Stainless steel is one of the common materials that make up appliances in any household. Accessories and appliances are usually made of stainless steel, because this material does not easily stain, rust or corrode like ordinary steel material. Stainless steel material is also much easier to clean than regular steel. Being "stainless" does not mean it doesn't stain or rust, though. Stainless steel only stains less but it does not mean that it is stain-proof. Some liquids or materials might easily make appliances dirty, and these contribute to rusting and early deterioration.
Here are a few tips on how to clean stainless steel appliances.
- Dusty appliances may be wiped with a soft, dry cloth. You can use a damp rag, but be sure to dry the moisture off, to avoid watermarks.
- If you notice some liquid drop or water marks on your stainless steel appliances, wipe it off as soon as possible. Don't let these stains dry, because some liquids can seep into steel making it difficult to take out.
- For dried watermarks from fruit or vegetable juices you can use a wet cloth and scrub the area. Afterwards, wipe with a dry cloth. Remember that watermarks become more difficult to remove the longer they has been there, so it's best to scrub them out as soon as you see them.
- For hard to remove water marks, use hot water to soften the watermark a bit. This causes the metal's molecules to expand a bit, therefore loosening some of the stains. Again, after removing the stain, don't forget to swipe you stainless steel appliance with clean dry cloth to prevent or at least slow down the formation of rust.
- You can also purchase some off-the-shelf cleaning solutions for stainless steel. These can usually be applied on a piece of cloth and rubbed over stained spots. Afterwards, you can use metal polish to maintain the sheen and shine of your steel appliances.
- Remember not to apply solution or detergent that contains chloride or chlorine because these can lead to corrosion, or can weaken iron components of stainless steel. These can cause chemical reactions, which weaken the hold of atoms within the metal, and therefore result in structural damages in the long run.
- For stainless steel utensils, use only a soft sponge when washing. Avoid using scouring pads or scrubs, because these will scratch the surface, making it susceptible to stains and corrosion.
- You can also use baking soda to clean tough stains. Baking soda can be used as an alternative to scrubbing. Simply mix in some baking soda with water to form a paste, and you can then use this to scrub the stained area lightly with a sponge or soft cloth.
While most of these tips are for cleaning stained stainless steel appliances, the best way to maintain your appliances and keep them in top condition is to make sure you clean and dry them thoroughly after use, and that you keep these in a cool, dry place afterwards.