The Care and Keeping of Your Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is the de facto standard for restaurant equipment for an abundance of reasons. It’s hard-wearing, easy to clean and, depending on the grade, resistant to bacteria — a big deal in a dining environment.
Still, the material requires assiduous attention in order not to fall into disrepair.
As such, some tips for how to maintain your stainless steel in order to get the most out of it (and avoid its erosion) in your commercial workspace:
- Use a wet, clean cloth.Ideally, a damp bar towel is your best bet for tackling a stainless steel finish, but if it’s not enough, add the effects of a mild detergent. For particularly stubborn stains, try baking soda or a non-abrasive commercial cleanser. Never use bleach or coarse cleaning pads like steel wool. Only use stainless steel cleaners if nothing else works; it’s an actual coating designed to repair damage.
- Act quickly. Spilled food, especially if it’s acidic, can damage the protective chromium layer if left too long, so mop up spills as soon as you can. Rinse thoroughly (residual soap can prove harmful) and dry immediately, to prevent water spots from taking permanent shape.
- Try baking soda.When water and detergent are not enough for more difficult stains, make a paste from baking soda and water. You can also use a commercial cream cleanser, as long as it is non-abrasive.
- Use glass cleaner.Stainless steel responds well to glass cleaner, particularly in its removal of fingerprints. And eradicating the things is a smart move considering the damage to the finish your finger’s oily imprint can cause.
- Mind the grain.Wipe the stainless steel in the same direction as the steel’s naturally embedded fine polishing lines.
The stainless steel surfaces in your kitchen equipment sport a thin exterior layer of chromium that helps make them resistant to staining, rusting and corrosion. But that doesn’t exempt their owners from the frequent cleaning for which the stuff calls.
And fastidious germophobes need not fret: one cannot overclean stainless steel.