The popularity of Stainless Steel appliances in homes has made many know what professional cleaners have know for years, stainless steel can be a challenge to keep clean. When it is clean, it looks great! Commercial kitchens have it. You see it in public bathrooms. Even most drinking fountains are made with it. It has been around forever. Yet, it seems everyone wants to know how to clean stainless steel?
First lets take a closer look at stainless steel on the surface Stainless steel has a grain to it. Look at it closely and you will see tiny grooves. These grooves play an important part in whether stainless steel is clean or covered in streaks and finger prints.
Why is it so Difficult to Clean Stainless Steel?
When cleaning stainless steel, most will pick up a can of stainless steel cleaner. The problem is that most traditional stainless steel cleaners don’t really “clean”.
They smooth out the surface and the cloth used to wipe the surface removes the dust and other particles that have gathered. The surface will shine. This is because the oily residue left behind is smooth. But that same residue is easily smudged and hold dirt. Finger prints also show up much better in the film.
Ever see older stainless steel that looks yellow? That is the build up of oil and polish and dirt from years of being “cleaned” with stainless steel cleaner.
How To Restore and Clean Stainless Steel
So now that we have the Why Stainless Steel is dirty out of the way, lets look at How to Clean Stainless Steel. And, keep it clean. Go back to those tiny grooves. They are usually filled with the cleaner. We have to get them cleared out.
This can be done with a microfiber cloth and some elbow grease. Luckily elbow grease does not leave a residue!
Because of the way microfiber works to clean surfaces, it can get down into the surface of the stainless steel and remove the film. In some cases, you may need to use a mild detergent degreaser to strip away the build up of cleaners. It may take a few times to restore it back to the original look, but trust me, it can be done.
Drinking fountains and stainless steel sinks may have an added issue. Hard water build up. This is caused when water attaches to the residue and dries. The water escapes, but the minerals in don’t. Over time, the mineral deposits will form a path to the drain. This can be removed with a lime scale remover. Just make sure to rinse the surface with water afterward to ensure there is no additional film left.
The best part is, once you can get the surface actually clean, your stainless steel will be amazingly easy to keep clean. Now that you know how to clean stainless steel, you will be a hit at parties!
Finger Prints Be Gone!