Do and Don’ts for Cleaning Stainless Steel
Cleaning of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel needs to be cleaned for aesthetic look and to preserve corrosion resistance. It is protected from corrosion by a think layer of chromium oxide. When oxygen from the atmosphere combines with chromium in the stainless steel forms a passive chromium oxide film which protects from further corrosion. Any contamination from the metals environment hinders the passivation process and traps corrosive material reducing the corrosion protection.
There for routine cleaning of your stainless steel is crucial to preserve the appearance and integrity of the surface. The nice thing about stainless steel is it is impossible to “wear out” by excessive cleaning
There are many commercially available cleaners that you can purchase to maintain your metal finishes. You can purchase stainless steel cleaner — available in aerosol cans — at just about any hardware store. Just follow label directions for its use.
In an exterior application, an occasional water rinse should be enough to keep the material from collecting dirt and potential corrosives. Remember, stainless steel is corrosion resistant not corrosion-proof. Under certain conditions — salt spray, ferrous contamination or air pollutants — stainless steel will corrode. Occasional cleaning will prevent this from happening. Download Wagner’s stainless steel cleaning instructions.
Things you do not do to your Stainless Steel
- Do not use chlorine bleach or any product containing chloride
- Don’t use steel wool, steel brushes, steel files or any steel cutting tools – these can leave iron particles which will rust over time and breakdown the stainless steel’s passivation layer.
- Never use abrasive cleaners, Scotchbrite or steel wool. They will scratch the surface
- Don’t use gritty, dirty or excessively hard water as it can leave spots or brownish stains.
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