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Caring for Stainless Steel Handrails and Balustrades

Railsafe are a leading provider of custom fabrication services in Sydney, and over the years we have produced countless examples of quality stainless steel handrails and balustrades for our customers. Stainless steel is a corrosion-resistant alloy, making it ideal for environments prone to corrosion and rust. With its clean and upmarket appearance, it is a very popular choice for balustrading and handrails. Like any material, it is important to keep on top of cleaning and maintenance. Doing so will help to eliminate build-up of dirt, dust and grime and help to extend the lifespan of your balustrade or handrail. The good news is that stainless steel is easy to care for, and by following the below tips you can maintain a great finish all year round. 

How to Clean Stainless Steel 

1. Water and Cloth 

Sometimes there is no need to use any degreaser, with plain water and a clean cloth doing a good job of cleaning away marks without damaging the finish of your stainless-steel rail or balustrade. After cleaning, dry any water droplets using a clean towel to prevent staining.  

2. Detergent and Cloth 

For tougher marks and stains, a mild detergent can be used. The most popular option is dish washing liquid, but any mild degreaser will do the job. Mix a small amount with warm water, then wipe using a clean cloth. Finally, dry with a towel to prevent staining. 

3. Cleaning Fingerprints  

One of the main concerns with stainless steel is the way it picks up fingerprints, particularly when installed in high traffic areas. Removing finger prints is best done using a glass cleaning or ammonia based solution. Simply wipe down and dry to restore a fingerprint free finish. If you are considering a new stainless-steel railing or balustrade and fingerprints are a concern for you, it’s worthwhile discussing the various types of stainless-steel finishes which are available.  Some finishes can resist fingerprints better than others.  

4. Polishing Stainless Steel 

Stainless steel can come in a matte or polished appearance. Over the years, staining and scratching may occur. To remove these, use a stainless-steel cleaner or polish with a soft cloth. Make sure to read the product directions prior to use to avoid damaging the surface. Some cleaners and polishes may contain abrasives and fillers which can help to remove and fill any scratches or pits to minimise their appearance, but harsh abrasives can also damage the finish and cause stainless steel to take on a dull appearance. If you are concerned about this, look for a product which does not contain abrasives or engage a professional to polish your handrail or balustrade.  

5. Protecting Stainless Steel

There are a range of products on the market which can add a protective coating to stainless steel, helping to make cleaning and maintenance easier. Some people like to use cooking oils such as olive oil or canola oil to remove fingerprints, buff the finish and ensure a long-lasting shine. After application, run a dry microfiber cloth over the surface to finish.   

Take Your Time and Remember to…  

  • Be Gentle – There is no need for harsh detergents or rigorous movements, as this could damage your railing. 
  • Use Soft Scrubbers Only – If you decide to use a scrubber to remove stubborn stains, make sure that it is a soft one made by a reputable brand.  
  • Always Read the Instructions – Stainless steel cleaning products come in various forms and concentrations, so it is important to read the instructions prior to use. Improper use may cause damage to your balustrade.  
  • Always Rinse and Dry – After cleaning, rinse down your balustrade with plain water to remove cleaning product residues, then dry with a clean towel.  
  • Avoid Chlorine – Cleaners which contain chlorine will destroy the chromium oxide layer of your stainless-steel balustrade, allowing corrosion to take place. Avoid any cleaners which list chlorine as an ingredient.  

Searching for Custom Handrails or Balustrades? Get a Quote from Railsafe Today 

Stainless steel handrails and balustrades are stylish, easy to maintain and durable. Time for an upgrade? Contact Railsafe today to obtain a free quote for your next custom fabrication project.   

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