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Instructions on how to take care of products
Suggested Methods of Cleaning Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel Mistakes NOT to Make


Instructions on how to take care of products

You should enjoy a lifetime of "productivity" from your Stainless Steel products. However, to ensure that this is possible, it still needs some simple care and maintenance.

The attractive and hygienic surface appearance of stainless steel products cannot be regarded as completely maintenance free. All grades and finishes of stainless steel may in fact stain, discolour or attain an adhering layer of grime in normal service. To achieve maximum corrosion resistance the surface of the stainless steel product must be kept clean. Provided the grade, condition and surface finish were correctly selected for the particular service environment, fabrication and installation procedures were correct and that cleaning schedules are carried out regularly, good performance and long life will be achieved.

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Suggested Methods of Cleaning Stainless Steel


Cleaning Agent


Routine Cleaning
All finishes

Soap or mild detergent and water (Preferably warm)

Sponge, rinse with clean water, wipe dry if necessary. Follow polish lines.

All finishes

Soap and warm water or organic solvent (eg acetone, alcohol, methylated spirits)

Rinse with clean water and wipe dry. Follow polish lines.

Stubborn Stains and Discolouration.
All finishes.

Mild cleaning solutions, eg. Jif, specialty stainless steel cleaners.

Use rag, sponge or fibre brush (soft nylon or natural bristle. An old toothbrush can be useful). Rinse well with clean water and wipe dry. Follow polish lines.

Lime Deposits from Hard Water.

Solution of one part vinegar to three parts water.

Soak in solution then brush to loosen. Rinse well with clean water.

Oil or Grease Marks.

All finishes.

Organic solvents (eg. acetone, alcohol, methylated spirits, proprietary "safety solvents"). Baked-on grease can be softened beforehand with ammonia.

Clean after with soap and water, rinse with clean water and dry. Follow polish lines.

Rust and other Corrosion Products.

Embedded or Adhering "Free Iron".

Rust stains can be removed by adding one part of nitric acid to nine parts of warm water. Leave for 30 to 60 minutes, then wash off with plenty of water, and flush any drains thoroughly. See also previous section on Passivating.

Rinse well with clean water. Wear rubber gloves, mix the solution in a glass container, and be very careful with the acid. (see Precautions for acid cleaners)

Routine Cleaning of Boat Fittings.

Frequent washing down with fresh water.

Washing is recommended after each time the boat is used in salt water.

Cooking Pot Boiled Dry.

Remove burnt food by soaking in hot water with detergent, baking soda or ammonia.

Afterwards clean and polish, with a mild abrasive if necessary. See comments re steel wool.

Dark Oxide From Welding or Heat Treatment.

"Pickling Paste" or pickling solutions given on previous page.

Must be carefully rinsed, and use care in handling (see Precautions for acid cleaners).

Scratches on Polished (Satin) Finish.

Slight scratches - use impregnated nylon pads. Polish with scurfs dressed with iron-free abrasives for deeper scratches. Follow polish lines. Then clean with soap or detergent as for routine cleaning.

Do not use ordinary steel wool - iron particles can become embedded in stainless steel and cause further surface problems. Stainless steel and "Scotch-brite" scouring pads are satisfactory.

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Stainless Steel Mistakes NOT to Make

Do not use abrasive cleaners that will scratch the surface.

Depending on the surface finish of your stainless steel, abrasive cleaners can cause scratching. Duller finishes probably won't show scratching as much as mirror or highly polished finishes. When in doubt, test in a hidden spot, and also work from the least risky type of cleaning, (ie water) to the heavy duty stuff.

Do not forget to rinse.

Gritty or dirty water, or residue from cleaning solutions left on a stainless steel surface can stain or damage the finish.

Do not use cleaners containing chlorine.

While it may be second nature to bleach everything, stainless steel and chlorine don't mix. Stay away from the bleach when you clean stainless steel.

Do not use steel wool or steel brushes.

These products leave little particles in the surface of the steel and inevitably these particles begin rusting and staining the surface of the steel. They also can excessively scratch the surface of your stainless steel.

Do not assume it's the cleaner.

If you do have some spotting or staining, and you've followed all of the rules, it may not be the cleaner. Water, especially hard water, can leave spotting and staining on stainless steel surfaces. Towel dry after rinsing can end the problem.

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