Caring for Stainless Steel

by Lawton Brothers | Apr 16, 2021

Stainless steel is a common material in households as well as commercial settings, for a wide range of uses. Its superior durability across a variety of circumstances makes it a great option for factory equipment, food processing, and even appliances. 

Pros of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has no reaction to acidic food items such as tomatoes, citruses, and vinegars that can degrade other standard metals. Just as well, it is non-porous. This means that the material is smooth and does not allow for the buildup of grime and bacteria in cracks or divots that are present on many common work surfaces (such as marble or granite). This combination of characteristics presents a surface that is extremely easy to clean, often only needing a soft cloth, detergent, and warm water to remove messes.

Stainless steel is protected by its own thin layer of chromium oxide that prevents it from corrosion. Any contamination or buildup on the surface prevents this process and, in turn, decreases the strength and natural resilience of the metal. Therefore, routine cleaning is necessary to protect your surfaces – in fact, it is impossible to wear down stainless steel from excessive cleaning. 

Basic Cleaning

Routine cleaning of stainless steel is as simple as using warm water and detergent with a soft cloth. Be sure to avoid using rough materials or scrubbing sponges on the surface or scratches may occur. While some smaller scratches can be buffed out, larger ones will prove more troublesome. Always follow the grain to prevent damaging the surface and keep it looking shiny and new. 

What to Avoid

Chlorine and Bleach: These products will ruin the protective layer of your stainless steel and can lead to warping and other surface problems that degrade its resistance to bacteria.

Abrasion: Stainless steel is one of the most durable metals on earth, yet it is fairly easy to scratch. Avoid using steel wool and other physically rough materials, as well as chemically rough products like powder cleaners.

Leaving Dirt or Water: As mentioned, stainless steel can only benefit from cleaning – there is no detriment to ‘excessively’ cleaning this material. On the other hand, there can be a huge impact to the longevity of your steel if you allow grime or liquids to settle on the surface for too long. 

How is Your Stainless Steel Looking?

Whether you have questions about your stainless steel products or would like to discuss a free cleaning audit with one of our professionally certified staff, give us a call today at: 800.432.0813. Since 1946, Lawton Brothers has been dedicated to delivering innovative facility maintenance solutions with a time-honored commitment to integrity and service. Let us help with your cleaning and training needs and check out the equipment available from our service center.

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