Here are a few steps that can help prevent stainless steel rust.
- Use the proper tools : when cleaning you stainless steel products, take care to use non-abrasive tools. Soft cloths and plastic scouring pads will not harm the steels passive layer. Stainless steel pads can also be used but the scrubbing motion must be in the direction of the manufacturers polishing marks. Step 2 tells you how to find the polishing marks.
- Clean with the polish lines : some stainless steels come with visible polishing lines or “grain.” When visible lines are present, you should always scrub in a motion that is parallel to them.When the grain cannot be seen play it safe and use a soft cloth or plastic scouring pad.
- Use alkaline, alkaline chlorinated or non-chloride containing cleaners: while many traditional cleaners are loaded with chlorides, the industry is providing an ever increasing choice of non-chloride cleaners. Is you are not sure of your cleaner’s chloride content contact your cleaner supplier. If they tell you that your present cleaner contains chlorides, ask if they have an alternative. They probably will. Also, avoid cleaners containing quaternary salts as they also can attack stainless steel and cause pitting and rusting.
- Treat you water : Though this is not always practical, softening hard water can do much to reduce deposits. There are certain filters that can be installed to remove distasteful and corrosive elements. Salts in a properly maintained water softener are your friend. If you are not sure of the proper water treatment, call a treatment specialist.
- keep your food equipment clean: Use alkaline , alkaline chlorinated or non chloride cleaners at recommended strength. Clean frequently to avoid build up of hard, stubborn stains. If you boil water in your stainless steel equipment, remember the single most likely cause of damage is chlorides in the water. Heating cleaners that contain chlorides has a similar effect.
- Rinse , Rinse , Rinse: If chlorinated cleaners are used you must rinse, rinse, rinse and wipe dry immediately. The sooner you wipe off standing water ,especially when it contains cleaning agents, the better. After wiping the equipment down, allow it to air dry for the oxygen helps maintain the stainless steels passivity film.
- Never use hydrochloric acid (Muriatic acid) on stainless steel
- Regularly restore / passivate stainless steel