Metal & Steel Cleaners

Metal & Steel Cleaners




Stainless steel must be cleaned regularly to preserve the metal’s integrity and maintain a pristine appearance. With proper care, and by selecting an appropriate grade, stainless steel can be saved from corrosion. When stainless steel maintenance is neglected, corrosive substances can accumulate on vulnerable surfaces.

Routine cleaning steps (perform every 6 months)

  1. Use a soft nylon brush to remove accumulated dirt.
  2. Wash with mild soap or detergent.
  3. Follow with a clean-water rinse.
  4. Wipe dry with a soft cloth, disposable wipe, or air blower.

Stainless steel care and maintenance may require the use of harmful chemicals. Follow all safety instructions provided with cleaning or polishing agents. Ensure personal protective equipment is worn in accordance with occupational health and safety guidelines.


When stainless steel has become extremely dirty with signs of surface discoloration or corrosion, routine cleaning may no longer suffice. Cleaning methods designed to tackle specific types of damage are listed below.


  • Clean with soap or detergent and warm water.
  • Commercially-available solutions or hydrocarbon solvents can also be used.
  • Oil and grease marks on stainless steel can be removed with solvent and non-scratching cloth.

Oil and grease marks

  • Use isopropyl alcohol, acetone, or methylated spirit.
  • Apply solvent several times with a clean, non-scratching cloth until all marks are removed.
  • Use diluted ammonia or detergent for burnt-on stains on stainless steel pots and pans.

Burnt-on stains

  • Soak in hot water and diluted ammonia or detergent.
  • Remove grime with a nylon brush.
  • If needed, use a fine abrasive powder but be careful not to scratch polished surfaces.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  • Coffee or tea stains on stainless steel tableware can be cleaned up using sodium carbonate or bicarbonate solution.

Discoloration, coffee, and tea stains

  • Use mild, non-abrasive cleansers.
  • Apply with a soft cloth or sponge
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Coffee stains
  • Soak in sodium bicarbonate solution (baking soda and warm water).
Tea stains
  • Soak in sodium carbonate solution (washing soda and warm water). If the object is too large to soak, use a sponge or a soft cloth.

Localized rust stains

  • Use a soft cloth to apply an oxalic acid solution.
  • Leave the solution on the surface for a few minutes to dissolve contaminating particles.
  • Rinse away all residual solution with clean water.

Limescale, cement and mortar splashes

  • Dilute one part vinegar in three parts water and apply with a nylon brush.
Cement and mortar splashes
  • Rinse splashes off immediately.
  • Use a 10%–15% phosphoric acid-based solution in warm water.
  • Spread cleaner evenly, wait 30–60 minutes, then neutralize the acid with an alkaline cleaner or diluted ammonia.
  • Rinse with clean water.


  • Use biodegradable graffiti-cleaning sprays or wipes.
  • Avoid using knives or hard scraping tools to prevent damage to stainless steel surfaces.

Heat stains

  • Use a domestic metal polish (chrome polishes for automotive parts are widely available and effective).
  • Treat the entire stainless steel surface to avoid discolored patches.

Structural damage

  • Structural damage includes any visible dents, cracks, and breaks.
  • Heavily damaged products should be removed from service until a repair or replacement can be made.
  • To prevent worsening of damage, any significant rust should be removed as soon as possible.


Minor corrosion
  • Use an all-purpose lubricant, such as WD-40, to wipe the affected area.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Moderate corrosion
  • Use a phosphoric acid-based stainless steel cleaner 
  • Spread the cleaner evenly, leave on for 30–60 minutes, then neutralize the acid with a spray-on alkaline cleaner 
  • Wipe the surface clean with a paper towel
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water
Severe corrosion
  • Consult a professional service provider (severe rust treatments are highly corrosive)
  • Once treated, stainless steel can be passivized with mild nitric acid 

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