As we know, stainless steel is long lasting materials which widely used by many industry. All grades of stainless steel will discolour and stain. Maintenance is needed to keep them looks new and in good condition. To retain stainless steel from corrosion, the surface need to be clean and the surface finishing must be done well. It is recommended to plan a regular maintenance schedule for longer lifetime and better performance.
Factors Affecting Maintenance
Contamination on the surface of stainless steel may be causes by iron or rust from other material used. Sometimes, the natural atmosphere can also cause corrosive, for example marine water which contain salt. Condition such as hot and humid (swimming pool) increases discolouration of stainless steel. Cleaning liquid, sterilizers and bleaches are often used during maintenance process.
Sometimes, strong acid are used to clean the building and tiling. This may causes damage to metals including stainless steel and cause rust on the surface. Use water to remove the acid solution left on the surface and wipe dry. Don’t forget water is one of the cause rust.
Before manufacturer hand over to customer, care and final cleaning is taken during fabrication and installation. If contamination is suspected, immediately cleaning to retain being worse. A high level of cleanliness is needed especially for food equipment, pharmaceutical, aerospace and also nuclear applications. It is recommended to clean at least one to four times of the surface, or once a day is suggested for special situation. The maintenance cost for stainless steel is low.
General Cleaning Methods
Stainless steel products are easy to clean by using soap or detergent and warm water, then rinse it with clear water and wiped dry. If they become extremely dirty or discolouration, special cleaning method is needed. The cleaning process is different depends on the contaminant to be removed, the level of cleanliness, and the cleaning cost. Stainless steel with smooth surface discourages corrosion and dirt from appearing.
Sheltered area of a building needs extra care as there is the place where collect dirt after rain. If it is not clean away regularly, it may cause deterioration or corrosion. To remove dirt cause by rain, use soap, detergent or ammonia to wash away, rinse it with clean water and wiped dry.
If you had neglected cleaning or being under climate environment for certain periods, use nylon or non-scratching clothes in cleaning process. You should not use steel wool soap pad to clean the stainless steel materials as it might leave scratches on the surface which can causes rusting.
Today, there are more and more manufacturers and designers and users realized that service and maintenance cost are more important than the initial cost. The repair and maintenance cost are always higher than expected, sometimes even higher than initial cost of more durable materials. It is important to choose the best furnishing for the materials. Regular cleaning is also important to keep stainless steel item longer lifetime.