Stainless Steel is a material used for a vast many uses, From cookware to medical equipment, stainless steel is especially suited to applications where hygiene is important. So just how do you ensure that stainless steel itself stays clean and maintained? In this article we look at the ways that you can ensure the longevity of one particular stainless steel product, drainage grates.
How Do You Clean and Maintain Stainless Steel Grates?
Providing they are used for the right application and in the right environment, stainless steel grates should require no maintenance,. Generally, all that is required to clean stainless steel grates is to hose them down with fresh water, making them the ideal choice for bathrooms and any similar wet areas.
So… What Is the Right Environment and Application for Stainless Steel Grates?
Essentially, most places that drainage grates are required with the exception of hot chlorinated environments, such as indoor heated pools. In this type of environment, a chemical reaction occurs causing the carbon to leech from the steel resulting in brown staining. While concentrated lemon juice can be used to combat this discolouration, it is not ideal. Got stainless steel grates around your outdoor pool? No worries, regular outdoor pool surrounds are suitable for stainless steel grates, where, with a hose and a broom, you can simply sweep the grates down with fresh water – maintenance done!
How Do I Keep My Stainless Steel Grates Shiny?
If you have a stainless steel fridge, spray it with with a purpose designed stainless steel cleaner and you get a day’s worth of smudgeless or print free finish… if your lucky!
The beauty of stainless steel grates, particularly when they are used in civil applications, is that they are frequently walked on. “How is this a good thing?”, we here you ask. Well, basically, every time you walk on the grate you are buffing it or polishing it with your shoes, so the top of a stainless steel grate will always look pretty shiny. In a domestic bathroom a grate is not being walked on a whole lot and is subjected to all sorts of soap, grime, scum, hair, and everything else that is inherent in a shower. Over time, you’re going lose a bit of lustre, but, again if you rub your foot on it while you’re in the shower it’s going to come up clean as you like.
How Long do Stainless Steel Grates Last?
Stainless steel won’t degrade. Again, given the right conditions, it’s a lifetime application lifetime steel. In short – pretty much forever!
Do Stainless Steel Grates Rust?
The answer is in the name stainless steel, so, no, they don’t rust.
While it doesn’t rust, stainless steel can suffer from “crevice corrosion “ where the carbon will try to liberate itself out of the stainless steel at any avenue it can. Some people think of this as rust but it is a different thing, its effects are merely visual, a browning of the material. Crevice corrosion occurs when you cut stainless steel, you’re then breaking through its “plastic skin barrier”, so to speak, and exposing the elements – the carbon is leaching out of the stainless steel.
The process of “passivation” is generally employed to negate this issue. This process involves immersing the newly fabricated stainless steel goods in a specific healing chemical solution that reinstates the affected area.
Are All Stainless Steel Grates the Same Quality?
No. The construction of the grate is an important factor in its integrity, hence why you may sometimes see broken stainless steel grates.
Now, sometimes grates may break from abuse, however, sometimes they are inferior to begin with. For example, some imported grates use significantly less stainless steel – this does not mean the balance is made up with other materials, rather that the grate may use less support members, sometimes to the result of a third less stainless steel in the finished product. These imported grates don’t have enough steel in them to actually hold their integrity, form and shape, so warping may occur. While they may be okay for light duty applications, such as domestic shower drains, they cannot withstand rigorous treatment.