Yesterday, ALFA tackled the question, What Makes Stainless Steel Food Service Equipment, Stainless? Now that you understand stainless steel a bit more, you’re probably looking at that pile of stainless dirty dishes with caked-on-lasagna-mess. We bet you’re thinking–“how can I magically turn those dirty dishes into clean dishes without ruining my stainless!!!??” Over at ALFA we make magic happen for our clients every day—not the dirty-dishes-to-clean-dishes-magic–but the 99.9% same-day shipping, 99.9% instock specialty products and 110% knowledgeable customer service.
Cue Part 2…….
How DO I Clean Stainless Steel Food Service Equipment? How can I make my stainless last?!
1) Use the Right Tools
Steel pads, wire brushes and scrapers on stainless steel are a NO-NO!! Use non-abrasive tools, like soft cloths and plastic scouring pads, to protect the “passive” layer of your stainless.
2)Clean with the Grain
If you must use more abrasive tools,like a stainless steel pads, you MUST scrub IN the direction of the manufacturer’s polishing marks (with the grain)! Polishing marks are the visible lines or “grain” in the steel. Can’t see you grain? Play it safe and use a soft cloth or plastic scouring pad!
3)Use Alkaline, or Alkaline Chlorinated Cleaners, NOT CHLORIDE CLEANERS!
In our experience, CHLORIDE CLEANERS ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF DAMAGE TO STAINLESS. Have no fear, we aren’t going to make you re-live high school chemistry. Put simply, most traditional stainless cleaners are LOADED WITH CHLORIDES,but the selection of non-chloride cleaners is growing. Not sure what you have? Read the label, or contact your cleaner supplier. If you ask for a non-chloride cleaner, your current supplier should have an alternative.
Final word: Watch out for cleaners with Quaternary salts…they can also attack stainless steel & cause rust.
4)Treat your water
If you have hard water, softening it can help reduce deposits that may lead to corrosion. This is typically done by adding a filtration system that removes these corrosive & distasteful elements. If you aren’t certain which treatment option to pursue, ALFA recommends that you call a water treatment specialist.
Final word: salts in a properly maintained softener system should be your friend.
5)Use Cleaners At Recommended Strength
You must use non-chloride, alkaline or alkaline chlorinated cleaners AT RECOMMENDED STRENGTH! If you’re a baker, you’re probably already measuring cleaners out like your famous croissant recipe ,but we know that cooks can be a bit cavalier when it comes to proportions.
6)Rinse, Rinse, Rinse After Washing
If you refuse to get rid of chlorinated cleaning products in your kitchen–against our recommendation–you must rinse your stainless equipment thoroughly and WIPE DRY IMMEDIATELY! After the equipment is wiped dry thoroughly, let it air dry–the oxygen helps maintain the “stain-less” layer of your stainless steel.
7)NEVER use Hydrochloric Acid (Muriatic Acid) on Stainless Steel
8)Regularly Restore or “Passivate” Your Stainless Steel