Stainless Steel: How To Clean & Remove Rust And Scratches

If you have recently had stainless steel fabrication for industrial, domestic or commercial use, you may not be familiar with how to look after this metal. Knowing how to treat your stainless steel machinery, equipment or utilities will enhance their longevity. For stainless steel that lasts, read on to find out more.

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What is stainless steel?

Stainless steel is a generic term that refers to multiple types of steel. Stainless steel is made up of iron and carbon, but what makes it different to other kinds of steel is the addition of nickel and chromium. The combination of these elements results in a product that is resistant to corrosion.

How to clean stainless steel?

If you’re going to clean this metal, you will want to make sure you are doing it correctly to avoid any potential damage. You can clean stainless steel multiple ways as follows:

  • Warm water: use a microfiber cloth and warm water to wipe down the stainless steel and use a towel to dry it to avoid water spots.
  • Dishwashing liquid: the same process here applies as above, but with the addition of dishwashing liquid for more stubborn dirt and grime. Ensure you rinse the soap off stainless steel surfaces before towel drying.
  • Stainless steel cleaner: you can find a variety of these products on the market that help to remove tough stains on stainless steel surfaces. Just ensure you buy one that has been specially formulated for stainless steel.

Removing rust from stainless steel

Rust can build up on stainless steel over time or following prolonged exposure to moisture such as rain. Once rust appears, it can be stubborn to remove. Below are some ways to remove rust from stainless steel:

  • Baking soda: Make a paste from a tablespoon of baking soda and 2 cups of water, or with a splash of lemon juice. Then, rub the paste onto the affected area with a cloth, working with the grain. Leave it to set for a few minutes, then rinse with a damp paper towel. You can also make the paste in bigger quantities for larger surface areas.
  • Stronger solutions: Using solutions that contain oxalic acid can help remove rust from stainless steel. Apply to the rust and scrub, then rinse. Solutions such as WD 40 can also help to remove rust.

How to remove scratches from stainless steel

Unfortunately, stainless steel can be prone to scratching but don’t worry, there are remedies! How you treat it will depend on the type of scratch.

Fine scratches

Use a stainless steel scratch removal compound, with water if it is a powder, and apply this to a microfibre cloth rubbing gently over the scratch until it buffs away. You can also use a tiny amount of whitening toothpaste to remove fine scratches.

Deep scratches

For deeper scratches, you will need sandpaper, a smoother grit pad, a microfibre cloth and water. Sand the scratch with wet sandpaper, filing with the grain. Once you notice the scratch disappearing, you can apply the same process with the smoother grit pad and then finish with a wet microfiber cloth.

Stainless steel as a trustworthy material

Whilst stainless steel is prone to rust and scratches, these can be easily removed using the methods mentioned above. This durable and sturdy material is an excellent choice for a variety of applications. If you need a stainless steel fabrication across the Gold Coast, then contact Sheetmetal Improvements & Design today!

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