Cleaning and maintenance

Why do stainless steels need to be cleaned?

Stainless steels are generally used for their attractive appearance and for their corrosion resistance, based on a passive layer which reforms spontaneously in air. Nevertheless, any dirt or stains on the surface can deteriorate the corrosion resistance and must be periodically removed. Cleaning is therefore necessary to preserve the bright appearance of stainless steels, and to ensure their resistance to the working environment.

 

When must stainless steels to be cleaned? 

The cleaning frequency obviously depends on the service conditions. In some cases, cleaning may occur naturally (e.g. building materials exposed to rain). When cleaning is not performed systematically, dirt and stains must be removed as soon as their accumulation makes their presence visible.

 

Cleaning techniques

 

To assure the longevity of the building, we recommend respecting the usual cleaning operations

 

 

In practice, there are four types of cleaning operation:  

Before reception on site

 

Renovation

The elements in stainless steel are generally protected by adhesive plastic (excepted for the tinned range). After taking off the film (imperatively in the 6 months which follow the application of the coating), a simple cleaning with soapy water is sufficient.

In the case of dirt (plaster, cement, glue…) cleaning must be done with appropriate products.

 

In the case of graffiti, tags or neglected maintenance, a simple cleaning with soapy products can prove insufficient to give the surfaces their original look. It is however possible to obtain good results using specific cleaning products. A final rinse is always necessary.

 

     

Regular maintenance

   Indoor exposure
> Detergents:
the majority of domestic detergents and soaps can be used. Standard window detergents are particularly suited to periodic cleaning requirements. Whatever the product used, it must be completely removed after clenaning thorough rinsing with clean water.
> Disinfectants:
hot javel water, even when dilute, is strictly proscribed. Dilute cold Javel water should be used with precaution, with a limited contact time and abundant rinsing in clean water.
  • limiter le temps de contact
  • toujours faire suivre d’un grand rinçage à l’eau

> The use of hydrochloric acid is strictly proscribed.

To dry, it is good practice to use a rubber squeegee used for windows. This avoids streaking as when dried with a cloth. A simple principle consists of cleaning glassed and stainless steel surfaces at the same time.

 

Stainless steels exposed indoors are soiled mainly by fingerprints and stains which can be readily removed by wiping with a window detergent on a rag. In difficult cases, a specific product, specially designed for stainless steels, must be used (passivating acid grease remover), followed by rinsing with water.

To dry, it is good practice to use a rubber squeegee used for windows.

Practical advice 
   
It is recommanded    You should avoid
> Use sponges or soft nylon based brushes (except on bright or mirror polished finishes).
> Brush in the polishing direction and in any event always in the same direction.
> Copiously rince with water.
> Wipe using a rubber squeegee or a clean soft cloth.
> Use high pressure washers with or without detergents and/or hot water.
> As a general rule, always use clean tools and instruments.
> Protect all areas from ladder marks.
 
The use of:
> Metallic pads.
> Wire brushes, metal  wools.
> Scrubbing brush.
> Nylon brushes for buffing or polishing or mirror finished products.
> Abrasive pads or powders (even the finest).
 
Applying:
> Chlorinated products, waxes and bleach.
> In general, any product whose composition is not known or has been modified such as acids: nitric, hydrofluoric, etc

 

Please note:

The use of acids or solvents requires special care on the one hand, to the user and on the other to the surrounding materials. These operations should always be followed by a thorough rinsing with water.