Cleaning Stainless Steel is important. It’s a common myth that Stainless Steel does not corrode. Stainless Steel needs to be cleaned to maintain a pristine appearance and preserve corrosion resistance.
If the correct grade has been selected and the appropriate fabrication procedures and treatment are followed, stainless steel will not corrode under normal atmospheric conditions. However, a lack of cleaning can accumulate corrosive substances. This leads to staining and in severe cases the start of corrosion
How Often Should I Clean Stainless Steel?
This can vary, depending on the use of the Stainless Steel. For example, if the Stainless Steel was being used for medical purposes, then cleaning the product could be many times a day. Or on the other hand, it could be as little as 1-3 times a year. The famous “Cloud Gate” bean-shaped sculpture located in Chicago has a two-man squad sent to it every year. They clean the stainless steel sculpture during the spring and fall for two-three nights.
The most simple answer of when to clean Stainless Steel is when it’s dirty or to restore its original appearance.
Routine Cleaning Options For Use On Stainless Steel
A few options to use for routine cleaning of Stainless Steel are soap, detergent or to use dilute (1%) ammonia solution. To use of these, use them with warm water, then apply with a clean sponge or a soft cloth. Then rinse with clean water and wipe with a dry clean cloth to dry.
Other options could be to use polish or vinegar. To use these, apply a light coat to the Stainless Steel, then use a clean, soft cloth to wipe down in direction of the grain.
Other Tougher Cleaning Requirements
Oil & Grease Marks– Use either detergent with warm water or use a hydrocarbon solvent.
Adherent Hard Water Scales– 10-15 volume % solution of phosphoric acid. Use warm water, neutralise with dilute ammonia solution and rinse.
Stains & Light Discolouration– Use mild, non-scratching creams and polishes. Apply with a soft, clean cloth or sponge and rinse with water, then dry.