Stainless steel is a type of corrosion-proof alloy that contains 10.5% or more chromium. Because it’s corrosion-proof, stainless steel does not develop rust nor does it need additional protection to maintain its natural luster. While stainless steel railings are durable and low maintenance, you still need to do bits of cleaning to retain the integrity of the material. And in today’s post, we are giving you helpful care and maintenance tips to maintain the gloss and durability of your stainless railings:
Cleaning Indoor Stainless Steel Railings
Don’t think indoor stainless steel railings require minimal cleaning compared to outdoor stainless steel railings. Indoor stainless steel railings should be cleaned just as often as other stainless steel surfaces. Our advice is to clean the stainless steel railings every 6 to 12 months.
To remove finger marks, dust or dirt, get a damp cloth and wipe with old newspaper to dry. For marks that are harder to remove, get a scotch bright and wipe the marks off. Never use steel wool or abrasive cleaning tools when cleaning the stainless steel railings. These tools will cause unsightly scratches on the surface of the material.
Cleaning Outdoor Stainless Steel Railings
Unlike indoor stainless steel railings, outdoor stainless steel railings are exposed to harsher climate. The material is often subjected to salt from sea air, environmental pollution, winter road salts or car exhaust fumes. As such, buildup is inevitable. You’ll have to clean the stainless steel railings often to reduce the chances of developing brown spots. For outdoor stainless steel railings, our advice is to clean the material at 3 to 6 months intervals.
You can use a chammy leather with phosphoric acid to remove brown spots. If the railing is made from polished stainless steel, clean along the grain not against it. Also, it’s best to use cleaning materials that are made specifically for stainless steel surfaces to minimize damage on the surface of the railings.
Preventing Water Marks or Streaks
There are two ways to prevent water marks after cleaning the stainless steel railings. You can use distilled water to prevent unsightly white marks or use old newspaper to wipe excess water on the stainless steel railings.
Polishing the Stainless Steel Railings
To maintain the natural gloss of the stainless steel railings, you can use a polishing cleanser instead of the usual soap and water to clean the railings. Spray cleaners leave a high shine on the surface of the material while inhibiting new marks from ruining the polish. Get a soft, dry cloth or rag to buff the product into the material.
You may also use a window cleaner to polish high shine stainless steel railings. But before you do so, make sure the window cleaner is free from common salts or chlorides. For surfaces with brown spots or unsightly marks, use cream-based polishers instead. This type of product will inhibit discoloration while giving the surface a high shine.
Hard to Remove Marks
For stainless steel railings with heavy grease or oil marks, you can use solvents like acetone or alcohol to wipe the surface clean. Acetone and alcohol can cut through grease and remove all traces of oil. Just use a soft, dry cloth and add a little solvent. Wipe the stainless steel railings to remove the grease.
For paint or graffiti, try using paint removers or soda solutions to wipe the stainless steel railings clean. However, never use scrapers or sharp materials to remove the marks. Knives and scrapers will only scratch the material, ruining the stainless steel railings permanently.