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How to Care For and Clean Stainless Steel

In order to maintain the appearance and prevent corrosion of stainless steel, proper care and cleaning methods must be utilized.  Stainless steels corrosion protection is composed of a layer of Chromium Oxide.  The existence of any surface contaminant will impede protection, resulting in staining and corrosion.  Routine cleaning and care will preserve the appearance and integrity of your railing system.

What are common surface contaminants?

Dirt, dust, fingerprints, grease, oils.

What is the proper procedure for cleaning stainless steel?

In some instances, a thorough cleaning can be achieved by use of warm water only.  However, for harder-to-remove contaminants, a mild detergent may be used.  When detergents are necessary to use, the cleaning must be finished with a thorough, warmwater rinse.  Detergents should never be left on the surface of your railings. You may use a soft cloth to adequately dry the surface of the stainless steel to avoid streaking.

You cannot over-clean stainless steel.  Frequent and thorough cleanings will offer optimum results.  Use only a soft abrasive cleanser, and only if absolutely necessary on brushed finishes.  Never use abrasives on highly-polished, stainless steel finishes.

Effective Cleaning Methods 

• Routine Cleaning - Use warm water, soap, ammonia, or mild detergent.
• Fingerprints and Smears - Use a stainless steel cleaner/polish.
• Stains and Discoloration - Use a stainless steel cleaner/polish, lightly rubbing with a damp cloth in the direction of the polish lines.

Always follow completely the manufacturer’s usage instructions for the product used to clean your stainless steel railings.  Never misuse any product when cleaning and caring for your railing system.  All procedures used should enhance the aesthetics and lengthen the life of your railings.

Detergent or cleaner should be neutral and have low chloride content.  Avoid using products, which will adversely affect the protective coating of your stainless steel.

Useful Links
North American stainless steel cleaning guide
EURO INOX stainless steel cleaning guide


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