How to clean stainless steel equipment in your commercial kitchen

Stainless steel is a staple in commercial kitchens worldwide and, when properly cared for, will maintain its lustrous look for many years to come.

There are several reasons why stainless steel is the metal of choice for the catering industry – mostly because it’s extremely durable, resistant to corrosion and safe for food preparation. It’s also non-porous, so moisture, bacteria and other harmful remnants can’t seep into it. But like anything else, stainless steel can stain (and even rust!) if it’s not looked after correctly.

Here we look at some of the best ways to clean stainless steel equipment, including simple, yet effective, techniques that won’t cause any damage.

  1. Always use a soft cloth, rag or sponge

Whether you’re cleaning your worktops, sinks, refrigerators, or any other stainless steel equipment in your commercial kitchen, make sure you use a non-abrasive cloth (i.e. a microfiber towel).

Avoid brushes and scrapers as these can scratch the surface. We also don’t recommend steel wool and Brillo pads as these will eventually cause the metal to rust.

Something to consider when cleaning stainless steel is the grain line. You can usually see which way the grain is going and it’s best to polish in the same direction to prevent streaks.

  1. Use a suitable detergent

When wiping a surface down in between tasks, and cleaning up spills immediately, a damp cloth or sponge should do the trick. However, for a more effective clean, you’re going to need a good quality detergent – keeping in mind the recommended concentration.

We advise a mild detergent for cleaning stainless steel kitchen equipment, or one that contains ammonia, to help kill bacteria.

High chlorine content cleaners are not recommended as they will eventually pit and rust the surface. But, if you do use one of these, always take extra care to check the concentration and strength. Residual detergent or soap can damage the surface if left on too long, so make sure you rinse it off quickly.

  1. Use glass cleaner for fingerprints

There’s nothing worse than grubby fingerprints and smudges dampening the lustre of stainless steel in the kitchen.

Oily fingerprints can tarnish the metal but, the good news is, you can keep your stainless steel equipment looking as good as new by using glass cleaner and a microfiber towel. Spray the glass cleaner on to the affected area at the end of the day and gently rub the surface with the clean cloth.

  1. Remember to dry it

Many businesses know only too well that hard water spots are one of the most difficult things to remove from stainless steel. Our best advice? Wipe up any spillages as quickly as possible and always dry your equipment after cleaning it. Though it’s really easy to do, and all you need is a clean towel, it will prevent harsh chemicals (that lead to spots, deposits and eventually rust) damaging your stainless steel equipment

  1. Stick to a regular cleaning schedule

Now you know what to do, be sure to incorporate it into your daily routine. Although some things won’t get as dirty as others, frequently cleaning your equipment will ensure good performance, long service life and maintain the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen environment.

Contact SSME today

Need further guidance on how to clean stainless steel equipment? No problem – we know all the best cleaning methods and our team is always on hand and happy to help. You’re more than welcome to get in touch with us on 0121 661 6346 or drop us an email at

Alternatively, if your stainless steel equipment is damaged beyond repair, and it’s time to invest in new apparatus, look no further. We have an extensive range to choose from, including everything from stainless steel sinks and washroom equipment to furniture and trays, trollies and dollies. All our equipment is manufactured to an exceptionally high standard and can be purchased for a competitive price online.

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