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.
- Wash down the surface regularly using water containing soap or mild detergents.
- Always rinse the surface with clean water.
- A thorough cleaning operation can be completed by polishing the surface with a soft dry clean cloth.
Always avoid using coarse abrasive materials such as harsh scouring pads, wire wool etc. which can scratch the stainless steel. In addition, metal particles left in the surface can quickly turn to rust and leave rust stains on the stainless steel. Use brushes and scrubbers etc. which utilise mild or soft bristles such as nylon (or similar).