American Services, restaurant equipment installation in Sunset Hills, knows there is a reason that stainless steel is the preferred material for restaurant equipment. There are two key ingredients for an efficient commercial kitchen; durability, and ease in cleaning. Some grades of stainless steel resist bacteria and can be used as a food contact surface. If stainless steel is not properly maintained it will corrode just like any other metal.
All stainless steel surfaces have a thin layer of chromium on the outside. This layer reacts with air to create a slick, hard surface that resists stains and corrosion. Anything that damages or interferes with this chromium/air interaction such as dirt, oil, or scratches will cause stainless steel to stain, corrode, and rust. Frequent cleaning is necessary to prevent the deterioration of stainless steel finish. Unlike other steel finishing that can wear away after repeated washing, the chromium layer will never wear away on stainless steel, so you can never clean stainless steel too much.
How to clean stainless steel:
1.Use a wet cloth with mild detergent only. Most times all that is needed is a damp towel.
2. Wipe in the direction of the finish. Scrubbing across the grain can cause damage to the stainless steel finish.
3. For baked on grease use baking soda or any other non-abrasive cleaner.
4. Clean spills immediately. Spilled food especially acidic food damages the protective chromium layer if left too long.
5. To remove fingerprints use glass cleaner. Oil from fingerprints can actually etch or tarnish stainless steel finish, especially on the mirror polished chromium finishes. At the end of the day make sure your stainless steel finish is clear of any fingerprints.
6. Thoroughly rinse after cleaning, dried soap or detergent can be corrosive to your stainless steel equipment.
7. Finally dry immediately after cleaning, water spots from hard water can also damage your stainless steel finish.
Three precautions to keep in mind when cleaning stainless steel restaurant equipment:
– Chlorine or any cleaners containing chlorine will break down the chromium layer quickly.
– Never use abrasive sponges or steel wool; this will cause scratches and lead to rust.
– Stainless steel cleaners should be used as a last resort, and only if your stainless steel equipment is already scratched or stained. This type of cleaner is meant to repair damaged stainless steel.