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Old 10-13-2021, 12:54 PM   #1
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Cleaning Up Teak Plywood

I'm looking for advice to clean up some old (1985) teak plywood. No water stains or rot, just grim from over the years. Never been varnished, just oiled.
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Old 10-13-2021, 01:23 PM   #2
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Hi Mac,

I would start with TSP available at any hardware store. Follow the directions and wear gloves. Rinse with clear water after.

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Old 10-13-2021, 03:57 PM   #3
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Depending type and state of the plywood you risk to delaminate the veneer if using water.
I would use a bunch of rag with solvent to wipe out the dirt. Don't over wipe and use a clean part each time or you risk the dissolved dirt ti impregnate the wood veneer.
Cleaning wood while preserving it is not an easy thing...

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Old 10-13-2021, 08:22 PM   #4
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Lou,

Washing with TSP will not delaminate plywood. You would have to soak it for a long period of time. The solvent wash is a good idea and one I have used many times.

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Old 10-13-2021, 09:10 PM   #5
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What type of solvent do you recommend?
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Old 10-13-2021, 10:11 PM   #6
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Don't know what kind of gunk you want to clean but I would try first something gentle like denatured alcohol, and move to something more "aggressive" like naphtha if not doing it and so on.
More volatile is the solvent less chance it will soak the dirt into the wood.
However some solvent can have adverse effect on some finish like whitening varnish, dissolving shellac etc.

L
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Old 10-13-2021, 10:35 PM   #7
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Howard Products "Restor a Finish" https://www.howardproducts.com/product/restor-a-finish/ might work.
I have used mineral turpentine to remove heavy wax buildup,and dirt, from a small mahogany table(a Pembroke) I bought, the finish survived my efforts.
Alcohol might dissolve the finish. Are you sure it`s just oiled, no finish. I doubt shellac was used on boat interiors in 1985.
Golden rule,try it somewhere inconspicuous first.
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Old 10-14-2021, 09:49 AM   #8
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Mac,

If using a solvent my first try like Lou would be alcohol. From there I usually go to lacquer thinner. Wear a respirator.

I would still try the TSP first as it will release dirt rather than drive it in. If you use solvent change rags often as Lou said.

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Old 10-14-2021, 07:49 PM   #9
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My wife has used Murphy's Oil Soap aboard our boat from time to time.
THe interior is oiled teak veneer with solid trim, now 40 yrs.
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Old 10-14-2021, 08:55 PM   #10
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Thanks everybody. I'll try in this order TSP, Alcohol, Murphy's all in out of the way areas.
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Old Yesterday, 05:30 AM   #11
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" I'll try in this order TSP," good choice,,

If you live in an area where purchasing TSP is restricted , machine dish washing powder is usually TSP.

Housecleaning / repainting is not considered essential but dish washing machines are.
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Old Yesterday, 08:40 AM   #12
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Murphy's will leave a residue that may keep finish from adhering. If you want to coat after cleaning with Murphy's you will have to remove the "oil". However the look after Murphy's may be the look you want.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions on re finishing.

Rob
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Old Yesterday, 01:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Datenight View Post
Murphy's will leave a residue that may keep finish from adhering. If you want to coat after cleaning with Murphy's you will have to remove the "oil". However the look after Murphy's may be the look you want.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions on re finishing.

Rob


That may be why it works for us. We only oil the interior wood. The varnish stays outside.
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