The 5 Best Ways to Clean Steel Surfaces

by Aug 1, 2019Tips0 comments

Stainless steel is an amazingly strong and resilient metal, but it can become dirty, rusty, or damaged after long periods of heavy use. The chromium found in stainless steel protects it from most stains, but not all. Some day you’re going to need to clean your steel surfaces and objects, so we’ve created this handy guide to provide you with different methods for cleaning steel.

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1). The Traditional Way

Stainless steel surfaces are easy to clean. The important thing to remember is that steel has a grain, just like wood. It’s harder to see, but it’s there. Whenever you brush or wipe your steel, always go in the direction of the grain. Going against the grain can work dirt and contaminants deeper into the metal and cause scratching and other damage.

The traditional method for cleaning steel surfaces or tools involves nothing more than a brush, some soap, clean water, and a soft cloth.

  • Use a soft nylon brush to sweep away excess dust and dirt.
  • Wash the surface with a gentle soap. Remember to scrub with the grain.
  • Rinse with clean water.
  • Wipe dry with a clean cloth in the direction of the grain.
  • Do this every 6 months, or as needed.

2). The Heavy-Duty Way

What about steel that has burnt-on food stains or discolorations from coffee and tea? That’s going to require some soaking, some baking soda, and a bit more elbow grease.

  • Soak the item in hot water with diluted ammonia.
  • After soaking for a few hours, use a nylon brush to remove the stain.
  • If you need more cleaning power, use a paste made from baking soda and water.
  • Scrub the stain with the brush and paste.
  • Rinse with clean water.
  • Dry with a soft, clean cloth.

3). The Degreasing Way

 Sometimes your steel objects will get covered in greasy grime or oily fingerprints. This requires the addition of a degreasing soap to your cleaning routine. Rubbing alcohol is an excellent solvent for getting rid of greasy residue.

  • For fingerprints, wash with a degreasing dish soap.
  • Rinse with clean water.
  • Dry with a soft, gentle cloth.
  • For greasy tools, apply isopropyl alcohol with a soft cloth.
  • Rub away the grease with the cloth.
  • Repeat until clean and dry.

 4). The Commercial Way

 Commercial stainless steel cleaning products aren’t the most budget-friendly, but they do tend to get the job done. There are a variety of cleaners for different finishes and different types of grime. Some target built-up lime and oxidation, while others focus on lifting deep discolorations. Always use caution and follow the instructions on the bottle.

 5). The Natural Way

 If you or a loved one has chemical sensitivities, or if you just want to use a more natural cleaning solution in your home, you can use gentle cleaning products like baby soap, mineral oil, and soft washcloths. White vinegar and baking soda will take care of tougher spots or grease. Just use them as you would any other cleanser, rinse the surface with clean water, and dry with a clean cloth.

 Short Iron Store Has What You Need!

We have a staff of experienced and helpful metal experts to answer your questions, and a huge on-site inventory of aluminums, steels, and exotic alloys. We also provide plasma cutting services and prefabrication. Call us today and we’ll make your vision a reality!