Stainless steel is widely used in commercial kitchens, and it’s easy to understand why: it’s a sturdy, easy-to-clean material that looks great and is available in a number of finishes. However, it is not a completely maintenance-free object, and if not correctly cared for, it can rust. Fortunately, stainless steel cutlery, cookware, work tables, sinks, and even stainless steel equipment are simple to maintain. Continue reading to learn how to clean affordable stainless steel benches and keep your appliances, cookware, and flatware looking beautiful for years to come!
Types of Stainless Steel
Unlike iron or steel, stainless steel includes extra metals such as chromium and nickel, which help it resist corrosion. Don’t mistake stainless steel with galvanized steel, just plain steel with a zinc coating placed on top.
While stainless steel comes in various “series” (various compositions), the 400 series and 300 series are the most popular in the foodservice sector.
- The stainless steel of the 400 Series contains chromium.
- For enhanced durability and corrosion resistance, 300 Series stainless steel contains both chromium and nickel.
Without getting too scientific, adding these metals to steel in particular amounts alters its makeup down to the atomic level, forming an invisible coating on the surface that shields the metal from corrosion.
If this film is mistreated, it can be destroyed because it is just a millionth of an inch thick. This protective layer can be damaged in three ways, allowing rust to take hold:
- Anything that may scratch the steel’s surface, such as steel wool, wire brushes, and scrapers, is referred to as mechanical abrasion.
- Deposits and water—Hard water left on the surface can create water spots and erode the protective layer and food deposits.
- Water, food, and table salt all include chlorides, although they’re most often found in household and industrial cleansers.
Cleaning stainless steel work tables, sinks, and other equipment regularly is critical.
- Soft cloths, microfiber, sponges, or plastic scouring pads are the ideal cleaning equipment. Anything that might scratch the surface should be avoided.
- Using the polish lines as a guide: Stainless steel generally has a visible “grain” that runs in one way or another. It’s always preferable to scrub or wipe parallel to the lines if you can see them, especially if you’re using something more abrasive than a towel or wiper. Make sure you’re using the correct cleaning chemicals: Alkaline, alkaline chlorinated, or non-chloride chemicals are the finest cleaners for stainless steel.
Can stainless steel rust or tarnish?
Although stainless steel is resistant to corrosion and rust in theory, it is inaccurate to state that it never rusts—several factors, including determining stainless steel’s tensile strength.
- The series of stainless steels
- The series is meant to be used in a certain way.
- Contamination of the metal’s surface with other metals.
Noble Chemical has several stainless steel cleansers and polishes that are made particularly for stainless steel. Excel is a water-based spray cleaning and polish that will not collect dirt like an oil-based cleanser. It’s ideal for use in industrial kitchens!
Spiffy Shine is a liquid stainless steel cleaner with an oil basis. While it produces the brightest shine of all three items, it is not suitable for a professional kitchen. We don’t advocate using it in locations with many oils, such as near a fryer, because it will gather grease and dust. Also, after applying it on any food-contact surfaces, you should thoroughly wash them.