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Stainless steel appliances can be just rinsed or washed gently with a little soapy water. Arcadia Design Group in Centennial, CO.

You've put some money into your outdoor kitchen. I don't think I need to tell you that. Now, you have a significant interest in protecting and caring for your investment. Just because your investment lives outside doesn't mean you'll be leaving its fate up to chance - and the elements. Chances are, your two biggest investments have been your grill and your countertops.

Here are some tips to keep your outdoor kitchen looking beautiful and in top shape.

Grill Maintenance

Don't be afraid to dismantle your grill a couple of times a year - especially if you're a frequent griller - to be sure everything is clean and in working order.

First of all, keep the exterior of your grill looking nice by scrubbing off rust with a hard-bristle brush and applying a rust-resistant metal paint. Then move to the inside. Obviously, you should be brushing your grates clean after every time you cook out. (Invest in a great hard wire-bristle brush like this. But if something more serious seems to be going awry, check it out even before your regular maintenance. You wouldn't just keep driving a car around that's making strange noises, smoking or getting abnormally bad gas mileage, would you?

Here are the areas to pay attention to.

  • Burners: Keep your burners free of grease and other debris by knocking the gunk out every so often with a hard brush or sturdy pipe cleaner.
  • Valves: If your flames are suddenly burning all yellow, for instance, instead of blue flecked with yellow - disconnect your gas tank and check the valves for proper pressure.
  • Hoses: Check all your gas tubing for wear and tear on a regular basis.


You should get a cover for your grill with a cloth lining, which wicks away moisture and helps prevent rusting.

Stainless Steel

Care: So, steel is tough stuff, right? Right. For the most part, stainless can really take a beating. It's resistant to rust and corrosion, but you have to be careful during everyday use. Generally speaking, metal on metal: bad. Don't cut directly on a stainless-steel surface. (You'd use a cutting board inside, wouldn't you?) Don't leave metal cans, other steel or cast iron cookware - or anything really hot - sitting on your surfaces for any amount of time. Staining. Corrosion. Beware.

Cleaning: Three words: Follow the grain. Oh, and a few more. Most of the time, you'll just need to rinse your stainless-steel surfaces. Or wash them gently. Not with chemical cleansers - just a little soapy water will do. And be sure you dry the surface completely. You wouldn't want mineral deposits to build up, now would you?


Got fingerprints? Try glass cleaner. I know, I know, glass cleaner for metal? Not only will glass cleaner minimize scratching the steel's delicate surface; it will also provide a beautiful polish.

(A word about abrasive sponges, especially steel wool: Steel wool has a tendency to flake off and get embedded into smooth stainless steel surfaces. Though the actual stainless steel itself won't rust, those little flakes might - and dull your appliances' surfaces in the process.)

Granite and Other Stone

This is a quick one, because the elements can actually help you protect your stone surfaces in the end: sun and rain will help prevent staining in many cases. However, with granite and other beautiful stone surfaces, your biggest concern should be its porous nature. You probably did this when you were choosing your surface, but many websites recommend the oil and lemon juice test to determine how susceptible your stone is to stains and dulling. After performing this test, if you feel strongly about sealing it, do so. If you spill something, wipe it up immediately.

The rules about caustic cleansers, cutting, metals and heat apply to these surfaces as well. You may have spent as much on this outdoor space as you did your interiors, so you should treat it that way.

All the Rest

The biggest tip I have for maintaining your outdoor kitchen: Live in it. Enjoy it. Spend time outside. Sip a few beers while you make those amazing steaks. Cover and protect your surfaces in the winter if you're not planning to brave the elements for a little inclement grilling. Don't let your investment go to waste.

Landscaping Network

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