008675785436752

Home > FAQ > About stainless steel industry >

What are the cleaning methods for stainless steel ?

What are the cleaning methods for stainless steel ?

Update Time:2020-06-13

Stainless steel is easy to clean. Washing with soap or mild detergent and warm water followed by a clear water rinse is usually quite adequate for domestic and architectural equipment. Where stainless steel has become extremely dirty with signs of surface discolouration (perhaps following periods of neglect, or misuse) alternative methods of cleaning can be used, as outlined below.

RequirementSuggested Method Comments
Routine cleaning of light soilingSoap, detergent or dilute (1%) ammonia solution in warm clean water. Apply with a clean sponge, soft cloth or soft-fibrebrush then rinse in clean water and drySatisfactory on most surfaces
FingerprintsDetergent and warm water, alternatively, hydrocarbon solventProprietary spray-applied polishes available to clean and minimise remarking
Oil and grease marksHydrocarbon solvents (methylated spirit, isopropyl alcohol or acetone) Alkaline formulations are also available with surfactant additions e.g.' 
Stubborn spots, stains and light discolouration. Water marking. Light rust stainingMild, non-scratching creams and polishes. Apply with soft cloth or soft sponge and rinse off residues with clean water and dry.Avoid cleaning pastes with abrasive additions3. Suitable cream cleansers are available with soft calcium carbonate additions, e.g. 'Jif', or with the addition of citric acid, e.g. Shiny Sinks1. Do not use chloride solutions8,9.
Localised rust stains caused by carbon steel contaminationProprietary gels, or 10% phosphoric acid solution (followed by ammonia and water rinses), or oxalic acid solution (followed by water rinse).Small areas may be treated with a rubbing block comprising fine abrasive in a hard rubber or plastic filler. Carbon steel wool should not be used, nor should pads that have previously been used on carbon steel. A test should be carried out to ensure that the original surface finish is not damaged.
Burnt on food or carbon depositsPre-soak in hot water with detergent or ammonia solution. Remove deposits with nylon brush and fine scouring powder if necessary. Repeat if necessary and finish with 'routine cleaning'.Abrasive souring powder can leave scratch marks on polished surfaces.
Tannin (tea) stains and oily deposits in coffee urnsTannin stains - soak in a hot solution of washing soda i.e. sodium carbonate. Coffee deposits - soak in a hot solution of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).These solutions can also be applied with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse with clean water. Satisfactory on most surfaces.
Adherent hard water scales and mortar/cement splashes10-15 volume % solution of phosphoric acid. Use warm, neutralise with dilute ammonia solution, rinse with clean water and dry6. Alternatively soak in a 25% vinegar solution and use a nylon brush to remove deposits.Proprietary formulations available with surfactant additions. Take special care when using hydrochloric acid based mortar removers .
Heating or heavy discolourationa) Non-scratching cream or polish e.g. Solvol Auto Chrome Metal Polish 

b) Nylon-type pad, e.g. 'Scotchbrite'
a)Creams are suitable for most finishes, but only use 'Solvol' on bright polished surfaces. Some slight scratching can be left.

b)Use on brushed and polished finishes along the grain.
Badly neglected surfaces with accumulated grime depositsA fine, abrasive paste as used for car body refinishing, e.g. 'T-cut' rinsed clean to remove all paste material and dried1.May brighten dull finishes. To avoid a patchy appearance, the whole surface may need to be treated.
Paint, graffitiProprietary alkaline or solvent paint strippers, depending upon paint type. Use soft nylon or bristle brush on patterned surfaces.Apply as directed by manufacturer.