Is teak oil a black mold magnet?

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Brian S, Aug 28, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Brian S

    Brian S

    Joined Nov 9, 2012
    2,381 posts, 168 likes
    Oday 192
    US Lake Nockamixon
    This year, I decided to get rid of all the loose and flaking Cetol I tried before. I decided to use Star Brite Premium Golden oil. It started out looking good, but...

    After a summer of unseasonable rain, where we get rain an average of 2 or more days a week, on a fresh water lake, I have battled black mold more than usual.

    And the teak is now especially attacked by the mold. So, does the black mold like teak oil? Is this normal?

    This experiment has not worked out well. I'm now at the point where I think I need to suck it up and varnish my teak next season, after a thorough cleaning to get the black streaks out of the wood grain.

  2. Gunni


    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,943 posts, 1,489 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis

  3. Chief RA

    Chief RA

    Joined Nov 26, 2012
    2,278 posts, 88 likes
    Catalina 250
    US Bodega Bay CA
    I use motor oil for all kinds of wood applications. I have a 12 yr old cedar deck that has had only used motor oil applied to it. It is beautiful and 2x6 lumber has never warped or curled. Chief

  4. Brian S

    Brian S

    Joined Nov 9, 2012
    2,381 posts, 168 likes
    Oday 192
    US Lake Nockamixon
    Can I just mix borax in with the teak oil? Looks like I'll be testing this soon, to see if the borax will dissolve in the oil. On the other hand, sponging on some of the concoction will be easy enough. I'll go easy on the sponging, as I know the TSP is bad for waterways.

  5. Gunni


    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,943 posts, 1,489 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    Do the mix using the recipe, dissolve it into a liquid and put it in a spray bottle. You can use that to wet a sponge or scrub pad. Put it on let it dry. Do not rinse.

  6. DougM


    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    1,661 posts, 212 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Manistee, MI
    As said, the oil attracts the algae and mold. Best choice: don't use it! Just scrub it across the grain with salt water and enjoy the natural color

  7. JRacer


    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    920 posts, 323 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Cheney KS (Wichita)
    I use "Pure Tung Oil" from Rockler's and have not had any problems with that.

  8. JamesG161


    Joined Feb 14, 2014
    3,655 posts, 1,338 likes
    Hunter 430
    US Waveland, MS
    I use Borax and a cheaper [non borax] version of this...
    I buy it at a local chemical supply house[$12] and they sell it for a Gym cushion cleaner.
    My one gallon size has lasted for 2 years and is almost still full. Just one tablespoon per quart of spay on. Not mixed with the teak oil. Surface only, like dusting your furniture, but sprayed on light mist.

    Remember both Borax and the Link above dissolve in water
    Like the oil, it will dissipate with time on the weather deck.

    Inside the cabin, the non borax stays put and no mildew.:)

    When we "swab the decks" I put 2 tbs of borax in the soap bucket. Boron is also a needed ingredient for organisms, other than mold, fungus and algae.

    PS: Black mold on a boat is normally NON-Toxic type.

  9. waterpirate


    Joined Sep 6, 2015
    110 posts, 20 likes
    Unknown snipe
    US delaware bay
    Not to be a ass, but my work around was to remove all the wood trim and replace it with azeks. When that was not easy, I stripped and slathered with west system and painted it.

  10. Brian S

    Brian S

    Joined Nov 9, 2012
    2,381 posts, 168 likes
    Oday 192
    US Lake Nockamixon
    I ordered some Wet and Forget. I'll spray that on the teak and decks, and see if that cuts down on the black mold. Won't be long and I'll be hauling out anyway :(

  11. Mechman


    Joined Jan 30, 2014
    7 posts, 0 likes
    Beneteau Oceanis 37
    US Auckland
    I can vouch for the Wet and Forget. I really like the bleached white effect that it gives without rubbing. CRC 'Cleanup' appears to have the same effect.

  12. JimInPB


    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    1,495 posts, 433 likes
    Hunter 26.5, 212, 170
    us West Palm Beach
    "Teak Oil" is a generic term that is used to describe a variety of concoctions that a variety of vendors sell for the intended purpose of enhancing the beauty & longevity of teak. The formulations & quality of these concoctions can vary quite a bit. I usually go for the ones that are either pure tung nut oil, or at least have a large percentage of tung nut oil in them. I haven't had any problems with mold.

    I've read that tung nut oil penetrates into the wood, then binds with the wood, then polymerizes. Supposedly, this embeds a polymer within the wood & makes it impervious to most things for a very long time. I haven't independently verified the science behind these claims, but the treated wood does seem to get harder & it certainly does repel water. I started out using this stuff on rifle stocks many years ago, then moved on to also using it on boats, maybe 15 years ago. I have been very happy with the results.

    JRacer likes this.

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