What should you avoid on stainless steel?

Answered by Robert Flynn

When it comes to cleaning stainless steel, there are certain products that should be avoided to prevent damage and maintain its shine. Here are seven cleaning products you should never use on stainless steel:

1. Harsh abrasives: Avoid using harsh abrasives like scouring pads or steel wool on stainless steel surfaces. These can scratch the steel and cause permanent damage.

2. Scouring powders: Similar to harsh abrasives, scouring powders contain abrasive particles that can scratch the stainless steel. It’s best to steer clear of these products to maintain the smoothness of the surface.

3. Bleach and chlorine products: While bleach and chlorine products are effective disinfectants, they can also corrode stainless steel. These chemicals can cause pitting or discoloration, so it’s best to avoid using them on stainless steel surfaces.

4. Glass cleaners with ammonia: Glass cleaners like Windex often contain ammonia, which can be harmful to stainless steel. Ammonia can cause discoloration and damage the protective layer of the steel. It’s advisable to choose a stainless steel cleaner specifically designed for this purpose.

5. Tap water, especially if it’s hard: Tap water, particularly if it’s hard water, can leave mineral deposits on stainless steel surfaces. These deposits can be difficult to remove and may affect the appearance of the steel. Instead, opt for clean distilled or filtered water when cleaning stainless steel.

6. Oven cleaners: Oven cleaners are typically formulated to tackle tough grease and grime, but they are often too harsh for stainless steel. These cleaners can cause discoloration or damage to the surface, so it’s best to avoid using them.

7. Abrasive sponges or brushes: When cleaning stainless steel, it’s important to use soft cloths or non-abrasive sponges to prevent scratches. Avoid using abrasive brushes or sponges, as they can leave marks on the surface.

In my personal experience, I once used a scouring pad on my stainless steel sink to remove a stubborn stain. Unfortunately, I ended up scratching the surface, and the scratches were visible even after polishing. Since then, I have learned to be cautious and avoid harsh abrasives on stainless steel.

To summarize, it’s important to avoid using harsh abrasives, scouring powders, bleach and chlorine products, glass cleaners with ammonia, tap water (especially if it’s hard), oven cleaners, and abrasive sponges or brushes on stainless steel surfaces. By using gentle and specifically designed stainless steel cleaners, you can maintain the appearance and durability of your stainless steel items.