Taking care of the stainless steel on board your boat
Stainless steel is a relatively low-maintenance metal, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its pitfalls. If anything, people ignore this material more on their boats than others because they don’t see the need to address something that’s advertised as “stainless.”
But in spite of its name, this metal is prone to stains and other problems if you don’t clean it effectively. But that doesn’t mean you’ll need to slave away to keep it protected—not if you know the best way to clean stainless steel, that is.
Tips For Cleaning Stainless Steel
Here are three tips to keep in mind if you want to prevent most stainless steel problems on your boat:
- Avoid the “old-fashioned” remedies. You might find a lot of tips that recommend turning everyday house cleaners into stainless steel cleaners. The truth is, you’ll have inconsistent results this way. It’s better to pick a dedicated stainless steel cleaner that is designed specifically for the metal on your boat.
- Clean it often. You don’t have to give your stainless steel a deep, thorough cleaning every week, but you should include it as part of your regular routine just to preserve its fresh look throughout its lifetime.
- Pick up CleanAWORX Stainless Steel Polish with Wax Protection. This is our best product to clean stainless steel on your boat. With our Stainless Steel Polish, you’ll have a non-streaking formula that cleans and protects at once, leaving you with very little “extra” work to do at the end of your cleaning.
How to clean your Stainless Steel
Our unique blend of super fine polishing alumina with added long life Wax protection, can be used to polish your stainless steel, aluminium, anodised aluminium, copper, and bronze, up to a high gloss shine. With its added wax protection, this improves the high gloss shine and also creates a barrier. Reducing corrosion, oxidisation tea staining from occurring.
Just apply the polish on to soft damp cloth and rub on to your metal surfaces. Allow the polish to dry to a haze, approximately 1-2 minutes. Using a second dry clean soft cloth, hand polish it up to a high gloss shine. (repeat as necessary).
What to do if your stainless steel has rust?
Stainless steel is an amalgam of metals that contains more than 10% chromium. Marine grade stainless steel also contains amounts of molybdenum, nickel, and nitrogen. All four elements work together to make stainless steel the metal of choice for a variety of applications in harsh marine environments, especially saltwater. Stainless steel resists corrosion (called pitting), maintains its strength at high temperatures, looks good, and is easily maintained.
While stainless steel is corrosion resistant, it is not corrosion proof. When exposed to harsh air and moisture conditions, especially in tropical climates and around saltwater, stainless steel corrodes or rusts (also called oxidation).
Welded areas also have a higher susceptibility to corrosion, because heating stainless can destroy its “stainless” qualities. Also, stainless fittings, joins, nuts, bolts, screws, threads, cables, etc… are susceptible to rust (oxidisation).
How to remove Stainless Steel Rust
Here at CleanAWORX we developed a product called Rust-Off Gel which is a unique oxidation, rust and stain remover. Not only will it rapidly remove and convert rust and rust staining, but it will do so without running.
We’ve developed this product in a gel form so that it can be safely applied to any flat, curved, vertical or horizontal, or even upside-down surfaces and it will not run or sag. It simply stays on the applied surface and does its job.
This is in contrast to other rust removers you find in hardware outlets, which have a watery consistency and run off before the rust removal is complete.
How to use Rust-Off Gel
Firstly, remove any dirt, paint, grease, oil and sealers from the stainless surface before application.
Then simply apply Rust-Off Gel by brush or sponge pad evenly over your effected surface. Thickness approximately 2-3mm. Allow soak time (see bottle for recommended soak time), and then rinse off with fresh clean water. Thoroughly dry your surface and then you are ready to apply your selected primers, sealers & polishes. It’s that easy!
For stubborn rust some scrubbing agitation action might be needed, then reapply Rust-Off Gel.
Rust-Off Gel can also be applied onto gelcoat and 2 pack paint. (Read directions for use thoroughly).
With these tips in mind, you should have no problem keeping your stainless steel as pristine as possible.