Adding an outdoor kitchen to your home is an exciting change! There are new opportunities for cooking, outdoor entertaining and enjoying the warm weather. But amidst all the summer fun, it’s important not to forget about maintaining your outdoor kitchen. Since your outdoor kitchen is always exposed to the outside elements, it’s inevitable that your kitchen will rack up dirt and grime, not to mention the natural wear and tear from cooking or grilling. Here are four tips for outdoor kitchen cleaning.
Clean Stainless Steel Properly
One of the obvious draws of an outdoor kitchen is the lower maintenance required to keep it clean. Outdoor kitchens are meant to withstand the outdoor elements, and their components are built to last, specifically the stainless steel. Not only does stainless steel look nice with the hardware typically used in outdoor spaces, but it is also resistant to rust and corrosion, which makes it ideal for outdoor use.
Although stainless steel is a pretty durable material, it isn’t indestructible, which is why certain preventative steps will help keep your stainless steel looking shiny. For example, never cut directly on a stainless steel surface (use a cutting board instead). And when it comes to cleaning, wiping down with soapy water and rinsing thoroughly is your best bet for maintaining stainless steel surfaces. Make sure you are cleaning every surface including the cabinetry, sink, outdoor refrigerator and other stainless steel items on a regular basis.
You can also use a special polish for removing smudges, fingerprints and stains if needed, but be sure to apply it with a soft cloth – using anything harsher, like steel wool pads, may cause more harm than good. Mechanical abrasions (like those from steel pads, wire brushes and scrapers), as well as water deposits and chlorides (found in household and industrial cleaners) are all enemies of stainless steel, so keep them away from your outdoor kitchen. Since many stainless steels come with visible polishing lines, it’s important to scrub or wipe with the “grain” when cleaning.
To further protect your stainless steel outdoor kitchen, you can opt to add a powder coat finish. By adding this extra finish it helps prevent rust over time and increases the ease of maintenance. The powder coat finishes come in a wide variety of colors and designs so you can add a pop of color to your backyard while still having the durability of stainless steel.
Don’t Neglect Your Outdoor Grill Appliances
Outdoor grill appliances are essential to outdoor kitchens. In many setups, the grill serves as the centerpiece of the outdoor kitchen – it will get a lot of use, so it’s imperative that you take good care of it. Generally, after each use you should wait until the bbq grill is cool and then scrub the grill grates with a special wire brush. Wipe off residue with soapy water and a cloth and then rinse.
Aside from the grate, it’s important to check its other components, too, like burners, valves, and hoses. If you have a gas grill, don’t ignore the burners. Use a stiff brush periodically to clean off grease. And when you are cooking, pay attention to the color of the flame; a healthy flame on a gas grill should be blue with a yellow tip—if your flames are all yellow, turn off the grill and disconnect the fuel tank so that you can check the fuel valve pressure.
Clean Those Countertops
Cleaning your outdoor kitchen countertops is important and the best way to do it depends largely on the type of material used. While granite and stone countertops look smooth, they are porous, which means they can stain easily. If you have granite or stone countertops, you should wipe up spills as quickly as possible with soapy water.
For the best long-term cleaning experience, we recommend Dekton® by Cosentino® for outdoor kitchen countertops. This new and innovative material is a combination of quartz, porcelain and glass formulated into an ultra-compact surface that is non-porous, UV-resistant for color stability in the sunshine, durable, virtually indestructible and impervious to staining.
In addition, adding a roof structure to your outdoor kitchen will help add another layer of protection for year round cleaning, specifically for countertops and other flat surfaces.
As with stainless steel, making thoughtful choices in the design and material of your outdoor furniture will go a long way when it comes to maintenance. Common outdoor furniture materials, such as vinyl, mesh, and fabric components, can be cleaned with a mild, all-purpose cleaner. Like with your countertops, try to catch and wipe up spills as soon as possible.
Remember, regular cleaning and maintenance of your outdoor kitchen will ensure that you get many years of enjoyment out of it, so use these tips to assist with your outdoor kitchen cleaning.
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