Lady Chameleon

Design + Architecture Blog

Ways to care for Stainless Steel

Nothing is quite like it, stainless steel is a very desirable material for all sorts of applications around a dwelling or commercial building. Its lustre, finish, and general hardwearing qualities, see it being the material of choice for everything from kitchen bench tops, fittings, Hardware For Folding Doors, Sliding Door Hardware and even light switches.  If you have any sort of stainless steel in your home you’ll know that it can sometimes be quite hard to keep it looking shiny and clean. Read on and I’ll go over some of the do’s and don’ts of stainless steel care – particularly related to Exterior Folding Doors and associated Door Hardware.

As a general rule, stainless steel is very resistant to rust and corrosion, however it is not completely impervious to it. The most common problem with stainless steel is so called “Tea Staining” which is a visually brown discolouration on the surface of the stainless steel that is a more common occurrence in areas close to the sea or in areas with high chloride levels. Sea spray and salt deposits, high temperatures will all affect external fittings such as those found in Exterior Sliding Door Hardware and can cause this staining. Whilst visually this is not pleasing to the eye, this staining does not affect the actual integrity or lifespan of the materials used in Sliding and Folding Hardware.

There are various other things that may cause corrosion in stainless steel. Avoid using cleaners that contain Chloride including bleach, Muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid), or that will leave concentrated soap residue. Any contact with iron materials should be avoided also, such as water that is high in iron dripping continuously onto the Door Hardware or even using steel wool to clean can do more harm than good. To clean stainless steel and avoid discolouration, always use a gentle cleaning agent such as Ajax powder or a specialist stainless steel cleaner such as Goddards or CRC Xtra Shine and a scotchbrite pad. In marine environments its best to also apply some corrosion prevention such as CRC Marine 66 or Inox to the exposed surfaces.

As a rough guide in general household environments, external stainless steel Door Hardware should be cleaned every six months. In marine or industrial areas, most manufacturers recommend a minimum of three months per cleaning cycle and the ongoing application of light corrosion prevention mentioned above. In summary, although most people believe stainless steel to be virtually indestructible, while close to the truth, in order to keep your stainless steel looking and functioning as new, some maintenance is required to be carried out on a regular basis.