re-do my exterior teak this summer. I don't know what combination of varnish and paint that previous owners have put on it. So far, I have just been using a heat gun and scraper. I'll start sanding the first section soon, and I'm wondering if some teak bleach would be in order before the Cetol is put on. I have used the 2 part teak bleach before, but I hear you can also use household bleach. Anyone have any experience with the household bleach option?



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Old 04-13-2017, 02:25 PM   #2
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If I were you, I would save the household bleach for my tighty whities and use wood bleach on the teak. You can buy it at paint stores, hardware stores and home centers.
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Old 04-13-2017, 02:51 PM   #3
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Oxalic acid is a good wood bleach, removes the grey color. Makes it look a light tan.
The cheapest way to buy is a bag off Amazon. Otherwise, a hardware store.

Chlorine bleach will turn the teak white like color.
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:09 PM   #4
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I have used Sudsy Amonia for a long time to clean and freshen up raw teak. That's what many of the regular sportfishing boats use for a freshening up. I have never stripped varnish off with it. Just keep everything really wet as you are scrubbing it. Let it bubble up as you scrub it and work it in and sit for a bit on the wood for a few minutes. Then scrub back over the area and rinse. Of course keep your face out of the bucket. as its kinda strong. But its surely cheaper than all of those "Marine Bleach" kits too.
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:09 PM   #5
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My teak was that bad or worse. We used a heat gun on the old varnish and underneath tended not to be gray. But where the varnish had flaked off as in your first picture I used a combination of some household bleach and Wisk in a bucket of water. I had been using Starbrite teak cleaner and brightener but this works just as well. Scrubbing with a scotch brite pad and the soap/bleach removed so much dirt and grime it was amazing. That was really the easiest part.
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:29 PM   #6
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teak deck - surfacing

I will have to try the sudsy ammonia.
I mostly let it grey.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:45 AM   #7
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TE-KA, water down by 80% in bucket (follow directions), then let dry after a day or two and light sand.

What you do after that... would be a LONG debate.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:05 AM   #8
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What ever you use will raise the grain so save the sanding to last. Is there an area you can test? Under a section of the rail maybe?
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:30 AM   #9
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What ever you use will raise the grain so save the sanding to last. Is there an area you can test? Under a section of the rail maybe?
Yes, lots of areas that I could test. The whole thing will need serious sanding, so I will hold off on sanding until I'm finished with my cleaning/bleaching experiments. Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:38 AM   #10
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And btw...what anchor is your favorite?

(just couldn't resist that)
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:11 AM   #11
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Oxalic acid.
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:28 AM   #12
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Oxalic acid.
I'm going to give this stuff a try. I ordered a 2 pound bag of the powder today from amazon. Any tips or cautions when I mix up my first batch? Would a Scotch Brite pad work okay? I assume it will not burn a hole through my foot, my fiberglass deck, or my metal fittings?
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seattleboatguy View Post
I'm going to give this stuff a try. I ordered a 2 pound bag of the powder today from amazon. Any tips or cautions when I mix up my first batch? Would a Scotch Brite pad work okay? I assume it will not burn a hole through my foot, my fiberglass deck, or my metal fittings?
The acid is weak, won't hurt your fingers or SS or the FG. If you have a cut, it will sting like vinegar.
Oxalic acid is poisonous, it will clog your kidneys, so do not drink it.
I have mixed it with hot water as when hotter it is more reactive then cold water. You can supersaturate the solution, if so all the crystals will not dissolve, just add more water. If you let the water evaporate, it just reverts to white crystals.

What I do is paint it on the wood, let it sit and scrub a little, then let it dry.
Then wet it with water and scrub a little and let it dry, then rinse it off.

As it dries , it concentrates, gets stronger, works better. Sometimes I mix in a little dish soap. It is only reactive when wet.
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:24 PM   #14
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The acid is weak, won't hurt your fingers or SS or the FG. If you have a cut, it will sting like vinegar...
Got it. Thanks very much for the info. I look forward to trying it. It sure can't make the teak look any worse than it looks right now.
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:27 PM   #15
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I'm going to give this stuff a try. I ordered a 2 pound bag of the powder today from amazon. Any tips or cautions when I mix up my first batch? ..................
Here's my tip:

Read and follow the directions on the package, especially the safety instructions.
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:49 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Marlinmike View Post
TE-KA, water down by 80% in bucket (follow directions), then let dry after a day or two and light sand.
Another vote for TE-KA.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:27 PM   #17
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The book "Brightwork" by "Rebecca Whitman" will be a great asset. This book is often refeered to as the bible of varnishing.
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Old 04-15-2017, 03:10 PM   #18
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I have had great results from Messemer wood cleaner wash followed.by a wood brightner to bring faded wooed to it's original color, make sure there is no metal that it will come in contact with, then I brushed on and wiped down a coat of Penofin Marine oil, came out great. Need to wipe down the exterior teak every 6 months to maintain the color, easy to apply, great results!
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Old 04-15-2017, 03:28 PM   #19
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With proper stripping, scraping and sanding you may not even need to bleach the wood.
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Old 04-17-2017, 11:22 AM   #20
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do as a friend did, and paint the teak rails with brown deck/porch paint! worked for him in the south pacific!...clyde
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