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We get asked this all the time. Living in Florida is amazing, but does have some unique challenges, especially when it comes to maintaining outdoor kitchen appliances. Our coastal climate, with its high humidity, salt air, and frequent rain, can have a significant impact on stainless steel appliances.  


Whether you have a state-of-the-art grill, a professional-grade range hood, or a weather-ready built-in refrigerator, keeping them in pristine condition is essential. Regular maintenance and choosing appropriate cleaning methods can vastly improve their lifespan. 


Our team at Synergy Outdoor Living is here to guide you with expert advice and practical tips to help maintain your stainless-steel appliances.  

Symphony blue outdoor kitchen cabinets

Understanding Stainless Steel: What Makes It Rust-Resistant? 


The secret behind stainless steel’s revered rust resistance lies in its composition.  


Unlike regular steel, stainless steel contains chromium. When exposed to oxygen, this chromium forms a thin, invisible layer of chromium oxide, which acts as a protective barrier against moisture, heat, and other corrosive elements, preventing rust formation.  


However, this does not mean stainless steel is impervious to rust. Factors such as exposure to salt, humidity, and abrasive cleaners can compromise the protective layer, making the steel susceptible to corrosion.  


Two common types of corrosion that can affect stainless steel are crevice corrosion and pitting: 

  • Crevice corrosion occurs in confined spaces where oxygen levels are low. 
  • Pitting is localized corrosion that leads to small holes or “pits” in the material.  


Recognizing these forms of corrosion can help you take proactive measures to safeguard your stainless-steel appliances. 


Key Factors That Contribute to Rusting in Florida 


Florida’s unique environment poses several challenges for maintaining rust-free stainless-steel appliances. High humidity levels create a consistently moist atmosphere, which accelerates the rusting process.  


Additionally, proximity to the ocean exposes appliances to salty air, which can lead to chloride-induced corrosion. This salt content, combined with constant moisture, creates the perfect storm for rust development.  


Abrasions and scratches on the surface of stainless steel can also break down its protective layer, making it more susceptible to rust. Moreover, the use of harsh chemical cleaners can strip away protective coatings and lead to increased corrosion over time. 


This makes regular maintenance crucial for your outdoor kitchen setup. Even something as simple as salt spray from a nearby beach can accelerate the corrosion process in your appliances! 

stainless steel refrigerator in outdoor kitchen

How to Prevent Rust on Stainless Steel Appliances in Florida 


Preventing rust on your stainless-steel appliances in our humid climate requires a bit of diligence. By incorporating regular maintenance into your routine, you can protect your outdoor kitchen investments 


Some key steps include:  


  • Regular Cleaning: Use mild soap and water to clean your appliances frequently. Avoid cleaners with chlorides or harsh chemicals. 
  • Avoid Abrasive Materials: Don’t use steel wool or abrasive brushes as they can scratch the surface and introduce rust points. 
  • Dry Thoroughly: After cleaning, ensure that the appliances are dried properly. Moisture left on the surface can accelerate rusting. 
  • Apply Protective Coating: Use silicone-based coatings to provide a barrier against moisture and other corrosive elements. 
  • Use WD-40: Spray a light coat of WD-40 and buff it with a clean towel to create a protective layer. Follow up with a wash using soapy water to remove any residue. 
  • Avoid Chloride Exposure: Be cautious with pool water or saltwater exposure. Rinse off any chlorides promptly with fresh water. 
  • Inspect Regularly: Regularly check for any signs of rust or damage and address them immediately to prevent further corrosion. 


By following these steps, you can keep your stainless-steel appliances looking new and rust-free, prolonging their life and ensuring they remain a stylish addition to your outdoor kitchen. 


More Maintenance Tips > How to Keep Your Granite Looking New 

stainless steel grill in outdoor kitchen next to pool  

Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Oasis for Years to Come 


No one likes the look of rust – especially when you just designed your beautiful outdoor kitchen, you want to maintain the look. So, remember, while stainless steel appliances are generally rust-resistant, the unique environmental conditions in our area can still pose a challenge. However, with proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a beautiful and functional outdoor kitchen for years to come.  


Ready to create the perfect outdoor kitchen space that stands the test of time? Contact Synergy Outdoor Living today for expert design and installation services. Let’s make your dream outdoor kitchen a reality in Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville! 

Synergy Outdoor Living