The beautiful finish of stainless steel improves with use and age. It is built to last and preserves its good looks over time. Stainless steel is versatile enough to complement virtually any kitchen. We would like to provide you with some literature from the Special Steel Industry of North America regarding this beautiful material.
We’ve included some background information on the properties of stainless steel, its material benefits, and recommended maintenance guidelines, outlining precautionary procedures that will in effect be preventative measures on your part. With proper care and maintenance, your stainless steel sink will give you a lifetime of service.
What is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is essentially a low carbon steel which contains chromium at 10% or more by weight. It is this addition of chromium that gives the steel its unique stainless, corrosion resisting properties.
What are the Benefits of Stainless Steel?
The many unique values provided by stainless steel make it a powerful candidate in materials selection.
- Corrosion resistance
Lower alloyed grades resist corrosion in atmospheric and pure water environments, while high-alloyed grades can resist corrosion in most acids,
alkaline solutions, and chlorine bearing environments, properties which are utilized in process plants.
- Fire and heat resistance
Special high chromium and nickel-alloyed grades resist scaling and retain strength at high temperatures.
The easy cleaning ability of stainless makes it the first choice for strict hygiene conditions, such as hospitals, kitchens, abattoirs and other food processing
- Aesthetic appearance
The bright, easily maintained surface of stainless steel provides a modern and attractive appearance.
- Strength-to-weight advantage
The work-hardening property of austenitic grades, that results in a significant strengthening of the material from cold-working alone, and the high strength duplex grades, allow reduced material thickness over conventional grades, therefore cost savings.
- Ease of fabrication
Modern steel-making techniques mean that stainless can be cut, welded, formed, machined, and fabricated as readily as traditional steels.
- Impact resistance
The microstructure provides high toughness, from elevated temperatures to far below freezing, making these steels particularly suited to cryogenic applications.
- Long term value
When the total life cycle costs are considered, stainless is often the least expensive material option.
Do…Rinse thoroughly after each use. Thorough rinsing can be done by running the water for a few minutes and rubbing the cleaned area with a sponge.
- Do…Towel dry after each use to prevent mineral deposits from building up on the surface of the sink.
- Do…Scour the sink once a week, being sure to rub in the direction of the satin finish lines, using an Elkay recommended cleanser.
- Don’t…Scour the sink across the satin finish lines. Scouring across the satin finish lines can damage the original sink finish.
- Don’t…Allow liquid soap or other household cleansers to dry on the surface of the sink. Most brands contain chemical additives which will affect the original high luster finish.
- Don’t…Leave standing solutions of chlorine bleach and water in the sink for extended periods of time. Chlorides, which are found in most soaps, detergents, bleaches, and cleansers, are very aggressive to stainless steel. If left on the sink too long they can cause surface pitting.
- Don’t…Use a steel wool pad to clean your sink. If a more abrasive product is needed, use a Scotch Brite® pad being sure to rub in the direction of the satin finish lines. Steel wool pads have a tendency to break apart and small particles of steel can become embedded in the surface of the sink. The steel particles will rust and will give the appearance that the sink itself is rusting.
- Don’t…Use rubber mats or dishpans in the sink to protect the finish. Leaving rubber mats or dishpans in the sink can lead to surface rust or possible pitting. However, if you do use mats or dishpans please remove them after each use.
- Don’t…Leave wet sponges, cloths, or cleaning pads on the sink. This can lead to surface rust.
Following these recommendations for the care and cleaning of your stainless steel sink will help maintain its natural beauty.
Today, chlorides are found in most all soap, detergents, bleaches and cleansers; chlorides can be aggressive to stainless steel. However, chlorides are very water soluble. Therefore, THOROUGH RINSING of your sink after each use to remove any chloride residue and a weekly scouring is all that is required to keep your sink looking bright and shiny.
Like many metallic surfaces, your stainless steel sink will scratch. These are merely usage scratches and over time will blend into the overall finish of your sink.
Your sink is designed to serve as many things but not as a cutting board or chopping block. This type of use will lead to deep scratches in the sink finish and will dull your knives. Cutting boards are suggested to provide an additional work area.
The quality of your water can affect your sink’s appearance. If your water has a high iron content, a brown surface stain can form on the sink giving the appearance of rust. Additionally, in areas with a high concentration of minerals, or with over-softened water, a white film may develop on the sink. To combat these problems, we suggest that the sink be towel dried after use, and again, on a weekly basis, the sink should be cleaned using a recommended abrasive cleaner.
Heavy salt concentration or foods containing high levels of salt should not be allowed to dry on the sink surface. Rinse your sink thoroughly after use.