Care & Maintenance Of Stainless Steel | Absolute Balustrades
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Care and Maintenance of Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel Care & Maintenance

Stainless steel looks best if it's cleaned regularly with plenty of water. Drying afterwards makes sure streaky marks aren't left behind.

Cleaning your Stainless Steel

Stainless steel looks best if it's cleaned regularly with plenty of water. Drying afterwards makes sure streaky marks aren't left behind.

Remember that simply wiping with a damp cloth is not as effective as it can smear dirt without removing it.

Routine cleaning prevents any stubborn stains building up.

So what will you need

An excellent cloth to use is 3M's Scotch-Brite high performance cleaning cloth. You don't need any fancy equipment. For day to day cleaning, plenty of water, some mild detergent and a cloth or soft brush will do the job. You can use a 1% ammonia solution but don't use bleach.

After washing, rinse in clean water and wipe the surface dry with a soft absorbent cloth. On brushed stainless steel, follow the direction of the polish for best results.

Watch out for scratches

The important thing to remember is that stainless steel can be scratched by careless handling or aggressive scrubbing. Just like you would take care of a polished timber finish, avoid dragging rough items across the surface and be aware that grit trapped under other objects can be the culprit.

Stainless steel may discolour if left in contact with salts or acids for extended periods. Also avoid leaving carbon steel items in contact with stainless steel, particularly if wet.

Fingerprints, oil & grease marks

If a mild detergent or dishwashing detergent doesn't shift unsightly fingermarks, get rid of them with a bit of glass cleaner on a soft cloth. You can also use a small amount of alcohol, methylated spirits, acetone or mineral turpentine. Then rinse with clean water and dry.

You can give longer protection to high traffic areas by lightly rubbing with olive oil or baby oil followed by a polish and shine using a soft cloth.

Preventing Tea Staining

This brown discolouration or tea staining is common in Perth .It does not affect the structural integrity or the longevity of the material and it can be controlled.

Where does it occur

Tea staining occurs most commonly within about five kilometres of the surf or a few hundred metres from a sheltered bay. It becomes progressively worse closer to the marine source.

However in Perth, wind exposure, industrial pollution levels and higher temperatures can create environments where tea staining may occur more frequently.

Marine environments are the most aggressive for all building materials. Stainless steel's very slow corrosion rate in marine environments means that installations are likely to remain structurally sound for decades.

Rough surface finishes promote tea staining, the smoother the surface, the better. Smoother surface finishes stay cleaner between washes and don't have deep surface grooves where chlorides and other contaminants can collect and concentrate.

Do Not Use Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric acid is sometimes used to clean cement or mortar residues. This acid should never be used on or near stainless steel - it will frost the surface and usually causes pitting.

Wash Regularly

In Perth’s environment even smooth stainless steel finishes may tea stain if not washed regularly to remove salt. As a rule of thumb, it should be washed as regularly as the windows. Perform regular maintenance

Washing removes contaminants (such as salt) that can cause corrosion and is necessary to avoid tea staining. Rain washing the surface is helpful in reducing tea staining, so design the job to take advantage of the rain, but ensure good drainage.

Stipulate that the stainless steel also be washed when cleaning of the surrounding area takes place. For best results wash with soap or mild detergent and warm water followed by rinsing with clean cold water. The appearance of the surface can be improved further if the washed surface is wiped dry. If routine cleaning of the surrounding area does not take place, washing frequency for the stainless steel is recommended.

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