24 Jan 2013
As one of the most resilient materials for household and industrial use, stainless steel is a practical finish for many home surfaces and appliances.
It is the chromium film that coats stainless steel that is responsible for its resistance to rust and tarnish, and with proper care this film can provide protection for many years. The integrity of the film can be damaged by dirt and other contaminants, however, so stainless steel must be kept clean.
You will need warm water, sponges or soft cloths and a mild detergent or ammonia solution to clean your stainless steel.
Tip: Clean often. You probably regularly clean stainless steel dishes, but most people let contaminants build up on larger objects. The more frequently you clean, the easier cleaning will be and the less chance you will have of contaminants damaging the protective film.
Tip: If you have one, use a dishwasher for stainless steel dishes. Dishwashers are perfect for cleaning small stainless objects. They use very warm water, gentle cleaners, and are persistent and gentle in their "scrubbing."
Tip: If you just can't get a stain out by soaking and gentle cleaning, you may want to leave it. An isolated stain or discoloration is preferable to the potential damage to the finish that could result from applying a harsh chemical to the stainless. Oven cleaner works fine, spray on and wait 1 hour, then wipe off.
Be careful when mixing any types of cleaners. Don't mix commercial cleaners with vinegar or with other brands.
Do not apply bleach to stainless steel. Stainless steel is sensitive to chlorine, and contact with bleach will result in staining and damage to the protective film.
Nitric acid is a highly corrosive chemical and should not be used if you are not familiar with proper handling and disposal techniques.
Article courtesy of www.home-dzine.co.za
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