Care and Maintenance
Stainless steel products can offer years of service with minimal repair cost
Stainless steel is known for its attractiveness and hygienic properties, but it is not, in fact, completely maintenance free. Despite its name, all types of stainless steel can stain or discolor. However, with regular cleaning you will achieve a longer life of excellent performance. Since cleaning stainless steel is affordable, and the need doesn't occur often, it can be a better choice than some materials.
Why Must You Maintain Stainless Steel?
A number of factors can lead to reduced life for stainless steel—you must deal with these issues to prevent them from becoming serious concerns. Some of these include:
- Surface contamination
- Formation of deposits (such as salt deposits from marine conditions)
- Operations in warm, high-humidity areas
- Improper use of cleaning products (used warm or concentrated)
- Use of strong acid solutions
Properly maintaining your stainless steel will help prevent small problems from becoming larger ones.
While there may not be any specific cleaning methods required during installation, it is important to take care of any spaces where contamination may be suspected. Immediate attention to this cleaning process assures longer, trouble-free life. Take specific precautions in food handling, pharmaceutical, and aerospace applications.
The consensus with cleaning frequency is to clean the stainless steel surface as often as necessary to keep up with its original appearance. This frequency could vary from anywhere between once a day (or more often) to once a year depending on the location and use of the product.
Acids are not normally utilized in cleaning stainless steel products, but if used, take precautions to protect yourself and the space around you. Wear gloves and safety glasses and dispose of acids properly. Solvents should not be used in closed spaces, and you must not use those around smoking or an open flame. Chlorides (such as bleaches) require proper rinsing after use. No matter what chemicals are used, take care to read and follow the instructions.
Basic cleaning of stainless steel is very simple. You can wash the surface with a mild detergent and warm water followed by rinsing with clean, warm water. Wipe dry the surface for enhanced shine. Commercial products are available to clean your stainless steel products, remove rust or free iron deposits, repair scratches and to enhance the shine. You can contact us for more information on how to clean your stainless product or order a Stainless Steel Care & Maintenance Kit. For best results use SFI's Stainless Steel Care and Maintenance Kit and follow the enclosed instructions.