Tips on cleaning and maintaining stainless steel

December 23, 2020
In this post, you'll read:Without proper maintenance, your stainless steel surfaces might suffer permanent damage. To help you, we have compiled a list of Dos and Don'ts. This will make it easier for you to maintain your stainless steel surfaces.

Table of Contents

Stainless steel is an attractive addition to your house. Your home is likely to look more stylish and elegant if you choose products with stainless steel decorative sheets. They are hard-wearing as they are durable, corrosion-resistant, and can withstand high temperatures. Their minimalistic appearance also makes them suitable for most interior designs. 

This is an image of stainless steel sheets.

Unfortunately, your stainless steel surfaces are rarely as shiny as you expect. This happens if you are the proud owner of domestic pets or parents to younger ones. Fingerprints, the buildup of grime, and watermarks are enemies of stainless steel. They are likely to make your stainless steel products duller and less attractive. If you clean them as soon as possible, it might not pose a significant problem. Otherwise, dirt, grease, grime, and watermarks will accumulate on your stainless steel surfaces. This would make your stainless steel anything but stainless. Without proper maintenance, your stainless steel surfaces might also suffer permanent damage. For example, your stainless steel surfaces might rust or have permanent stains. Cleaning your stainless steel surfaces may seem like a hassle. To help you, we have compiled a list of Dos and Don’ts. This will make it easier for you to maintain your stainless steel surfaces. With many tips for you to choose from, cleaning your stainless steel surfaces will be easy. Here are some lifelong tips on cleaning and maintaining stainless steel surfaces.  These tips will help you keep your stainless steel stainless. 

DOs:

Read the instructions from your stainless steel manufacturer

More often than not, your appliances or products will come with an instruction manual. The manual will elaborate on how best to handle the stainless steel surfaces. A good start would be to read the instructions and follow them.  

This is an image of user guide.

Warm water + non-abrasive cloth

The combination may sound simple to you, but it works wonders. The warm water will help loosen any accumulated hardened particles. You can also find many such cleaning cloths in your local hardware store or supermarkets. Microfiber cloths are an excellent example of non-abrasive cloth. Using an old cotton shirt is also a great alternative, which many of our parents have taught us. 

Identify the direction of the grain

If you examine a tree, you will notice distinctive lines on the bark. These lines are known as the wood grain. You will be surprised to learn that stainless steel sheets also contain their grain, which you can identify upon taking a closer look. To make your stainless steel shinier, wipe the surfaces in the grain’s direction.

This is an image of stainless steel grain.

Use a glass cleaner

Glass cleaners are effective on stainless steel surfaces. They allow your stainless steel surfaces to remain shiny and glossy. You can impress loved ones by making your stainless steel surfaces well-polished. 

Homemade stainless steel cleaners with gentle ingredients

There are a few different homemade cleaners that you can experiment with. The first one is a mixture of vinegar and warm water. The vinegar allows water to evaporate faster. This stops water streaks from forming on your stainless steel surfaces when water evaporates. Use a non-abrasive cloth and dampen it with the vinegar and water mixture. Using the wet cloth, rub your stainless steel surfaces in the direction of the grain. This will allow you to clean and shine your stainless steel surfaces at the same time.

This is an image of vinegar and water cleaner.

You can also try a combination of dish soap, warm water, and baby oil. First, add half a tablespoon of dish liquid into one liter of warm water and mix well. Then, dampen your non-abrasive cloth with the mixture and wipe your stainless steel surfaces in the grain’s direction. Once you have removed the residues, use another damp non-abrasive cloth to clean off the mixture. After the stainless steel surfaces are dry, pick up another non-abrasive cloth. Put some baby oil on the fabric and rub the baby oil in the grain direction without using too much force. This will allow your stainless steel surfaces to be shiny again. Suppose you do not have any baby oil on hand, in that case, you can substitute it with other substances—for example, mineral oil or even your kitchen’s olive oil.

Use commercial stainless steel cleaners

If you are not a fan of DIY products, you can use commercial stainless steel cleaners. While you might have to fork out more money, these cleaners are designed for stainless steel. The cleaners are made to reduce scratching and optimize stain removal. Some of these stainless steel cleaners also come with a protective coating. The coating can protect your stainless steel products from fingerprints and watermarks.

This is an image of stainless steel cleaner.

Remember to read the instructions on the commercial stainless steel cleaners before using them. These cleaners contain strong chemicals that could be hazardous. Ensure that you use them in ventilated areas to prevent yourself from breathing in too many fumes. Avoid using these cleaners on places that come into contact with food preparation. This is because the cleaners may be hazardous to your health.

Rinse after cleaning

Make sure that you rinse the surface of your stainless steel products after cleaning. It will help if you rinse them no matter what cleaning product you choose. This is to ensure that you remove all chemicals and cleaning products from the stainless steel surfaces. Otherwise, you could damage your stainless steel products. You might also be at risk of poisoning if you consume any toxic chemicals.

Coat your stainless steel surfaces with anti-fingerprint coating

You or your family might often come into contact with your stainless steel surfaces. This might be of concern to you as they leave your stainless steel surfaces looking dull. You can avoid this by choosing stainless steel products with anti-fingerprint coating. FTSSS provides an option for stainless steel decorative sheets with anti-fingerprint technology. FTSSS does this by coating the stainless steel surfaces with a protective layer. This layer is a transparent or yellowish liquid layer. When combined with the stainless steel surface, a transparent solid film layer forms. This transparent solid film layer is anti-fingerprint. Say goodbye to ugly fingerprint marks on your stainless steel surfaces.

DON’Ts:

Avoid abrasive cleaners

There are many cleaners that you can find in your local hardware store or supermarkets. Yet, many of these cleaners are harmful to your stainless steel surfaces. A type of cleaner that you should most definitely avoid is abrasive cleaners. They are mechanical cleaners, and they work by scratching off dirt, stains, and grime using friction. These cleaners contain tiny particles or physical abrasives meant to create friction. You should avoid using abrasive cleansers on stainless steel surfaces as they are prone to scratches. Using abrasive cleaners ruins the brightness that makes stainless steel surfaces attractive.

Avoid acidic cleaners

An example is cleaners that contain chloride. You should avoid such cleaners as they will react with your stainless steel products. Since your stainless steel products are not free from corrosion, you could make them rust.  

Avoid using brushes or steel wool products to clean

These products are likely to scratch the surface of your stainless steel sheets. Friction may remove the protective coating on your stainless steel sheets. This will make the stainless steel sheets more prone to corrosion and make them more susceptible to staining.

This is an image of scratching stainless steel.

Avoid using oven cleaners

Oven cleaners are meant to clean even the most stubborn stains or grease accumulated over time in your oven. To do so, oven cleaners are loaded with many chemicals that are harmful to you. Some of the toxic chemicals in oven cleaners are sodium hydroxide and butoxydiglycol. The chemicals in oven cleaners are harsh and could damage stainless steel surfaces if used on them. This may cause your stainless steel surfaces to rust. They could also cause health issues if you are not careful in handling them. 

Avoid leaving spills, grease, or grime to accumulate

The longer dirt and oil stay on your stainless steel sheets, the harder it is to remove them. It is best to clean your stainless steel products to avoid accumulating such substances on your stainless steel products.

Stainless steel surfaces are an attractive option. They are cost-efficient and often brighten up your house. To ensure that they are well maintained, you should make use of the above tips. Do try to incorporate some of the points into your regular cleaning routine. These tips on cleaning and maintaining stainless steel will help keep your stainless steel surfaces looking brighter and shinier.

Hi, I am Linda, FTSSS blog writer . I have been working on stainless steel  since I graduated from university. How time flies!  13 years have slipped away from me. ‘Stay hungry, Stay foolish.’ I am walking steadily on the road of seeking knowledge every day.

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