While the term ‘stainless’ steel implies that products manufactured from stainless steel are immune to corrosion or rust, unfortunately, that is not the case. In reality, any product manufactured from stainless steel can rust or corrode if certain precautions aren’t taken.
As a metal, steel can rust whereas stainless steel appliances have additional elements which lower the risk of them becoming stained or turning rusty. As an element, steel is not rust-proof and consequently, neither is stainless steel.
Stainless steel typically has a chromium covering which, when it comes into contact with oxygen, forms a layer of chromium oxide which you can’t see with the naked eye. It’s this layer of chromium oxide which protects stainless steel from rust and stains. We should mention at this time that the layer of chromium oxide isn’t permanent and can be removed. However, when it is damaged or removed, the likelihood of rust and other stains appearing on the surface of the stainless steel is raised.
So, how can you prevent rust and stains?
- Avoid too much force – When you’re cleaning a stainless-steel appliance, avoid scrubbing with force, as this may damage the layer of chromium oxide. Instead, try and soak the appliance in warm soapy water to loosen any crime or hardened stains.
- Use gentle detergents – When using detergents on stainless steel, steer clear of any products that contain harsh ingredients such as iodine, fluoride, and chloride
- Shun alcohol-based cleaners – These type of cleaners can contribute to the layer of chromium oxide being wiped away
- Avoid steel wool – Do not use steel scouring pads on your stainless-steel appliances. Steel wool leaves tiny iron particles behind that have the potential to trigger rust.
Caring for your stainless steel
All that’s necessary to keep your stainless steel looking pristine and free from stains and/or rust, is to use ordinary soap. What’s more, when you wash stainless steel gently, a new layer of chromium oxide is formed over any damaged areas.
All things considered, stainless steel is a good choice since it is less likely to rust or stain when compared to other metals. Provided, you heed the above tips, you will never regret your purchase.
Should you need help in deciding which type of stainless steel is most suited to your next project then the experts at Metro Steel will be happy to help. Meanwhile, if you have any questions you need answering regarding stainless steel, then please give us a call on 07 3204 1000.