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How To Care For Your Stainless Steel BBQ

What Is There To Know About Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel needs to be regularly cleaned to maintain its aesthetic appeal and to prevent corrosion.

A corrosion protection film exists on the surface of stainless steel and is formed when oxygen from the atmosphere combines with the chromium in the stainless steel to form a passive chromium oxide film.

Not regularly cleaning your stainless steel products can lead to corrosion as the product can become contaminated by dirt and other materials, that then are trapped against the surface creating corrosive agents and reducing the effectiveness of the corrosion-protection film.

Stainless steel is easily cleaned and thrives with frequent cleaning.

Unlike other softer materials, stainless steel cannot be worn out by excessive cleaning.

The effects of surface or pattern roughness, grain or pattern orientation, and designs that allow for maximum rain cleaning should be considered.

Types Of Surface Contaminants

Like any surface material that is exposed to the environment, stainless steel can get dirty.

Dirt and soil can consist of accumulated dust and contaminants that come from many sources, ranging from the wind and weather to grime from everyday use.

These contaminants can vary greatly in their effect on appearance, corrosivity and ease of removal.

The type of contaminant will affect the type of cleaner will be needed to remove it; while some contaminants may be easily removed others will require more force or specific products.

Often, contaminants can be cleaned with warm water and detergent.

If that does not work, there are non-scratching abrasive powders such as typical household cleaners which can be used with warm water, bristle brushes, sponges or clean soft cloths.

For stubborn messes, more aggressive cleaning will be needed.

You can add a small amount of vinegar to scouring powder for more effective results.

Use Hot Water

Cleaning should always be followed by rinsing in clean hot water and then wiping the surface completely with dry towels.

Avoid Using Steel Brushes

Carbon steel brushes, steel wool, and scourers should be avoided as they may leave particles embedded on the surface as well as cause scratching which can lead to rusting.

Fingerprints And Stains

Stainless steel not only adds a luxurious feel to your outdoor kitchen but also is the most durable material for your barbecue to last through outdoor use.

 However, although it is durable, it can easily start to look visibly dirty with fingerprints and stains if not cleaned properly.

Here are some simple tips you can follow to make your stainless steel look spotless:

- Clean it with water and mild soap using a soft cloth.

- Clean it with white vinegar by using a soft cloth.

- If stains and fingerprints remain, you can clean them with soda water and wipe it with a soft cloth.

- To add a sheen to your stainless steel, wipe it down with some olive oil to protect it against any contaminants

- If you want to polish your stainless steel, we recommend you use Nevr-Dull.

Oil And Grease

Grease, oil and other contaminants may soil surfaces during food preparation and cooking.

These contaminants may be corrosive so periodic removal is a necessity.

First try soap and warm water or a combination of detergent, water and a solvent.

If this does not work, another removal option is immersion of stainless steel in chemical solvents.

This process, in its simplest form, consists of putting liquid solvent onto the surface that needs to be cleaned and allowing dissolution to take place (the chemical will work away at the contaminant).

 Non-hydrogenated solvents, such as acetone, ethyl alcohol, mineral spirits, and turpentine work well.

While these cleaners can be used as individual substances, but there are also numerous blended or compounded cleaners available.

Users are advised to check the packaging or contact the suppliers of the solvents to gain information about the use of the chemical on stainless steel surfaces.

Types Of Cleaners & Methods

When selecting your chosen cleaning practice, consider the possibility of scratching and the potential for post-cleaning corrosion caused by incomplete removal of cleaners.

Scratching can occur by using abrasive cleaners on bright mirror finishes, or even by ‘grit’ in wash water.

 This usually does not affect dull finishes or those surfaces that were completed with coarse polishing grit.

The best preventative measure is to avoid using aggressive cleaners unless absolutely necessary and to always wash down with warm water after cleaning.

 If the removal of tough grease, oil, and stains does require abrasive removal substances, it is best to first experiment on an inconspicuous area and use a ‘soft abrasive’ such as pumice.

 Harsh abrasives can permanently damage colored and highly polished finishes so advice should be obtained from the manufacturer regarding cleaning special finishes.

Clean Water And Wipe Dry

Stainless surfaces thrive with frequent cleaning because there is no surface coating to wear off.

A soft cloth and clean warm water should always be the first choice for mild stains and loose dirt or soils.

 A final rinse with clean water and a dry wipe with a cloth is always recommended as it will remove any leftover contaminants and also eliminates the possibility of water stains.

Solvent Cleaning

Organic solvents can be used to remove fresh fingerprints, oils and grease that have not had time to oxidise or decompose.

There are many compounded or blended organic cleaners available that attempt to optimise both cleanability and safety.

Cleaning can be accomplished by using these organic cleaners with a soft cloth although occasionally this method of cleaning will leave a streaked surface.

Household Cleaners

Household cleaners fall into one of two categories: either detergents (non-abrasives) and abrasive cleaners.

Both are effective for many mild contaminants including dirt, stains and soil deposits as well as light oils such as fingerprints.

Abrasive cleaners are more effective but introduce the possibility of scratching the surface, however the degree of abrasiveness will vary greatly depending on the product.

 Many products can be labelled as ‘for stainless steel’ though there is no guarantee that the product is non-abrasive or non-acidic so it is suggested to first experiment on an inconspicuous area.

In all cases and after use of all products, it is always recommended the surface is thoroughly rinsed with clean water and wiped dry with a soft cloth.

 Stainless steel is a durable material and will clean easily, providing you clean any contaminants quickly and efficiently.

The main risk associated with maintaining the aesthetic appeal of stainless steel is the risk of scratches that lead to rusting.

If you ever have any questions regarding the care and maintenance of your stainless steel products, please give us a call and our friendly staff will happily help you find the best solution for your product!