How best to look after steel surfaces in your commercial kitchen

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Stainless steel is a popular choice in commercial kitchens thanks to its durability and safety benefits, but it is important to maintain it properly to prevent staining, scratching and eventual rusting. Catering businesses such as Italian Restaurant Dublin based http://www.toscanarestaurant.ie/ will ensure that their kitchen surfaces are regularly cleaned to ensure that hygiene levels are at their highest to avoid food contamination from occurring.

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Cleaning

Whether you are cleaning your countertops, bowls or commercial refrigeration units, one of the most important considerations is the tools that you use.

Avoid anything that will scratch the stainless steel and cause damage to the protective film shield. When polishing and cleaning, always go with the grain rather than against it, especially if you are using a nylon scourer for tough marks.

Use a soft cloth if possible. Always avoid brushes, scrapers and any cleaning tools that will scratch the exterior of your equipment, surfaces or appliances.

Ensure that cleaning is carried out regularly and that the correct sanitisers are used to maintain safety standards with all of your commercial catering equipment.

When buying items from commercial companies you can enquire about the correct cleaners to use and look out for manufacturer recommendations. Generally, alkaline-chlorinated and alkaline cleaners are the most suitable options. High chlorine levels are to be avoided as this can rust and pit the steel.

Top tips

It is best to clean your stainless steel equipment and appliances immediately after use, ensuring that electrical parts are not bought into contact with water.

Dry with a clean, soft cloth to prevent water marks from forming.

Use a non-abrasive cream cleaner with no added bleach, and apply it using a damp, soft cloth to remove stubborn marks.

A hydrocarbon solvent can be used to remove fingerprints, grease and oil that soap and water have failed to eliminate. Care must be taken, however, in order to comply with COSHH regulations. These are described on the Health and Safety Executive’s website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/.

Glass cleaners can be useful in removing fingerprints from appliances with highly polished surfaces or cabinet trim.

Bleach should only be used with extreme caution and in compliance with manufacturers’ instructions dictating safe strengths. It should never be allowed to stay in contact with a stainless steel surface for longer than half an hour.

Many dishwashing detergents and rinse aids contain chlorides. These can cause pitting corrosion if left in contact with this type of steel for prolonged periods.

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