Does Teak Oil Go Bad? How To Tell If Teak Oil Is Bad?

does teak oil go bad

Teak oil is one of the most popular oils used to protect wood furniture and other woodworking projects.

Teak oil has nothing to do with the Teak tree and it is made by mixing linseed oil, tung oil, varnish, and mineral spirits in the correct ratio.

It brings an aesthetic warm look to the furniture while giving protection from indoor and outdoor environments. But Does Teak oil go bad?  

I decided to check it out and here’s what I discovered:

Yes. Teak oil goes bad when it is not stored well. Teak oil has a shelf life of five years or more and should keep in a tightly closed full or nearly full container in a cool dry place. If Teak oil is not stored well inside and contaminated by water, or any other chemical substances, it’ll probably go bad easily.

How long it lasts after the best years depends on how and where it has been stored and what it’s made of.

In this article, we’ll explore does Teak oil go bad, how does it go bad, does Teak oil get old and how can you tell if Teak oil is bad by considering several factors.

Furthermore, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions about Teak oil like how long Teak oil takes to dry, and common Teak oil problems, and discuss their solutions.

So, let’s jump in!

Does Teak Oil Get Old?

Yes, Teak oil gets old within 3 -5 years or less if it hasn’t been stored properly. Otherwise, it has to be so much old to go off.

Teak oil is known to have a long shelf life.

This is why it is popular for outdoor woodworking projects due to its high resistance and durability against environmental elements.

If the Teak oil is mixed with water, moisture, air, or any other chemicals it will get old easily and the shelf life will also reduce.

You can prevent Teak oil from getting old by avoiding contact with water, moisture, and air. Here’s how you to do that,

  • By keeping Teak oil in a sealed air-free container, which is filled or nearly filled, the Teak oil won’t contact air.
  • By keeping the Teak oil container in a cool dry place it’ll be safe from water and moisture.

When the Teak oil is so old, it becomes unusable. The resistance will be gone and prevent mildew and mold. Then the furniture will be unprotected.

So, to keep your Teak furniture lasting for decades make sure to apply a new coat of teak oil once every one or two years.

How Can You Tell If Teak Oil Is Bad?

When Teak oil is bad, it develops a characteristic appearance and odor which happens because of rotting or spoiling.

When the Teak oil is contaminated with moisture or atmospheric air several chemical reactions happen to destroy the qualities of the oil.

The free radical formation and oxidative damage from rancid odor in Teak oil are harsh and undesirable.

The taste is also bitter and unpleasant, and the freshness of the Teak oil is eventually lost.

The appearance of the Teak oil is different than the fresh ones when it is unusable.

Here’s a test you can check its appearance and determine whether the oil is good or bad to use.

  1. Take a small amount of Teak oil in a clean transparent glass.
  2. Hold the glass against sunlight or white color light
  3. If the color of the oil is transparent and well clear, we can determine the Teak oil sample is in good condition.

If the color is dark or there’re random dark brown color spots in the oil, the Teak oil is bad to use.

So, as a summary here’re the things that you can identify when the Teak oil is bad.

  • Characteristic unpleasant odor
  • Non-transparent dark appearance
  • Random visible color patches in the oil
  • The oil is rancid

So, let’s find out does Teak oil cause mold when it goes bad.

Does Teak Oil Cause Mold?

Yes, when Teak oil is not used properly it causes mold and mildew. Teak oil is food for mold.

If the furniture already has mold or mildew, it’ll be worse if Teak oil is applied.

In order to prevent Teak oil applied furniture from getting mold or mildew follow the cleaning steps below.

  1. Clean the furniture using clean cloth at least once a year and light sanding are recommended.
  2. Place the furniture in a sunny, warm area and rinse it with a garden hose to remove dust and debris.
  3. Let the furniture dry completely under mild sunlight.
  4. Apply Teak oil evenly all over the surface without missing any spots with uniform pressure.

If you’re using a Teak oil made by yourself, you should focus more when applying Teak oil, because the quality-wise company-made Teak oil is always effective and better than homemade ones.

Because homemade Teak oil easily goes bad.

How Long Does Teak Oil Take to Dry?

Teak oil takes 2 to 4 hours to dry. But that depends on the humidity level and moisture level of the atmosphere.

If you live in an area with high humidity levels, the drying time is high and penetration speed is also slow.

Even though Teak oil is dried within 2 to 4 hours, it takes more than 10 hours to cure. Until the surface is fully cured, it is tacky and sticky.

To increase the efficiency of the drying process, wipe the excess Teak oil once it is fully applied.

Make sure to dry the wood completely before applying additional coats of Teak oil. Because blotchiness can occur if you apply Teak oil on top of the wet surface.

Why Is Teak Oil Bad for Teak Furniture?

Teak oil can use to apply on any wooden surface.

But when it comes to Teak wood, most people don’t recommend applying Teak oil for Teak furniture because of the following factors.

  • Surface graying

Teak wood tends to turn into a weathered gray look when it keeps under direct sunlight for a long time.

But by applying Teak oil nothing will be changed. Because Teak oil is unable to stop the wood graying process.

It only interrupts the graying process for a couple of weeks or months.

  • Mold and mold growth

Teak wood is considered dense hardwood with natural mold and mildew resistance. But Teak oil is a magnet for mild and mold growth.

Therefore, by applying Teak oil on top of the Teak wood surface the qualities of Teak wood may decrease.

This only happens if Teak oil is applied wrongly. But there is no clear advantage of using Teak oil over Teak wood furniture.

  • High maintenance

Using Teak oil need lots of time and money for maintenance.

Because Teak oil needs to be replaced at least once every 6 -12 months.

The original Teak brown color doesn’t need any additional oil to look nice. Because Teak wood is naturally beautiful and rich in look. So, there is no need to apply Teak oil. It’s just a waste of time and money.

Because of the above factors, Teak wood furniture is better to go with wood stain and wood sealer to get better and more versatile protection than Teak oil.

Because Teak oil makes no difference.

So, let’s talk about frequently asked problems that occur when Teak oil goes bad with solutions.

Problems That Occur When Teak Oil Go Bad with Solutions

Hereby I have listed the main issues that occur when you use Teak oil that went bad on your loving furniture or woodwork with perfect solutions.

  • Teak Oil Sticky or Not Drying

Normally Teak oil makes the surface sticky or tacky until it’s fully cured for about 10 1- 12 hours after the application.

But sometimes people complain about sticky or tacky surfaces after applying Teak oil and even keeping it more than days or weeks.

Here’re the reasons why Teak oil is sticky for a long time.

  • Not followed the directions
  • Didn’t give enough time to dry the wood between Teak oil coats
  • Using for incompatible woods
  • Oil is rancid

Always make sure to follow the guidelines as displayed on the product label before applying.

Some Teak oil products can only apply to dense woods such as Rosewood, Teak, or Mahogany. So, never apply those Teak oil products on softwoods.

Before the application makes sure the Teak oil is not rancid. Otherwise, the whole woodwork will be ruined once it is applied.


Wipe off the entire surface and light sand to remove all the applied Teak oil coatings and start from the beginning following guidelines.

  • Teak Oil Uneven

Uneven shiny spots on Teak oil occur when Teak oil is rancid, or it is contaminated with water or moisture.

The oxidation process and radical formation destroy the Teak oil and it goes bad pretty easily.


Remove the entire can of Teak oil and buy a new Teak oil product from trusted manufacturers.

Also, keep the Teak oil container in a cool dry place once it is used. This will prevent Teak oil from going bad.

Did I cover all you wanted to know about: Does Teak Oil Go Bad?

From this article we have explored does Teak oil go bad and how can you tell if Teak oil is bad before use. Because once it is used, it is so much hard to remove and start from scratch.

Teak oil has a relatively high shelf life if you keep it in a cool dry place with less contact to air, and moisture. This will prevent Teak oil from going bad.

Furthermore, I have deeply discussed why Teak oil is considered as a bad finisher specifically for Teak wood and we have talked about Teak oil problems that occur when you use bad Teak oil with perfect solutions.

Hope you have gained good knowledge about does Teak oil go bad and how to prevent that.

So, let’s apply Teak oil on your next woodworking with confidence and store it in the correct way to get the best use of it. Enjoy wood finishing with Teak oil!

Related Posts

Walter Parker is a woodworking enthusiast. He is passionate about woodworking projects & plays with woodworking tools having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Woodworking Planet. He wants to make people love woodworking! Read More About Him! Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

1 thought on “Does Teak Oil Go Bad? How To Tell If Teak Oil Is Bad?”

  1. Thank you, this has been most helpful. I was just about to use some teak oil that I have had in my workshop for yonks, thinking ‘What could go wrong?’ But after reading your article I will be replacing it a a brand new bottle.


Leave a Comment