Cleaning and Maintenance guidelines for Stainless Steel components
To ensure long and trouble free use, we recommend that you continue to inspect and assess your products at regular intervals, and to carefully check for any loose, broken or defective parts and integrity of the welding. We are happy to receive your feedback or to give advice should there be a need for repairs.
Stainless Steel and corrosion
All of our products use 304 or 316 Grade Stainless steel that offers good to high corrosion resistance. Corrosion resistance of the steel is, however, dependent on where it is installed and surface finish. More corrosive environments include those with de-icing salt exposure, coastal regions and areas of industrial or heavy urban pollution. The constituents that make these environments corrosive can effect the surface appearance of the metal. However, if it is properly maintained its appearance will remain virtually unchanged over its life.
For particularly aggressive environments we can supply all of our products ‘Electro-polished’. This process enhances the corrosion resistance of both 304 & 316 grades and makes the surface of the steel look slightly brighter in appearance.
Frequent cleaning prevents corrosive compound accumulation, staining and corrosion.
The frequency of manual cleaning required for maintaining a pristine appearance depends on the site environment but if the furniture item is installed in a non-aggressive situation and there is adequate rain cleaning the stainless steel can remain attractive over many years of service without manual cleaning. However, we would recommend a thorough clean one to four times a year on average to remove adherent dirt and hydrocarbons.
When cleaning is required, a mild chloride free and acid free detergent solution is usually sufficient. To remove adherent dirt or staining a chloride free 200-mesh or finer calcium carbonate powder or oxalic acid may be used. Cleaners with abrasives including some household “stainless steel” cleaners may damage the finish and should be tested in an inconspicuous location before use. Pressure washers may also be used.
Abrasive pads and abrasive cleaners that will change the finish should be avoided. Steel wools should never be used on stainless steel because particles will embed in the surface and will cause staining as the transferred iron rusts. Except for Electro polished finishes, however, more stubborn marks can normally be removed with a non-metallic plastic scourer such as ‘Scotchbrite’. Great care should be given to rubbing the scourer as lightly as possible to remove the stain in the direction of the grain to cause as little damage to the surface appearance as possible.
Metal polish should never be used on grained finishes. These polishes can contain chemicals that are damaging to the surface of the metal. We recommend that for removal of graffiti by the application of chemicals, abrasives and rubbing compounds that advice is sought from the manufacturer of the cleaning product before proceeding. Organic solvents are often successful in removing oil, grease and paint provided the steel is thoroughly washed with soap & water and then rinsed with clean water.
For electropolished surfaces only, as a last resort, ‘T-Cut’ polish can be used to remove stubborn marks and some scratches. The steel should be thoroughly washed with soap & water and then rinsed with clean water.
Metholated spirit or White spirit on a soft cloth can be used to help clean up adhesives after removal of unwanted stickers and posters.
Damage and spares
Where the stainless steel has experienced some form of damage such as a dent or scrape then if required it may be possible to replace or restore the damaged part. Please contact us for further advice.
Spare fixings, keys or other mechanical components can be obtained from Street Furniture Works.
If the above guidelines are unsuccessful or ineffectual then please contact us for further advice on a variety of specialist cleaning and restoration techniques for stainless steel.