by Sam Hickey | Dec 4, 2020 | Home Improvement, Maintenance, Outdoor Accessories, Outdoor Kitchen
A majority of stainless steel outdoor kitchen equipment owners never know how to protect stainless steel outdoors. Some ignore, assuming that the outdoor equipment will still corrode even when protected. However, that’s not always the case. You can learn and implement simple ways of maintaining a shiny and bright surface on your stainless steel kitchen equipment.
How can you keep your outdoor stainless steel looking new?
The solution to spotless stainless steel surfaces are never far from what you can readily access or what you already know but not applying well. To keep your stainless steel outdoor kitchen equipment spotless, you’ll need to follow the simple steps listed below.
- Use the Right Tools
- Clean with the Polish Lines
- Use Alkaline Containing Cleaners
- Rinse Well
- Restore Stainless Steel
1) Use the Right Tools
Non-abrasive tools like microfiber, sponges, or plastic scouring pads are ideal for cleaning these surfaces. While they clean perfectly, they minimize scratches on the surface. Scrapers such as steel wool, wire brushes, or anything that might scratch the surface are not ideal for cleaning a stainless steel surface.
2) Clean with the Polish Lines
Stainless steel possesses a grain that runs in one direction or another, defined as lines. When cleaning, it is best if you wipe or scrub along the lines. This is particularly important to consider when you are using something more abrasive than a soft cloth..
3) Use Alkaline Containing Cleaners
Alkaline is the best cleaner for stainless steel. A cleaning solution containing a mixture with traces of alkaline, non-chlorinated chemicals, or chlorinated alkaline solutions will work perfectly to clean these surfaces. You should, however, avoid cleaners that contain quaternary salts as they cause rusting and pitting.
Pro Tip: If you are unsure of what alkaline solution to use, get stainless steel cleaners specifically designed for stainless steel surfaces.
4) Rinse Well
If you used chlorinated cleaners, you should rinse and wipe the kitchen surface and equipment immediately. You should wipe off the standing water mostly if it contains chemicals you used to wash the surface. However, if you use sanitizer to clean and disinfect the kitchen surface, do not wipe off or rinse the surface after cleaning.
5) Restore Stainless Steel
After all cleaning and scrubbing, you can restore the shine of your stainless steel with lemon oil or food-grade mineral oil. You can apply the polish in line with the grain’s direction using a lint-free cloth. You can as well dry it using another lint-free cloth.
Use These Tips to Refresh Your Stainless Steel
You now perfectly understand how to protect stainless steel outdoors without too much trouble. When you use these tips effectively, you end up preventing rust and corrosion, maintaining a sparkling surface for your outdoor kitchen equipment.
Contact us if you need help with your outdoor kitchen surfaces.
by Sam Hickey | Nov 13, 2020 | Custom Features, Home Improvement, Maintenance, Outdoor Lifestyle, Patio Covers
If you love spending most of the time outdoors, especially in summer, it’s essential to learn how to clean a patio umbrella. It can accumulate a lot of grime and dirt if exposed to the elements for a very long time. Not to mention, the bird droppings can worsen the situation. How do you clean your patio umbrella after using it outdoors for a full season?
Cleaning and maintaining your patio umbrella regularly will make it look fantastic all the time. You have to ensure that the umbrella is super-clean before storing it away during off-seasons. The good news is, it’s easy to clean and maintain. In this guide, we’ll look at the tips of cleaning and maintaining a patio umbrella.
Cleaning the Canopy
Cleaning an umbrella’s canopy can be pretty simple if it’s detachable. Here are the tips on how to clean an umbrella’s canopy.
- Remove loose dirt on the canopy using a sponge or a soft, bristle brush to prevent the soil from getting deeper into the fabric
- Using a cleaner or a mixture of warm water and mild detergent, scrub the canopy in circular motions
- After scrubbing the canopy, let the cleaning solution stay on it for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly to remove stains and mildew
- Leave the canopy open until it’s completely dry
Some fabrics like Sunbrella require a quality fabric protector to restore its UV inhibitors and improve water repellency.
Cleaning the Frame
The method you’ll use to clean an umbrella frame will depend on the nature of its material. Here is how to clean both wooden and aluminum frames.
a) Wooden Frames
You can clean most wooden umbrella frames with a mixture of water and mild detergent and a soft brush. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions if available. However, you shouldn’t oversaturate the frame’s surface. Allow it to dry after cleaning.
b) Aluminum Frames
Wipe the frame using a soft towel and a mixture of mild detergent and lukewarm water. If there are build-ups or water spots, mix one part of white distilled vinegar with nine water parts. Soak a soft cloth in the solution and wipe down the frame. You can then rinse the frame with clean water and dry it using a towel.
Patio Umbrella Maintenance
Maintaining a patio umbrella can help to keep it in great shape and extend its lifespan. Here are some of the maintenance tips to practice.
- Always ensure that the umbrella is clean before storing it
- Don’t force the umbrella to close or open as that could destroy its functionality
- Add a cover on the patio umbrella to protect it from adverse weather conditions
- Store the umbrella indoors when there’s an impending storm or strong winds
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners on the umbrella’s frames or canopies
Pro Tip: You can clean fabrics such as Sunbrella using bleach solutions, and it won’t fade. However, it’s imperative to check the manufacturer’s instructions to confirm that.
Keeping Your Patio Umbrella Looking Like New
Now that you know how to clean a patio umbrella, you can make yours look super-clean without struggles. Ensure that you follow the patio umbrella cleaning and maintenance tips we’ve shared in this guide. That way, you’ll keep your umbrella in excellent condition.
Connect with us to learn more about patio umbrella cleaning.
by Sam Hickey | Nov 6, 2020 | Grills, Maintenance, Outdoor Kitchen, Outdoor Lifestyle
If you don’t know much about kitchen knife care, you’re probably finding it hard to keep your knives sharp. Many materials in your kitchen can destroy the sharp edges of your high-quality kitchen cutlery. Tile, marble, and granite countertops are some of the things that can damage your sharp grilling tools. How can you take care of the kitchen knives?
Keeping your kitchen knives clean and sharp is very important. You need to avoid practices that might damage the cutlery, such as using the knives directly on glass and metal surfaces. We’ll show you some simple tips for storing and caring for your precious knife collection. Here are the ideas to consider:
Properly Storing Cutlery
The safest place to store your kitchen knives is either on a knife block or magnetic strip. Tossing a sharp knife in the drawer can destroy the sharp edges. You also risk cutting your hands when reaching the drawers. When using a magnetic knife strip, ensure that it’s strong enough to hold the heaviest knives in your cutlery. Use a magnetic strip made of stainless steel and wood in front of magnets to prevent metals from rubbing against each other.
How Often to Sharpen Knives
Keeping your kitchen knives honed and sharpened throughout is the secret to owning quality cutlery. To ensure that the blades remain sharp, remember to hone and sharpen them frequently. You can do that before and after every use, and even polishing them with a leather strop to keep them in great shape. The blades will last for many years.
Pro Tip: To give your top-quality cutlery the proper care and maintenance they deserve, hone and sharpen the knives regularly using the sharpening blocks and honing steels.
Quality Cleaning Guidelines
Cleaning your kitchen knives properly can keep them in great condition. Avoid washing the cutlery in a dishwasher, which tends to remove any protective coatings on the knives. The dishwasher uses highly-caustic chemicals that can wear the blades’ edges, making the knives dull. Always wash the blades by hand using hot water and mild detergent.
Taking Great Care of Your Cooking Utensils
Since your cutlery is one of the most valuable assets in your kitchen, you need to embrace all the knife care tips we’ve discussed. Make sure you hone and sharpen the knives frequently, wash them regularly, and store them properly. With these knife maintenance ideas, you can keep your blades sharp for a very long time.
Connect with us to learn more knife care tips and ideas.
by Sam Hickey | Oct 30, 2020 | Grills, Maintenance, Outdoor Kitchen, Outdoor Lifestyle
Learning how to clean a gas grill can help to extend your grill’s lifespan. If not removed, the carbon buildup and food residue remaining on the grill will form rust and damage its components. You will have to buy replacement parts or even a new gas grill every time.
While cleaning a gas grill may not be as easy as grilling a savory meal for dinner, you should clean the grates after cooking. To ensure that the gas grill is in great shape, you should deep-clean it occasionally. It involves cleaning the grill from the top down. Here is how to clean gas grill components.
First Steps to Take
If you intend to deep-clean your gas grill, you should first clean the grates by burning off the leftover grease and grime. Here are the first steps to take for quick cleaning.
- Set all burners to high while keeping the lid closed for around 10- 15 minutes
- Open the lid, turn off all the burners, and disconnect the gas supply
- Let the grill cool to a moderate temperature of around 250°F – 300°F
- Scrub the grates back and forth using a wadded ball of foil or grill brush
After scrubbing the grates, ensure there’s no grime left before cleaning the whole grill.
Cleaning Supplies to Use
As the gas grill cools, get all the cleaning supplies for deep cleaning ready. You’ll need water, a sponge, and mild dish detergent to wash the grill’s components. The mild detergent is ideal for grills that require surface cleaning only. For hard-to-clean grills, use Bar Keepers Friend, which is tough on rust. It’s available as a powder or liquid.
Getting a Deep Clean
To deep-clean the gas grill, start by setting aside the cleaned grill grates to access the flame tamers. Remove and scrub each flame tamer using a stainless steel wire brush. Check if there are food residues on the grill’s underside and clean it. Exposing foods to direct flame can burn off drippings, which find their way to the bottom.
When you remove all the flame tamers, you’ll access the burners and heat baffles, if present. Clean the burners one at a time by scrapping the exterior using the grill brush and unclogging the gas ports using a paperclip. Scrub the grill’s firebox walls and side walls using the wire brush.
Pro Tip: Remember to check for carbon buildup on the hood’s underside and at the back of the hood’s thermometer’s back and clean it off with a soft cloth and Carbon-Off.
Deep Cleaning Your Gas Grill for Grilling Season
Now that you know how to clean a gas grill, you’ll find it easy to keep your gas grill clean. Ensure that you deep-clean the gas grill occasionally during the grilling season. Finally, avoid using cleaners that might react with your grill components.
Connect with us to learn more about gas grill maintenance practices.
by Sam Hickey | Aug 21, 2020 | Cleaning Pool, Maintenance
Would you want to swim in a dirty pool filled with algae, bacteria, and floating leaves? Of course not! A clean swimming pool keeps your backyard sparkling and more inviting. Discover why it’s essential to clean your pool regularly to enjoy swimming and minimize health risks for your family.
In this guide, we’ll show you the strategies to keep your swimming pool clean. The good news is that cleaning a swimming pool is very simple and doesn’t require any expertise. Follow these instructions to minimize the dirt found in and around your pool:
- Clear leaves & debris
- Scrub the shell
- Clean the water
- Check the filters
- Enjoy your clean pool
Clear Leaves & Debris
Nothing is more disgusting than swimming in a pool full of debris like leaves, twigs, and dead bugs. Such contaminants will easily find their way into the pool when there are many trees around. If not removed, the debris can block the pool filters and damage the pool’s filtration system. Since leaves float on water, you can use a skimmer basket or leaf net to remove the debris. Skim the pool’s surface daily to prevent the trash from sinking to the bottom of your pool.
Scrub the Shell
Failure to scrub the pool walls or shell regularly can result in a massive growth of algae. If you begin to see some algae growing, scrub the shell using a pool brush. The type of brush you use might depend on the material of the pool shell. Most brushes consist of stainless steel and nylon bristles. You can also use a robotic pool cleaner or a telescopic pole to clean hard-to-reach areas.
Clean the Water
As you remove leaves, twigs, and algae from your pool, don’t forget to check the water quality. Take samples of the pool water and test for chlorine levels and pH. Thankfully, there are many pH kits for measuring the pH in real-time. The pool water shouldn’t be too acidic or too high in alkaline. If that happens, neutralize the water by adding the right pool chemicals under professional guidance.
Pro Tip: If your pool water appears to be oily, consider using a quality oil absorber to remove the excess oil from your swimming pool.
Check the Filters
Although removing leaves and debris from your pool can help to prevent the filters from blocking, it’s no doubt that some dirt will find their way into the filters. With the help of the manufacturer’s manual, backwash your clogged filters at least once every month. Consider washing it more frequently if your swimming pool gets dirty quickly. If a filter is too dirty to clean, replace it with a new cartridge filter.
Enjoy Your Clean Pool!
A clean swimming pool is not only visually appealing but also safe for your family. Remember to perform regular maintenance practices to keep the pool water crystal clear and your backyard looking fresh. Although cleaning the pool can be time-consuming, it will ultimately be worth the time in the long term as you’re able to keep using your pool.
Contact us for more information on maintaining a clean swimming pool.
by Sam Hickey | Sep 27, 2019 | Cleaning Pool, Dos and Don'ts, Maintenance
Any homeowner with a swimming pool can attest to the endless hours of fun and socialization the pool can provide. However, the same homeowner can also tell you about the maintenance and periodic repairs the pool requires. If you’re considering having a pool installed, maintenance should be a serious consideration before you get started. What can you do yourself and what will you need to hire someone to do for you?
There’s no easy answer to the question of when to perform DIY maintenance and when to hire a pro. While some tasks are easily handled by the homeowner, others may require a more expert touch. Let’s take a look at the different types of pool maintenance and which you can easily handle yourself.
When DIY Pool Maintenance is Fine
A lot of standard pool maintenance is easy enough to do and doesn’t require a lot of time or expertise. If you’re willing and able to do a little of the work yourself, you can probably take care of your pool with these simple methods:
- Weekly testing your pool water’s pH levels and adding chemicals as needed
- Scooping out small, floating debris with a pool net
- Inspecting the pool filters and pumps
Hiring a Pool Maintenance Specialist
Some homeowners simply don’t have the time or knowledge required to maintain their pool by themselves. Maybe you don’t know how to use a water testing kit or you’re just away from home so much you can’t afford the time. In that case, it may be time to hire someone to perform these basic maintenance tasks for you. The small monetary investment is more than worth the saved money in expensive restoration if you neglect basic work.
Hiring a Professional Pool Contractor
Finally, there will be times when you simply can’t do the repairs or required maintenance yourself. Even a hired maintenance specialist might not be able to help you. If you notice a leak in your pool, chips or cracks in the pool shell, or a severe malfunction in the pump mechanism, it’s time to call an expert. Don’t make the damage worse or hurt yourself trying to fix something you don’t fully understand.
Pro Tip: Trying to fix a broken pool pump could lead to pretty severe consequences if done incorrectly. It’s best to leave this job to a professional.
Maintaining Your Pool for the Long Term
Swimming pool maintenance is a rather unpleasant but necessary part of owning your own private pool. However, don’t feel like you need to carry the entire burden of maintenance yourself. With a sufficient blend of DIY work and professional help, you can keep your pool clean and pleasant to use.
Join the conversation for more insights on owning and maintaining your swimming pool.