Care and Maintenance of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel products are selected where their inherent corrosion resistance, strength and aesthetic appeal are required. However, dependent on the service conditions, stainless steel will stain and discolour due to surface deposits and so cannot be assumed to be completely maintenance free.
In order to achieve maximum corrosion resistance and aesthetic appeal, the surface of the stainless steel must be kept clean. If cleaning schedules are carried out on a regular basis, good performance and long service life will result.
Clean with a stainless steel cleaner, DO NOT use soap, chemical cleaning detergents, bleach or abrasive cleaners. Should mild detergent be used, please ensure that the detergent is fully rinsed off unit prior to drying.
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Factors Affecting Maintenance
Surface contamination and the formation of deposits must be prevented. These deposits may be minute particles of iron or rust from other sources used on the building of new premises and not removed until after the stainless steel items have been fixed. Industrial and even naturally occurring atmospheric conditions can produce deposits, which can be equally corrosive, e.g. salt deposits from marine conditions. Working environments can also provide aggressive conditions such as heat and humidity, in a swimming pool building.
These conditions can result in surface discoloration of stainless steels and so maintenance on a more frequent basis may be required. Strong acid solutions are sometimes used to clean masonry and tiling of buildings.
These acids should never be used where contact with stainless steel is possible, but if this happens, the acid solution must be removed immediately, followed by dilution and rinsing with clean water.
Where surface contamination is suspected, immediate cleaning after site fixing should avoid problems later. Food handling, pharmaceutical, aerospace and certain nuclear applications required extremely high levels of cleanliness applicable to each industry. The frequency of cleaning is dependent on the application; a simple rule is;
Clean the metal when it is dirty in order to restore its original appearance
This may vary from once to four times a year for external applications, but may be daily for items in “hygienic” applications.