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  • EPS Fabrication

Caring for Stainless Steel

Updated: Apr 14, 2019

Stainless Steel is a durable material with strong anti-corrosion properties. With proper care and maintenance, it will maintain an optimal appearance over its service life. Exposure to high-saline environments, chlorides, abrasive chemicals, or carbon steel will diminish its anti-corrosion properties and increase the risk of damage.

Cleaning: Cleaning with soap and water is usually sufficient to maintain the corrosion resistance and appearance of Stainless Steel. Use a soft nylon pad to remove any dirt. Wash with mild soap or detergent, then rinse in clean water and wipe dry with a soft cloth.

Iron or carbon steel contamination: Stainless steel surfaces can be compromised by contact with iron or carbon steel products. This can result from exposure to nearby welding, cutting, drilling or grinding of carbon steel. Grit from iron or carbon steel will quickly rust in the presence of moisture. If left this may compromise passivation, leading to stainless steel rust. To remove contaminants from stainless steel surfaces, use a soft cloth to apply a solution of Oxalic Acid. Leave solution on surface for a few minutes to dissolve contaminating particles. Once clean, thoroughly rinse away all residual solution with clean water.

Tea Staining: Tea staining is discolouration of the surface of stainless steel by corrosion. It is purely a cosmetic issue and does not affect the structural integrity of stainless steel. Tea staining generally occurs within five kilometres of coastlines. When choosing to use stainless steel in these environments 316 grade would normally be used over 304 grade.

Treating for Tea Staining. Should soap, water and elbow grease not be enough to removed tea staining then Phosphoric acid mixtures work best. Off the shelf solutions for metal cleaners are available.. Do Not Use products containing hydrochloric acid or chlorine.

Rinsing. Rinse with fresh water.

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