Care of Stainless Steel
(These procedures were developed by NAFEM and Packer Engineering.)
1. Use the proper tools.
When cleaning your stainless steel products, take care to use non-abrasive tools. Soft cloths and plastic
scouring pads will not harm the steels passive layer. Stainless steel pads can also be used but the
scrubbing motion must be in the direction of the manufacturers polishing marks. Step 2 tells you how to find
the polishing marks.
2. Clean with the polish lines.
Some stainless steels come with visible polishing lines or "grain." When visible lines are present, you
should always scrub in a motion that is parallel to them.
When the grain cannot be seen, play it safe and use a soft cloth or plastic scouring pad.
3. Use alkaline, alkaline chlorinated or non-chloride containing cleaners.
While many traditional cleaners are loaded with chlorides, the industry is providing and ever increasing
choice of non-chloride cleaners. If you are not sure of your cleaner's chloride content contact your cleaner
supplier. If they tell you that your present cleaner contains chlorides, ask if they have an alternative. They
probably will. Also, avoid cleaners containing quaternary salts as they also can attack stainless steel and
cause pitting and rusting.
4. Keep your equipment clean.
Use alkaline, alkaline chlorinated or non-chloride cleaners at recommended strength. Clean frequently to
avoid build-up of hard, stubborn stains.
5. Rinse, Rinse, Rinse.
If chlorinated cleaners are used you must rinse, rinse, rinse and wipe dry immediately. The sooner you
wipe off standing water, especially when it contains cleaning agents, the better. After wiping the equipment
down, allow it to air dry for the oxygen helps maintain the stainless steel's passivity film.
6. Never use hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) on stainless steel.
7. Regularly restore / passivate stainless steel.
Recommended cleaners for specific situations.
Fingerprints & Smears
Stubborn stains and discoloration
Grease and fatty acids, blood etc.
Grease and Oil
Restoration / Passivation
Reference: Nickel Development Institute, Diversey Lever, Savin, Ecolab
Don't use; steel pads, wire brush, or scrapers
Soap, ammonia, detergent Medallion
Arcal 20, Lac-O-Nu, Ecoshine
Cameo, Talc, Zud, First Impression
Easy-off, De-Grease It, Oven Aid
Any good commercial detergent
Benefit, Super Sheen
Apply with cloth or sponge
Provides better film
Rub in the direction of the polish lines
Excellent removal on all finishes
Apply with sponge