Caring for Iroko timber

Iroko is a very durable and resilient wood, often being used for many heavy duty uses such as construction and flooring it is also great for outdoor furniture such as benches because of its strong resistance to rot.


When choosing iroko wood, a key benefit is the durability as if looked after correctly an iroko bench can last up to in excess of 30 years. So in order to get the best out of your iroko wood and optimise its life span you will need to look after the wood with maintenance and cleaning.


Cleaning your iroko furniture


Cleaning your iroko wood is a key part in helping to maintain its appearance and ensuring the longevity of its life span. Cleaning your iroko should be a twice a year job, preferably in the Spring and in the Autumn before the Summer and Winter which is when it will be exposed to the harshest weather conditions.  Aside from these thorough cleans, regular maintenance should also be carried out throughout the year, this can involve giving the iroko furniture a wipe down with a dry or damp cloth. Similarly bird droppings should be wiped away immediately to avoid damaging the wood.


Step 1


If the wood has been previously sealed, gently sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to remove the varnish, polyurethane or other wood sealants prior to washing.


Step 2


Wash the surface with a brush and some commercial wood cleaner to remove the majority of the dirt and stains. If you are using a scrubbing brush ensure you are applying light pressure in order not to damage the surface of the wood.


Step 3


Rinse the surface thoroughly to get rid of any soap residue and allow it to dry completely. Drying times will vary depending on the time of year that you are cleaning it.


Step 4


Using a lint-free cloth or soft natural-bristle paint brush apply some teak oil to the wood, ensuring that you apply it to the surface following the direction of the grain.


Step 5


Leave the teak oil to fully saturate onto the surface of the wood depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, this can range anywhere from 15 minutes right up to an hour. Teak oil will help to prevent Iroko from staining, aging or discolouring, teak oil can be used as a protective measure to repel water and shield the wood from sun and weather.


Step 6


Wipe the surface with a clean lint-free cloth to remove any excess oil, making sure to follow the wood grain.


Step 7


If the desired finish has not yet been achieved then you can repeat the application process as required. Make sure that you leave each coat to fully dry for four to six hours before applying another coat.




Iroko is a great wood for outdoor furnishings and decking because of its durable properties, in order to protect its qualities and enhance its life span regular cleaning and maintenance is recommended. Check directly with your wood provider for specific cleaning recommendations.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Contact me

If you’re looking to commission a piece or would like to discuss anything you’ve read on my blog please get in touch. I’m also open to accepting guest posts so if you’re an artist or a writer and this interests you hit the button below.