Outdoor Kitchen Cleaning: The Salty Truth

Whether you own a vehicle, boat, or in this case, an outdoor kitchen, if it’s located in an area where the metal is exposed to an extreme salty or chlorinated environment, over time you will experience rust.  While we boast a nearly maintenance-free solution in powder coating our stainless steel outdoor kitchen cabinetry, it does not come without regular care and cleaning to keep your kitchen looking and functioning at peak performance. Cabinets, handles, and hinges all need to be taken care of, especially in saltier, more oceanfront environments. Here are some easy tips to care for your Danver or Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens in one of the most challenging natural environments:

Stainless Steel Cabinets: For more corrosive, salty environments, we highly recommend upgrading to 316 Marine-grade stainless steel for longevity, durability, and greater tolerance to the elements.  Stainless steel cabinets should be cleaned in the direction of the grain.  In a salt air environment, we recommend a slightly oilier cleaner like Sheila Shine.  You may have to clean more frequently (bi-weekly) as salt breaks down into highly corrosive chlorine that will attack the metal over time.  While the surface corrosion will not affect the performance of the product, it will affect the overall look.

Color & Wood Grain Powder Coated Finishes: Because finding time to clean is not always easy in our busy lives, powder coating your cabinets provide a lower maintenance solution.  These finishes seal the stainless steel, eliminating the worry of pitting and surface rust.  However, because the sea air and heavy chlorine can still do damage, it’s important to wipe down the powder coated or wood grain finished cabinets with a simple 1:1 filtered water and mild soap solution.  A soft cloth should be enough to clean the surfaces of the cabinets and maintain the color, style and design you love.  Additionally, it is recommended to wipe down any exposed stainless steel areas, including inside cabinet boxes, once monthly to maintain their finish.

Handles: Our handles that arrive with your cabinetry are either stainless steel, or solid bronze, if custom ordered. Salt air, combined with oil on our hands or from cooking, can tarnish these finishes over time.  Sheila Shine will protect better against oxidation, putting, or slight surface rust on our stainless steel handles as well as the solid bronze handles.

Hinges: Hinges should be wiped and sprayed with WD-40, regardless of environment, but especially oceanfront or poolside. This will keep the cabinetry from binding or rusting at hinge-points that often go under-maintained or overlooked when cleaning.

This article is based on industry knowledge and research by outdoor kitchen design professionals, including our in-house experts and engineers with decades of experience.Our goal at Danver is to provide factual information on relevant topics to help readers make informed decisions about their outdoor living spaces.

This article uses trusted sources with references hyperlinked to the source material.

Our cabinets for outdoor kitchens combine style, design and function with top of the line appliances for a luxury outdoor entertainment space.

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