Stainless Steel Maintenance
The Proper Care and Treatment of Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel is generally very corrosion resistant and will perform satisfactorily in most environments. Its resistance primarily depends on the elemental makeup or grade used when exposed to a corrosive environment. AISI 304 grade is primarily used for interior applications, whereas, AISI 316 grade is used more for exterior applications due to its added resistance. Care is needed in making sure to select the appropriate grade of stainless steel for your given application. The term stainless steel can be misleading, as it does indeed stain overtime when not properly maintained. There are a few steps and precautions to take to make sure your stainless items will stand the test of time.
Cleaning Stainless Steel:
Every few months rinsing your stainless railing with warm fresh water and soap will normally suffice, otherwise a degreaser spray (E4051) offered by Indital USA can help remove most contaminants, smudges, fingerprint, and restore the shine. Indital USA also offers a polishing spray (E4052) which leaves a thin antistatic and water-repellant coat on the metallic surface.
Most hard to remove stains or scratches can be moved carefully using a coarse Scotch-Brite Pad, but keep in mind you’ll want to scrub in the same direction of the grain.
When living in an area where there are a high levels of contaminants (pools, coastal regions, chemical plants, etc), it is possible to see some potential corrosion, even when using a 316 grade stainless steel. You will want to make sure to clean your railing with the degreaser and polishing spray more often throughout the year. If any surface rust does appear, it is important to deal with it immediately rather than waiting. Indital USA offers a de-rusting solution (E4052/D) and a passivating paste (E4052/P) which are both products to clean up the iron traces from the stainless steel surfaces. They will clean, protect, and amplify the pre-existing brightness, all while creating a protective oxide and chrome barrier on the stainless steel surface.