Care of Stainless Steel
All grades of stainless steel will stain and discolour due to surface deposits and can never be accepted as completely maintenance free. In order to achieve maximum corrosion resistance the surface of the stainless steel must be kept clean.
Surface contamination and the formation of deposits must be prevented. These deposits may be minute particles of iron or rust from other sources used on the building of new premises and not removed until after the stainless steel items have been fixed. Industrial and even naturally occurring atmospheric conditions can be equally corrosive, eg. salt deposits from marine conditions. Strong acid solutions are sometimes used to clean masonry and tiling of buildings but these should never be permitted to come into contact with metals, including stainless steel.
In some situations bleach (or other hypochlorite based cleaners) are used to clean stainless steel - this should be avoided wherever possible. The consequences of bleach coming into prolonged contact with stainless steel is surface pitting. Other liquids which cause a similar effect are some toilet cleaners, photographic developing liquids, acids, concentrated disinfectants, chlorine and strong alkalis (ie caustic soda). If any of these solutions do come into contact with the surface these should be thoroughly rinsed off with clean water.
- Clean stainless steel regularly with warm water and mild detergent using a soft cloth or sponge.
- Use non-abrasive cleaners or polishes specifically designed for stainless steel for tough stains or dirt.
- Dry stainless steel after cleaning to prevent water spots and streaks.
- Apply food-grade mineral oil to the surface to maintain the shine and protect it from corrosion.
- Use stainless steel cleaner or polish in the direction of the grain to avoid scratches.
- Inspect stainless steel regularly for damage or corrosion and repair it immediately.
- Use soft-bristled brushes to clean hard-to-reach areas and tight corners.
- Use stainless steel wipes to remove fingerprints and smudges.
- Use steel wool or scouring pads to clean stainless steel as they can scratch the surface.
- Use bleach or abrasive cleaners as they can damage the surface and cause discoloration.
- Allow acidic or salty foods to sit on stainless steel for an extended period as it can cause corrosion.
- Use chlorine-based cleaners or bleach to clean stainless steel as it can damage the surface and cause discoloration.
- Use metal scrapers or knives to remove stubborn stains as they can damage the surface.
- Allow stainless steel to air dry after cleaning as it can cause water spots and streaks.
- Use abrasive or hard brushes to clean the surface as they can scratch the surface and cause damage.