Proper Care Of Stainless Steel Restaurant Equipment

If you work in the kitchen in a restaurant business, you most likely use some equipment or supplies made from stainless steel. Many restaurant owners and cooks use stainless steel in a kitchen environment, because it is a durable metal that lasts a long time. Whether you have stainless steel countertops, appliances, or cookware, proper maintenance is key in keeping the item from rusting or corroding. Here are some steps to take in caring for stainless steel restaurant equipment so it lasts for years to come.

Clean Surfaces Often

Stainless steel is made with an outer layer of chromium. This precious metal reacts with oxygen in the air to create chromium oxide, which gives the item a slippery surface that is relatively resistant to staining and corrosion. Cleaning the chromium layer often ensures the item will remain slick. If dirt, oil, or even a scratch blocks the chromium from the air, the surface is at risk for rusting, corrosion, or staining. The chromium layer will not wear away from regular cleaning, making it desirable to do so frequently so the stainless steel item remains in the best condition possible.

Proper Cleaning Procedure

Wipe down your stainless steel items using a damp piece of cloth with the grain of the steel. To remove caked on grime, add a mild detergent to warm water and apply with a soft piece of cloth. Make sure to rinse the item well to remove any detergent from the item so it does not add a layer of film when it dries. If something that stains touched a stainless steel surface, wipe the material from the item immediately. Acidic foods should also be removed from a stainless steel item right away to avoid damage to the chromium outer layer.

Baked on food or grime that has hardened to a stainless steel surface can be removed using a mixture of baking soda and water. Add equal portions of baking soda and water in a bowl and mix well. Add more of either ingredient until you reach a consistency that appears like a paste. Rub this directly to the grimy surface and rub using a damp cloth to loosen caked on material. Rinse well when complete.

Things To Avoid

Never use a chlorine-based cleanser to clean your stainless steel items. These will break down the chromium layer, putting your items at risk for premature wear. Instead, stick with an ammonia-based detergent as it is milder to use on this metal. Avoid using abrasive sponges or steel wool to rub down a piece of stainless steel. These tend to leave scratches. A non-abrasive sponge, pad, or piece of microfiber cloth are good alternatives. 

For professional help with restaurant equipment supplies, contact a company like Louis Wohl & Sons Inc.