HOW TO CLEAN STAINLESS STEEL
To maintain the cleanliness and sanitation in modern restaurant kitchens and dining rooms, equipment should be cleaned frequently and regularly. Here are a few simple cleaning procedures that have been found effective for keeping stainless steel equipment clean, sparkling and bright.
For routine cleaning of stainless steel sinks, table tops, back bar equipment, refrigerator exteriors and other equipment, ordinary soap or detergent and water will usually do the work. To prevent water spots and streaks, rinse equipment thoroughly with warm water and wipe dry with a soft, clean cloth. Addition of a rinsing agent will also help prevent spotting.
Stubborn spots or stains that resist soap and water usually can be removed with a paste made of water and a mild scouring powder. When applying these powders, be sure to rub in the direction of the polish lines on the steel to preserve the original finish. “Bar Keepers Friend” is a good cleaning agent. Sample available on request.
Fingerprints are sometimes a problem on highly polished surfaces of stainless steel. They can be minimized by applying a cleaner that will have a thin, oily or waxy film. Several cleaners of this nature are available at your local grocery or hardware store.
To use these cleaners, simply wipe on and remove excess with a soft dry cloth. After using, subsequent fingerprints will usually disappear when wiped lightly with a soft dry cloth or with a cloth containing a little of the cleaner. If the surface is especially dirty to start with, wash first with soap or detergent and water.
BURNT-ON FOODS AND GREASE
Soaking in hot soapy water will help greatly to remove burnt-on foods and grease from pots, pans, steam table inserts and other utensils. If stubborn deposits still remain after soaking, they can easily be removed with scouring powder mixed into a paste and applied with stainless steel wool or sponges.
If stainless steel wool or sponges are NOT used, be sure to rinse away all ordinary steel wool particles from the surface of the stainless steel. These particles can eventually rust and cause unsightly spots and stains. This is why stainless steel wool or sponges are preferred. These may be obtained from hardware stores, janitors’ supply houses or restaurant equipment dealers.
In and around ovens and ranges or other equipment where temperatures reach 500oF or more, straw colored or slightly darkened areas may appear on stainless steel. This “heat tint” is caused by a slight oxidation of the stainless steel and is not harmful.
To control or minimize this condition, never use more heat than is absolutely necessary, avoid concentrating heat in a small area and don’t heat empty equipment.
Heat tint can be removed by scouring vigorously with stainless steel wool or “Scotch-Brite” pad. Sample available upon request. Again, remember to rub in the direction of the polish lines.
SCALE AND HARD WATER FILMS
Several types of films and scale can form on stainless steel from the use of hard water and strong detergents. They may be easy or difficult to remove, depending on the hardness of the water, and length of time the film or scale has been permitted to build up.
Wherever scale or films are likely to occur, such as in dishwashers and steam tables, regular cleaning at frequent intervals is the best prevention. Also, softening of water does much to lessen film scale and deposits. Water-softening rinse additives, for example, permit water to “sheet off” utensils. Such additives are available through restaurant supply houses.