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Outdoor Kitchen Cleaning & Cabinet Care

By UJJBARAN October 19, 2021

As any homeowner can attest, maintaining the outside of your home – including your backyard – is just as important as the interior. However, knowing the proper way to care for entertainment equipment, appliances, and furnishings, including your deck and outdoor kitchen cabinetry takes a certain degree of know-how.

Although it’s not necessarily difficult, most of us would like to know not only the easiest way to keep our outdoor entertaining area looking great, but how to cut down on labor – in other words, how to spend more time enjoying ourselves outdoors, and less time cleaning!

In this article, we’ll explore tips for cleaning kitchen cabinets, the different types of maintenance required for your exterior kitchen cabinets based on material, and other helpful hints to keep in mind. With the proper knowledge, care, and TLC, you’ll be on your way to developing a custom maintenance plan so you can enjoy your outdoor dining area for a lifetime. First off, let’s dive into how to keep your outdoor kitchen clean.

An outdoor kitchen is meant to withstand the outdoor elements, but keeping it clean is important. You should clean the sink and wipe down the counters before cooking to avoid your ingredients and utensils being on a dirty surface. The outdoor kitchen is likely to gather debris and dust throughout the day and therefore, we recommend using a cloth and soapy water on the surfaces before you start cooking.


Cabinet Care 101: Guidelines to Keep Your Outdoor Cabinetry Looking Pristine

A focal point to any residence, your outdoor kitchen may quickly become one of your favorite spots to entertain, especially in the warmer months. Ideal for those who love to host parties, families who enjoy spending time together outside, or nature lovers in general, a custom entertainment area in your yard or rooftop is not only a great addition to your home, but can add resell value to your property.

Keeping all of these things in mind, educating yourself on proper cabinet care will allow you to extend your kitchen cabinets’ lifespan while keeping it looking its very best. Here are a few general rules of thumb to follow:


Whether they’re lightly soiled from regular use or coated by a film of salty water due to beach proximity, cleaning your outdoor cabinets on a regular basis is one of the easiest ways to ensure their longevity. Although protocols may vary slightly depending on material and manufacturer, it’s safe to say that using a soft, non-abrasive cloth or sponge soaked in water can be a simple and effective way to remove superficial residue.

Once you’ve determined if gentle detergents are okay to use, we always recommend you clean in the direction of the grain (for all materials). Go easy during the drying process, too: using a chamois cloth or other soft towel, be sure to wipe off any excess moisture to ensure no unsightly spots are left behind.


As mentioned, be sure to carefully read the accompanying literature that comes with your outdoor kitchen cabinets, as well as any info that may be available online. If you have questions about cleaning solutions or protectants, you can also ask the cabinet manufacturer. Whoever installed your cabinetry can also assist you with maintenance inquiries.

Once you’ve determined the appropriate cleansers and protective agents, incorporate them into your routine to keep backyard kitchen cabinets looking their best while extending their longevity. Additionally, you should never scrub or scrape your cabinetry with anything abrasive, as this can result in permanent damage.

Finally, be mindful of chemicals such as chlorine or other pool treatments. Because they emit potent fumes, they can actually corrode cabinet hinges. To limit such damage, you may wish to apply silicone spray such as WD-40 or another specially-formulated stainless steel protectant – as in every case, be sure to check with the experts before utilizing any kind of cleanser, protectant or maintenance treatment.

Helpful Tip: If you’re located on waterfront property or in close proximity to saltwater, it’s essential to clean and maintain your outdoor kitchen cabinets and adjacent appliances more often to protect them from elemental corrosion.

Best Way to Clean Kitchen Cabinets by Material

One of the easiest ways to protect the appearance of your outdoor kitchen cabinets is to practice regular maintenance – besides keeping your outdoor culinary station looking its best, routine cleaning will protect your valuable investment so it may serve you for years to come.

However, not all cabinets are created equally – although most outdoor kitchen furnishings can be cleaned with a damp cloth, some require a more detailed maintenance regiment depending on what they’re made of. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance outdoor kitchen station, you’ll want to weigh your options carefully.

It’s important to take certain factors into consideration when choosing your cabinetry, including the region where you live (and the consequent climate conditions), your budget, and of course, ease of care.

Below, an overview of outdoor kitchen cabinets constructed of different materials so you can see the pros and cons of each:

Stainless Steel Cabinets

For outdoor cabinetry made of stainless steel, it’s essential to realize one major detail – they’re designed to withstand normal wear and tear, but they aren’t completely impervious to stains. Therefore, you’ll want to routinely clean all of your outdoor kitchen components, including cabinets, door & drawer hardware, BBQ grill, cabinet pulls, appliances, and other entertainment elements made of stainless steel.

One of the most fool-proof forms of stainless steel maintenance comes in the forms of sealers and finishers – check with your cabinet’s manufacturer or vendor first to ascertain the appropriate treatments. Once you’ve confirmed appropriate cleaning methods, safe detergents, and suitable sealant agents, be sure to clean stainless steel cabinets and appliances thoroughly with a damp cloth, removing any debris, dirt, excess grease, dust, pollen, etc. before treating them with any type of sealant.

You’ll also want to keep in mind these two vital tips: first, never use anything abrasive on stainless steel – scrubbing aggressively or using items such as steel wool can mar, scratch, and scuff up the surface. Always follow maintenance instructions to ensure the life of your cabinetry. Secondly, don’t wait till it’s too late – in other words, maintain a regular cleaning routine. A periodic preventative cleaning & protection regiment will prevent superficial and fundamental problems from cropping up.

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