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Stainless Steel Commercial Kitchen Maintenance

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

Commercial kitchens are typically made to withstand high-volume use. In order for your food service to operate properly, and your business to run smoothly, your commercial kitchen should be in a good state. To ensure this, proper commercial kitchen maintenance is crucial. If no proper maintenance is conducted, it may lead to low productivity and hygiene. Thus getting the maximum out of your commercial kitchen investment is important.

Stainless steel is quite popular in the manufacture of commercial kitchens, and it’s no wonder, stainless steel kitchen fit-outs are such a durable and easy-to-clean material that comes in a variety of types. But this does not mean it's a maintenance-free item, if it’s not properly cared for, it can start to rust over time.

However, unlike steel or iron which easily corrodes, stainless steel consists of additional metals such as nickel and chromium; when these metals are added in specific percentages to the steel itself, it changes its makeup all the way down at the atomic level which helps to form an invisible film on the top that protects the product from corrosion.

Since this film is only millionths of an inch thick, if it is abused it can cause damage to a certain degree. Some of the main items that can damage this protective layer which makes way for corrosion include:

1. Mechanical Abrasion- this includes the use of wool, steel, wire, scrapes, and brushes when cleaning the surface.

2. Water and deposits- hard water that is left on the surface for long hours will leave water spots and can break down the protective layer. This is the same case with food deposits.

3. Chlorides- found in water and table salt, but most commonly found in industrial and household cleaners.

This is all the more reason why maintaining stainless steel commercial kitchens are quite important. But the good news is, that properly taking care of it is not a difficult task at all.

Firstly, you should start off by using the right cleaning tools. This may include anything from soft cloths, sponges, and micro fiber, to plastic scouring pads. But make sure to avoid anything that might scratch the surface.

Furthermore, make sure to clean with the polish lines. Usually, stainless steel has a “grain” that runs from one direction to another. If you can spot these lines, it’s always best to wipe or scrub parallel to them, mainly if you use a cleaning tool that is more abrasive than a wiper or a cloth.

It is also quite important that you use the right cleaning chemicals. The most suitable cleaner when it comes to stainless steel usually includes alkaline, alkaline chlorinated, or non-chloride chemicals. There are plenty of products out there that offer a variety of stainless steel cleaners and polishes that are designed especially for stainless steel.

Also, keep an eye out for water-based aerosol cleaners that won’t attract dirt like oil-based cleaners. This is perfect for commercial kitchens. In fact, make sure to avoid any oil-based liquid cleaners. Even though this may help to get the most brilliant shine, it is not suitable for commercial kitchens. Especially when it comes to heavy grease areas such as near a fryer, oil-based cleaners are not recommended as they will actually attract dust and grease. In addition, make sure to thoroughly wash any food-contact surfaces after using them.

Always know how to properly sanitise and disinfect stainless steel work surfaces. For this, make sure to use a ready-to-use sanitiser that won't cause damage to the surface. Just keep in mind to remove any food particles from the area you’re about to sanitise and then rinse the surface thoroughly using water, and spray the chemical on the affected surface. For several minutes, wet the area and allow it to drain and air dry. But make sure not to wipe or rinse the sanitiser off - of the cleaned surface.

Overall, clean and polish stainless steel regularly. Cleaning your commercial kitchen after use at the end of the day eliminates the risk of build-up from burnt or dried foods, as well as provides a smooth surface for polishing. This is the same case for stainless steel shelves, stainless steel benches, stainless steel cabinets, basically any type of stainless steel work. So if you want to ensure the long-term use of your kitchen without corrosion, all you have to do is conduct proper maintenance and follow the above guide when you do.

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