In this evolving world of technology, stainless steel is one of the top materials used, especially in our home appliances. From refrigerators and washing machines to furnaces, dishwashers, and numerous other appliances, these all utilize stainless steel, a material known for its strength, aesthetic qualities, and ability to resist many forms of rust and corrosion. But it is known to be inevitable even for stainless steel appliances to rust because of a lot of natural causes. In this helpful article, you can learn how to prevent rust on stainless steel appliances to prolong them and keep them clean and durable.
What Causes Rusting?
Most of us commonly perceive that stainless steel is not immune to staining. Unfortunately, rust can appear. And it’s a fact that stainless steel can rust. Tiny spots or streaks of rust can appear on the stainless-steel finish of your appliances, marring its smooth, silvery surface, not to mention its premium looks. Now that you know this, you might be wondering how to prevent rust on stainless steel appliances.
Normal steel is made from iron and carbon, combining to form a high-strength material. Stainless steel is infused with added chromium, which is an invisible chemical layer that protects it from various heat, moisture, and chemical exposure. Because of this chromium added, stainless steel will resist traditional rusting formed by ferric oxide. It can also help prevent corrosion due to oxygen exposure. The chromium allows a new layer of steel to form after oxidization is prevented.
Unfortunately, this chromium layer mentioned is not invincible. It can be slowly broken by a few different sources, like moisture, abrasions, or the presence of chloride. There are three broad categories of stainless-steel corrosion that can result from the breaking down of the chromium material-namely the general corrosion, crevice carrion, and galvanized corrosion.
General corrosion is characterized when the steel’s surface contacts an acid-based material, mostly found in household cleaners.
Crevice corrosion is another type wherein tiny pits form in the stainless steel after being exposed to salt, water, food, or anything else with high chloride content. When pits are too small for oxygen to enter, chromium cannot do its job, and rust can show up.
Galvanized corrosion is the type when two different metals contact each other, and there’s moisture present, such as when bolts or connectors hold stainless steel components together.
With all of these known factors, you might want to know how to prevent rust on stainless steel appliances. Read on to know more.
Tips to Prevent Rust on Stainless Steel Appliances
Don’t panic, because rust on appliances can be treated. Being consistent with maintenance habits can minimize the chance of rust developing in the first place. Do you want to know how to prevent rust on stainless steel appliances? Read on and find out these few basic tips we have gathered to prevent this kind of rust or corrosion on your stainless-steel appliances:
Use only mild soap or cleaners when cleaning appliances. It would be best if you also opt to use chemical cleaners designed for use on stainless steel. Make sure to check ingredient labels on cleaners that you use. Checking ingredients on cleaning products you use near your stainless appliances is not a common thing that we do, but it can really help. For example, if you have a tile floor, you should know that some grout cleaners are a potential threat to stainless steel.
Wipe with soft cloths only, in the direction of the steel grain.
Do not use abrasive materials like steel wool, scouring pads, or others, as these tools can scratch the steel and remove the protective chromium layer.
Follow the maintenance advice in the owner’s manuals for your kitchen appliances or on the manufacturers’ websites. Read user manuals if you must.
Do not wipe stainless with a used dishrag. It can contaminate the surface with food oils. These can also be acidic and are detrimental to the protective layer on the steel.
Already have rust on your appliances? We have got you covered! (Not with the rust of course!). Check out these tips on how to remove rust spots.
You can get rid of rust spots with a stainless cleaner or stainless brightener. You can also make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it with a soft cloth, rubbing gently in the grain’s direction. Once you have finished removing the rust, rinse with clean water and a soft cloth, then dry. Keep an eye on the areas where you’ve seen and cleaned off rust because these spots are more likely to rust again in the long run. Maintain cleaning those areas and other areas, too. Know more about cleaning appliances.
Now that you know how to prevent rust on stainless steel appliances, you can have less panic when you see rust spots, as you have been assured that this can be cleaned and prevented. Be consistent in cleaning your appliances, not just for hygienic purposes but also to prolong them more for longer usage.