Two Maintenance And Care Mistakes To Avoid When Caring For Stainless Steel Appliances

If you want a clean and modern look to your kitchen, then consider purchasing stainless steel Thermador appliances for the space. Stainless steel is durable and easy to clean, and the metal will reflect light so your kitchen retains a light and airy feel. While stainless steel can stay strong and resist damage against most things you subject your refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher to, there are some mistakes that can cause damage. A few mistakes that you should avoid are listed below.

Using Acids Around Your Appliances

Many people choose to purchase products made out of stainless steel because the metal is resistant to corrosion. However, many people think this means that the metal is completely corrosion proof, and this is not the case. Stainless steel will corrode when the protective layer across the surface starts to wear down. This protective layer is formed from chromium oxide and it stops oxidation from occurring when the metal is exposed to water and oxygen. The metal also will resist corrosion when in contact with most types of organics and bases. However, acids can cause corrosion to occur and hydrochloric acid is one of the compounds that is the most harmful to the steel. 

This means that you should avoid using any type of cleaning or maintenance product that contains hydrochloric acid around your stainless steel appliances. Hydrochloric acid can be found in many different cleaning products, air freshening sprays, and scale inhibitors. Make sure to read the labels on products before using them around your kitchen. Muriatic acid is another name for hydrochloric acid, so make sure to watch out for this ingredient as well. 

To avoid pitting and staining, you should also be careful when using other types of acids around the stainless steel. Some of the things that contain acid and are likely to be found in the kitchen include lemon juice, vinegar, tomato sauce, oranges, berries, olives, nuts, yogurt, and alcoholic beverages. If one of these things, or another acid-containing item, spills on your stainless steel appliances, then rinse it off immediately. Also, make sure to rinse off the stainless steel at least once a day to get rid of acidic residue you may not have noticed. Use a damp cotton cloth to do this.

Using Cleaning Brushes And Abrasive Agents

The protective chromium oxide layer that sits on the exterior of your stainless steel appliances can be removed by scraping it off. This means that aggressive cleaning instruments should be avoided or scratches and openings can allow the stainless steel to corrode. Try not to use steel wool cleaners, wire-bristled brushes, or cleaning instruments with polyethylene bristles. Also, stay away from cleaning compounds that contain abrasive ingredients. Most abrasive cleaners will contain minerals like calcite, feldspar, silica, or quartz, so investigate for these ingredients when looking for a cleaning agent to remove food debris and fingerprints from your stainless steel appliances.

You can also use plain ammonia cleaners, like the ones used for window cleaning, if you want to stay away from potentially abrasive or acidic substances that can damage your stainless steel. Dish soap can work well to clean the surfaces of your appliances as well. Once you decide on the best cleaner, use a cotton cloth to scrub the stainless steel to remove debris. Rinse the cleaner and the debris from the metal and use a microfiber cloth to buff the water away. This will leave the metal clean and free of streaks and fingerprints. 

If you want your appliances to retain a shine, then buff surfaces with WD-40 when you are done. Not only will this reduce the number of fingerprints that appear, but you will be adding a protective silicone layer to the metal that will help with corrosion resistance.

For more care and maintenance tips for steel appliances, contact a company like Gringer & Sons Inc.