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    Stainless Solutions

    Stainless Solutions: Stainless Steel Information from Next Door Company

    Volume 1, No. 3

    How to keep stainless steel looking great indefinitely

    As a building material, stainless steel has it all: it's handsome, strong, and durable. That's why generations of architects have specified it as a lasting expression of their design.

    But don't be misled by the name: although it comes close, nothimg is truly stainless.

    Why stainless steel keeps its good looks so well

    With stainless steel, the metal itself is what the viewer sees; it’s rarely painted (although manufacturers such as Next Door Company generally offer a paint grade #2B mill finish for this purpose when desired).

    Stainless reacts with oxygen to form a surface film. But unlike carbon steel, the film is self-healing, preventing further oxidation.This self-passivation is due to the high chromium content of stainless steel.

    Simple care keeps stainless looking great. We're pleased to provide this information on stainless care, cleaning and maintenance.

    Half the battle is preventing contamination

    100% stainless componentry, prevents the potentially disastrous effects of galvanic corrosion, which can cause poorly-designed doors to rust from the inside out.

    Special care and handling can prevent major problems and dry storage under cover is a good idea.

    Never, never leave doors lying horizontal where tradespeople can sit, walk, or leave potentially corrosive materials on them.

    Special protection in installation is required from the work of other trades, especially from concrete splashes, flying abrasive particles and weld spatters, all of which can cause damage.

    Cleaning and maintenance: easy does it!

    General guidelines on routine cleaning of stainless steel doors:

    • Use the mildest possible cleaner.
    • Always rub 'with the grain' to avoid marring the surface. 
    • No steel wool! Use only soft cloths, fiber or plastic brushes, or synthetic pads. Special stainless steel pads are available, too.
    • Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
    • Wipe dry to avoid water marks.
    • Be careful with solvents, and dispose of them properly.

    Routine cleaning: fingerprints are the enemy!

    One of the best qualities of a stainless steel door is that it doesn’t really need frequent cleaning: a few times a year  to remove accumulated dust and grime is fine.

    But aesthetic standards often require more frequent care, especially to remove fingerprints, which can cause difficult-to-remove marring of the surface if not removed promptly.

    Which cleaners do the best job on stainless?

    In most cases, soap, ammonia or detergent and water clean stainless just fine. But if a commercial cleaning preparation is used, be sure it doesn’t have harsh abrasives which can alter the surface finish. And no chlorine compounds which, if left on the surface, can cause corrosion.

    Mild surface scratches can sometimes be hidden or removed on a #4 finish with abrasive cloths and Scotchbrite pads, rubbing carefully in the direction of the grain.

    Cement and mortar splashes are all too common on construction sites, and can be difficult to remove if not taken care of immediately.

    Your best bet for dried cement and mortar is power washing followed by cautious mechanical scrubbing and a mild-abrasive stainless steel cleaner.

    For more information about stainless steel care refer to