It’s no mystery why so much restaurant equipment is made out of stainless steel. Long hailed for its durability, stainless steel sets the standard by which all other materials are measured. That said, even stainless steel can wear down if not properly cared for. This post will provide several tips for how to properly clean stainless steel restaurant equipment.
Use the Right Brush
Always use softer materials like microfiber cloths, sponges, and plastic scouring pads when cleaning stainless steel appliances. While steel wool and wire brushes might be great for removing stubborn debris, they also have potential to leave unsightly scratches on stainless steel surfaces. Even worse, steel brushes can leave little particles in your stainless steel equipment, and those particles can eventually lead to rusting.
Clean Frequently and Go With the Grain
The best way to avoid the build-up of stubborn debris is by cleaning your equipment regularly. Create a schedule and make sure your staff sticks to it. The more build-up that forms on your equipment, the more difficult it will be to clean off later.
If you look closely at stainless steel, you might be able to see little lines pointing in the same direction. When scrubbing stainless steel equipment, it’s best to scrub with the lines and never against them. In other words, scrub parallel to the lines/grain.
Use the Right Cleaner
To keep stainless steel looking great, it’s best to use an alkaline or alkaline chlorinated cleaner.
While bleach might seem like a good idea, the reality is that stainless steel does not mix well with chloride or chloride-based cleaning products. So never use these or hydrochloric acid when cleaning stainless steel.
In addition to helping your stainless steel equipment look like new, the right cleaner will reinforce the equipment’s protective coating. This provides an extra layer of protection and increases durability of your stainless steel freezer or fryer.
Removing Oil and Grease
If there’s a pesky oil or grease mark that you want gone from your equipment, there are a couple of different cleaners you can use. Isopropyl alcohol, acetone, and methylated spirit are all great options. The grease mark on your stainless steel might not be gone after the first washing. So if that’s the case, simply keep applying the solvent until you achieve your desired results.
Especially if someone uses non-chloride cleaner (which should never happen!), it’s imperative to thoroughly rinse the stainless steel cleaner off your equipment. After that, lingering water should be wiped off, and the unit should be dried as soon as possible.
Use Clean Water
Despite its name, stainless steel can in fact be stained. Hard water is notorious for leaving spots and staining. So if you have an issue with hard water, try to soften it by installing water filters. This will help reduce corrosive elements that threaten the integrity of stainless steel. It also doesn’t hurt to enlist the help of a trained professional. Treatment specialists can help ensure your water treatment is satisfactory.
Knowing how to properly clean stainless steel is one thing, but consistently putting that knowledge to action is something completely different. Diligence is key when it comes to cleaning stainless steel. The only way to ensure your restaurant equipment remains in peak condition is by rolling up your sleeves and putting the work in.