What Is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is a corrosion resistant metal that is made primarily from iron and carbon in a two-step process. What makes stainless steel different is the addition of chromium (Cr) and other alloying elements such as nickel (Ni).
How Is Stainless Steel Made?
Stainless steel is made when chromium is added to steel. It then forms chromium oxide, which acts as a protective surface to prevent air and moisture from causing rust. This is what happens with standard steel. Chromium is typically added in quantities ranging from 10.5 to 30%, depending on the application or environment in which the steel is to be used. Did you know there are more than 100 different grades of stainless steel?
Learn The Best Ways To Clean Stainless Steel
Nothing is more appealing to the eye than a clean stainless steel piece of equipment, however, most consumers don’t realize what it takes to maintain that brand new look. Grime, scuff marks, scratches, and fingerprints can accumulate on stainless steel and take away from that appealing look.
When cleaning larger stainless steel appliances home cleaning techniques just won’t cut it. If you don’t know the right products to use when cleaning stainless steel then you are basically wasting your time. Pharmaceutical companies, food processing plants, and warehouses have been using stainless steel equipment for decades. These warehouses have been using trial and error time and time again trying to figure out the best methods for cleaning stainless steel.
If your stainless steel equipment comes in contact with the food you’ll need to use food-safe cleaning methods whereas stainless steel equipment that doesn’t touch food can be cleaned more aggressively with harsher chemicals.
Here are the best ways to clean stainless steel equipment broken down into two categories: Food-Safe and Non-Food-Safe.
Food-Safe Stainless Steel Cleaners:
- Water – Simply use a damp cloth and wipe the dirty area of the stainless steel equipment. Use a dry (preferably microfiber) cloth to wipe off any water. It is important to not let the water dry on the stainless steel because it will leave water spots. We recommend doing small areas at a time to minimize the possibility of leaving water spots behind.
- Soap – Make a mild cleaning solution out of dish soap and water. Simply apply the mild cleaning solution and wipe it dry.
- Vinegar – The chemical makeup of vinegar has an acidic base which makes it a much more aggressive cleaner than water, all while still remaining Food-Safe. Simply apply and wipe dry.
- Food-Safe Chemical Cleaners – there are some aggressive cleaning chemicals that a specifically made for food processing products. Pay attention to labels and make sure the cleaning product you use is specifically made for food processing equipment.
- Dry Ice – Some warehouses and companies use special machines that utilize dry ice to practically melt gunk from stainless steel products. Although these systems are much more expensive they would be an excellent choice for larger operations.
Non-Food-Safe Stainless Steel Cleaners:
- Window Cleaner – The chemicals in window cleaner make it a cheap and effective product for cleaning stainless steel. Window cleaner has much more potential than water for cleaning stainless steel but cannot be used on appliances that handle food. Simply apply and wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.
- Aggressive Stainless Steel Chemical Cleaners – Special cleaners have been developed and formulated to significantly improve the look of your stainless steel. Be careful because many of these chemicals are not food-safe, so pay attention to labels!
All of these cleaning options have provided excellent results you just need to gauge your application and determine the best cleaning option for you!
Popular Stainless Steel Appliances & Products To Clean
- Stainless steel refrigerators/fridge
- Stainless steel dishwashers
- Stainless steel trash cans
- Stainless steel tables
- Stainless steel microwaves
- Stainless steel stoves/ovens/grills
- Stainless steel coffee makers
- Stainless steel countertops
- Stainless steel pans/pots
- Stainless steel tumblers
- Stainless steel water bottles
- Stainless steel kitchen sinks
- Stainless steel rings
- Stainless steel jewelry/rings, necklaces, earrings, watches
- Stainless steel shelves
- Stainless steel cups
- Stainless steel dog bowls