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Despite its natural resistance against corrosion, cleaning and maintaining stainless steel after installation is important to keep it looking its best.

The main finishes for stainless steel most commonly used for balustrades and handrails would be either mirror polished or satin polished. When cleaning and maintaining stainless steel it’s essential you use the correct methods and products for its finish.

Mirror Polished

Mirror polished stainless steel will only require an occasional clean with some warm soapy water. After cleaning it is best to use a dry, lint free cloth to get rid of any water marks.

This method of cleaning will keep the appearance of the mirror polished stainless steel looking good. However, around once a year we recommend that you use a stainless steel polish and microfiber cloth. This will freshen up the overall appearance of the stainless steel with a high gloss effect.

It is important to never use a scourer or abrasive cloth on mirror polished stainless steel, otherwise it will scratch.

mirror polished stainless steel

Satin Polished

Like mirror polished stainless steel, satin polished can also be cleaned using warm soapy water. But this time with a non-woven abrasive cloth and polish. It is important that when using this type of cloth, you use it in the same direction as the grain of the material.

satin finished stainless steel

There are a range of stainless steel polishes and cleaners that you can use for your balconies, balustrades, and handrails to minimize the appearance of any scratches they may pick up. Other products such as anti-corrosion wax can be applied to stainless steel to form a protective layer. However this is often not necessary unless in areas where risk of corrosion is much higher than normal, such as coastal areas where the stainless steel comes into contact with salt water.

Some products that you should avoid are chlorine based solutions and hydrochloric acids. Using chlorine to clean stainless steel can cause staining and discolouration. Hydrochloric acid can also cause corrosion and pitting.

Make sure to avoid using abrasive cleaners and materials such as steel wool unless you are certain you’re using it for the right products. If in doubt about what products and cleaning methods to use, contact a professional for advice.