Use the Proper Tools. When cleaning your 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.
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, use a soft cloth or plastic scouring pad.
Use Alkaline, Alkaline Chlorinated, or Non-Chloride Containing Cleaners at the recommended strength. While many traditional cleaners are loaded with chlorides, the industry is providing an ever increasing choice of non-chloride cleaners. If you are unsure of your cleaners chloride content, contact your cleaner supplier. If they tell you that your present cleaner contains chlorides, ask if they have an alternative. Also, avoid cleaners containing quaternary salts as they also can attack stainless steel and cause pitting and rusting. Never use hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) on stainless steel.
Clean Frequently to avoid build-up of hard, stubborn stains. If chlorinated cleaners are used, you must rinse thoroughly. Wipe dry immediately to remove all traces of chlorination. After wiping the equipment down, allow it to air dry because oxygen helps maintain the stainless steels passivity film.
Treat your Water. Softening hard water can do much to reduce deposits. Certain filters can be installed to remove distasteful and corrosive elements. If you are unsure of the proper water treatment for your applications, contact a treatment specialist.