"Hot" Teak Cleaning Tip | The Truth: Episode 9 - Hard Boiled Eggs

Quick Teak Cleaning Tip

As mentioned in our Teak Care Guide, even though teak is mold and mildew resistant… 

You’ll eventually see those tell-tale black stains in the nooks and crannies of your teak shower bench and mat where dirt, hair, lotions, etc., have accumulated.

Even when you’re being conscientious about rinsing off your bench and mat after each use.

Of course, if you’re not rinsing off your shower teak after use (ok, I’m guilty of that, too)—you’ll see a lot more areas of blackness.

But not to worry!

Read the section in our Teak Care Guide about removing serious blackness with a squirt of ammonia and a bit of elbow grease. (I do it 2-3 times a year).

Mold and mildew are microscopic living organisms

And those nasty black spots are colonies of them.

But they don’t like dining on teak because teak is high in oil and silica—and for mold and mildew that’s like drinking poison!

However, hair, soap scum, shampoo, etc. are absolutely delicious to those little buggers. It’s like caviar. They feast on it.

So, what’s a quick, no-hands way to kill those buggers?

Sunshine, and heat!

 desert sun

Just take your teak shower mat and bench outside in the hot summer sun—in your backyard or on your patio—and let them spend the day sunbathing.

Will the intense summer sun and heat ruin your teak?

Absolutely not!

Teak is famous for being the most weather-resistant wood on the planet.

Teak is like the mailman. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will hurt your teak!


Now, on to our continuing, ever-popular saga…The Truth, episode 9…

BTW, if you’re new to this captivating story about why Elon Musk wanted to buy Teak Culture (yeah, right, in my dreams)…

Read it from the beginning here.

Or, wait to watch the movie version at your local movie theater, popcorn included!

The Truth

Episode 9: Good-bye Kibbutz and Bananas, Hello Jerusalem and Hard-Boiled Eggs

If you recall, in Episode 8, I was thoroughly enthralled by the Old City of Jerusalem.

It was ancient. Venerable. Layered in thousands of years of history, with nearly every footstep revealing yet another well-known biblical story or fable.

It was like living inside the History Channel, but without commercials.

I loved it. Everything. From Uncle Moustache’s café (which wasn’t historical, but his prices couldn’t be beat) to the Wailing Wall to the room of The Last Supper.

Ok, I wasn’t crazy about seeing goat carcasses covered with flies hanging on meat hooks in the bazar (some of which no doubt found their way to Uncle Moustache’s).

But, hey, you gotta take the good with the bad.

Anyway, I knew I wasn’t long for working as a volunteer on the kibbutz, even though I was lusting for my kibbutz father’s tall, slender, long-haired, almond-eyed daughter.

So, if I was ever going to escape from this alien, rude, frustrating, inhospitable purgatory (aka Israel) and finally make my way down to Africa to work on a game preserve (Hatari-style) I needed to get a real job, and make some serious shekels.

Lugging 60-pound banana bunches on my shoulder from tree to truck, and hauling in fishnets filled with carp, only paid for my kibbutz room and board.

It wasn’t enough.

Unrequited lust wasn’t enough.

When we returned to the kibbutz I made my plans.

Well, in hindsight, it wasn’t much of a plan. It was more of a capricious impulse.

I stuffed my belongings into a duffle bag, said my good-byes, and climbed into, once again, an ancient, rickety, blue-painted Arab bus back to Jerusalem.

Back to the depressing, institutional-green painted walls of what might once have been an insane asylum—but now a haven for backpackers, kibbutz volunteers, and the generally destitute.

But, at one-dollar-a-day (when I barely had any) this hostel in Arab East Jerusalem was heaven… but not really.

Siting on my bed, surrounded by other beds, some occupied, I looked out the one over-sized window, and thought...

Ok… now what do I do?

Well, I needed to find a job.

And I did—the very next day!

The Intercontinental Hotel, on the other side of the city, was hiring waiters.

 hotel dining room

Ok, I had never waited tables, and admitted it.

So they made me a busboy.

When I awoke the next morning, I schlepped myself down the long corridor to the only bathroom on the floor to do my business and take a shower.

But the water was freezing, and I couldn’t get the hot water to work.

Disappointed, I exited the bathroom, which was only suitable for one person at a time, and told the next guy waiting that there was no hot water.

He smiled. “You got that right, mate,” he said (obviously an Australian). “This joint doesn’t have hot water.”

Well, after two days of not showering, I held my breath and finally showered—breaking all land-speed showering records in the process.

Polar bear

And yet, what I discovered, while showering in ice-cold water, my balls would rocket up inside my body and refuse to drop back down until my skin was no longer blue.

Talk about having no balls.

The other thing I discovered was how invigorated I felt after I stepped out of the shower.

But nowhere near enough to look forward to doing it again.

A few days later, I confronted another near insurmountable problem.

My shift at the hotel ended in the evening—after the hostel had locked its front door, and no one was answering my pounding on its massive metal door.

Well, I wasn’t going to sleep on the sidewalk, though I tried.

Looking up to heaven for guidance, I noticed there was a drainpipe, and there were ledges, and I was freezing.

 drain pipe

Yes, it gets cold in Jerusalem—it even snows in the winter.

Who woulda thunk.

Anyway, while climbing up the drainpipe, a patrol car approached.

With Israel being Israel, I figured if they saw me hanging on the side of a building two stories up in Arab East Jerusalem, they’d shoot and ask questions later.

Fortunately, they didn’t think to look up, and I eventually climbed in through an unlocked window.

The next day, I moved out of the hostel and into the employee dormitory at the Intercontinental.

While living in the dorm, I read a celebrated, and extremely thick Israel travel book, the title of which escapes me.

I read about every historical place in Israel, north, south, east and west. It was fascinating.

What was not so fascinating was my roommate

He was Arab, spoke fluent English and was a really nice guy.

More than once he invited me to dinner at his parent’s home, but I never took him up on it.


I’ll be honest.

He had the worst body odor imaginable. I never smelled anything like it, and never want to again.

I would’ve preferred endless ice-cold morning showers than to continue sharing  a room with him.

I desperately needed to move out.

And my wish was granted thanks to…

Two hard-boiled eggs and a glass of tomato juice

One morning, I was asked to fill-in as a waiter.

No problem.

An American couple sitting at my assigned table ordered breakfast.

No problem.

I don’t remember what the woman ordered, but the man only ordered two hard-boiled eggs... 

 hard boiled eggs

And a glass of tomato juice.

tomato juice

No problem.

I approached the table with my tray dutifully on my shoulder.

I placed the gentleman’s glass of tomato juice on the table in front of him.

And the two hard-boiled eggs immediately rolled off my tray and right into his tall glass of tomato juice.

Splash! Big Splash!


All over his face and shirt!

The woman laughed hysterically.

And I laughed a little, too. After all, what are the odds of two eggs not even hitting the rim of the glass, and landing squarely in his tomato juice.

It was an NBA-like moment.


I apologized of course, but the man was not amused.

The floor manager rushed over, apologized also, and yanked me by the arm into the kitchen.

I was fired on the spot.

Fortunately, I had made friends with one of the sous chefs at the hotel, a Brit, who upon hearing of my dismissal told me that one of his roommates had moved out, and, if I wanted, I could rent his room.

Saved! The god’s were smiling on me

And so started an entirely new adventure.

Just to give you a hint at what you’ll read in the next episode of The Truth

My new roommate was a sex maniac.

And as I discovered the moment I stepped into his apartment, I had three more roommates.

All of them girls.

 Charlie's Angels


In next month’s The Teakster: The Truth, episode 10, I’ll tell you the rest of the story. 

In the meantime, please let me know in the comments section below if you enjoyed reading this month’s episode 9 of The Truth.

Until next month...

Stay teak strong!

WAIT! I almost forgot!

In next month’s The Teakster I’ll be making a long-awaited announcement. You’re gonna love it!


  • Hey Barry:
    I ‘ve been reading your Teakster blogs for some time now, and I have enjoyed them all (even if some may question total veracity). I have traveled to Israel several times on business and most recently as part of a Regent Seven Seas cruise with my wife which hit the key country landmarks. Even as an Irish Catholic, I can well relate to your travel experiences, many of which being a smile to my face. Also, your teak shower mats (of which I have three) bring pleasure to our home.
    Great products; great stories. Keep providing both!
    All the best,

    Bob O’Donnell
  • Barry:
    Really enjoy reading you trials and tribulations that you post in serial format. The one on Ukraine was particularly of interest, and I wrote a long response; however when I tried to send it, a message came up saying the “posting was not approved” or words to that effect. I never knew why they didn’t go through, but then, that’s OBE now. However, we should never forget the poor people in and now out of Ukraine.
    Keep up the good dialogue; your stories and your products are first class!

    Robert o’Donnell
  • the story. . you put great pictures into my head

  • Really enjoyed your story. Sorry I missed episode 1 through 8 but I will not miss 10. Thanks Barry.

  • Totally loved your story. Don’t think I’ve seen the prior episodes and sorry I missed them. Can’t wait for episode 10. Thanks Barry


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