How to Repair Scratched Stainless Steel
Whether you can remove a scratch has much to do with how deep the scratch goes. Here are several ways to deal with this problem and restore your cookware, stainless steel appliances, countertops or sinks to their former glory.
You have a shining, gleaming stainless steel and a kitchen that fairly sparkles. Then, it happens. Somehow there is an ugly scratch on the stainless steel refrigerator, oven, or dishwasher, and you can see it from across the room. It’s just about as obvious as a blemish on prom night. But you can restore your stainless steel appliances to their former beauty.
Assess the damage. Determine if this is a deep scratch or a surface scratch, by running your finger across it. If you can actually feel the indentation, you have a deep scratch, gouge or ding. With clamps, carefully hold a small piece of dry ice over the gouged area. Hopefully,it will pop out, and not be as noticeable. Then you can treat it in the same way other scratched areas are treated in the steps below.
Determine if the scratched appliance is “real” stainless steel or if it has a synthetic coating or finish. Damage to coated appliances is permanent.
These are all coated: Whirlpool – “Satina;” GE – “Clean Steel;” Amana – “Ultra Finish Steel;” Kitchenaid – Architect Series II, “Monochromatic Stainless;” Kenmore – “Ultra Satin;” Frigidaire – “Titanium;” Electrolux (all brands except “Classic,” “Icon” and “Electrolux”); Maytag – “Silver Ultra Finish,” “Satina Stainless Look,” “Monochromatic Stainless steel,” “Monochromatic Satina.”
Also, coated stainless steel doesn’t smudge easily and is magnetic. You will only further damage the surface if you use a rubbing compound, or a product like Scratch-B-Gone, on a synthetic or clear-coated finish. If your appliance is coated, you cannot fix the damage.
Identify the existing grain of the stainless steel. See which direction the tiny original brush lines go in the damaged area.
Use an abrasive pad from the Scratch-B-Gone kit to repair scuffs, light scratches and even deep scratches. The kit has 4 different abrasive pads and instructions to tell you which one to use depending on the severity of the scratches and scuffs. Otherwise, go to an automotive shop and buy different fine grades of sandpaper.
Apply a small amount of Ultra Shine from the Scratch-B-Gone kit onto the appropriate abrasive pad. Or use an automotive rubbing compound on the sandpaper.
Begin rubbing the damaged area of the stainless steel in the direction of the grain covering over about a 5-inch area at a time. Slide the pad backward and forward increasing pressure as needed until you see the scratch is disappearing.
Repeat this process until the scratch is removed and the surface is restored. For a deeper scratch, dry rub the area with the coarse pad, and wipe area off with a microfiber cloth to make sure the scratch is gone.
Blend the metal surfaces by using the finest grade sandpaper or abrasive pad with the rubbing compound or Ultra Shine and gradually increase the area around the original damage to about three times the original scratched area. Be sure to go with the existing grain of the stainless steel so you don’t create crosshatching.
How to Shine Stainless Steel Appliances
Bright, shiny stainless steel appliances can add a nice touch of class to a kitchen, but if they aren’t properly cared for, they will lose their lovely patina. With just few simple steps, you can keep those stainless steel appliances bright and shiny for many years to come
Apply baby oil to the stainless steel appliance with a soft, dry cloth.
Rub it on well, making sure all of the appliance has been coated with baby oil.
Apply a stainless steel cleaner to the area with a soft cloth. Follow up with a stainless steel polish to bring back the shine.
If the scratch is still there or if you can put your fingernail in the scratch, you may have to try fine grit sand paper. Sand the area and go outside the scratch by one or two inches as you did before, following grain of the metal.
After sanding, use the coarse side of the finishing pad. Flip the pad over and use the fine side to help smooth the surface out.
Follow up with using a stainless steel cleaner and apply with a soft cloth. Use a polish afterward to help restore the metal to its original shine.
Do not use abrasive cleaners containing bleach or it could scratch the metal. Use cleaners specifically designed for stainless steel or others such as white vinegar, Windex, club soda, rubbing alcohol or ammonia, which are safe and will not harm the surface. Just because a product is for stainless steel it still may be acidic or slightly abrasive and you should proceed with caution when using. Always use soft cloths to clean such as micro fiber to prevent scratches. You may have to consult a professional for very deep scratches or scuffs.
How to Get Corrosion Off of Stainless Steel Appliances
Stainless steel is a steel alloy that is incredibly resistant to rust and corrosion; it is commonly used in building or decoration. The visual beauty of stainless steel makes it a popular choice as a finish for home appliances. However, although stainless steel is incredibly resistant to wear, it is not indestructible. Proper care can prevent nearly all rust or corrosion, but in rare cases, your appliances can show wear. Luckily, it only takes a few steps to clean stainless steel.
Things You’ll Need:
Stainless steel cleaner
Wipe the appliance down with a wet rag to remove any debris, grease or oils from the surface.
Dry the appliance with a soft cloth or towel.
Apply a small amount of mild detergent such as dish soap to a wet rag, until the rag is sudsy. Wipe the appliance down, applying mild pressure.
Clean off any remaining soap from the appliance and dry.
Apply stainless steel cleaner to your appliance, and buff with soft cloth. Rinse with wet cloth.
Dry the appliance one last time, making sure to leave no residue of water or cleaner on the appliance.
How To Remove Rust From Stainless Steel
Though stainless does have incredible resistance to oxidation and corrosion there are still major factors that can lead to different types of corrosion. Corrosion of stainless can come from moisture from the ocean and air, humidity and temperature from weather, as well as the oils and skin secretions from people.
The best method to remove rust from stainless steel that we’ve found is to use Bull Frog Rust Remover. This rust remover will remove the rust and it has proven itself safe on the stainless steel finish.
To use Bull Frog Rust Remover on stainless steel, just apply the product to the rust stained surface. Let the rust remover work for half an hour, and then wash off with water. If the rust stain remains, repeat the process but leave the rust remover on for an hour.
Again, rinse off the rust remover.Using Bull Frog Rust Remover has advantages over traditional abrasive methods. First, this method is very quick to apply. Secondly, and most important, is the end result. Using abrasive methods can lead to a sanded looking finish on the rust stained area. Keeping the original finish on the stainless steel is important to the overall appearance of the stainless steel. (Source: theruststore.com)
To prevent corrosion, all stainless steel should be kept cleaned and coated with a corrosion prevention coating. In salty and humid environments they should be washed more regularly as salt can accelerate the rusting process.
How to clean stainless steel
1. Water and a cloth.
Routine cleaning can be accomplished by using warm water and a cloth. This is the least risky option for cleaning stainless steel. Dry with a towel or cloth to prevent water spots. Wipe in the directions of the polish lines.
2. Mild detergent, (dish washing liquid) and cloth.
For cleaning that needs more power, mild detergent and warm water can do a great job without damaging the stainless steel. Make sure you rinse the surface thoroughly to prevent staining and spotting. Towel dry to prevent water spots which can be caused by minerals in water.
3. Glass cleaner for fingerprints.
Fingerprints are one of the biggest complaints about stainless steel, but can be taken care by using glass cleaner or household ammonia. Rinse thoroughly and towel dry. There are some newer types of finishes for stainless steel that resist fingerprints, a must if your pint-sized helpers leave their mark on your stainless steel appliances.
4. Stainless Steel Cleaner
If you’ve had staining or scratching, or need to polish your stainless steel, a stainless steel cleaner may be a good option. Some of these cleaners and polishes can help minimize scratching and remove stains. They also can polish stainless steel surfaces nicely. Read the directions on the stainless steel cleaner and test in an inconspicuous spot. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and towel dry.
Tips and Warnings
1. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands.
2. Keep stainless steel appliances clean, because dirty appliances will lose their shine very quickly. Wipe them often to remove kitchen grease, using a damp sponge or rag soaked in hot, soapy water. Dry the appliance thoroughlyt with a soft towel. Wipe against the grain and with the grain of the stainless steel
3. Remove fingerprints from stainless steel appliances with window cleaner, and wipe them dry.
4. For a quick shine, put some club soda in a spray bottle and lightly mist the stainless steel appliance. Follow up by drying the appliance with a soft cloth.
5. Never use bleach on stainless steel appliances. It will react with the steel and can cause staining.
6. Never use brushes or steel wool on stainless steel appliances. They can scratch the stainless steel and cause rust to form.
How to Get Scratches Out of Stainless Steel Appliances
Stainless steel appliances can be sharp and modern when they are gleaming, shiny and new. However, it can be easy to scratch up a stainless steel surface and this can take away from its luster. There are a few things that can be done to remove scratches from stainless steel. It just takes a few materials and a little effort to get your appliances back to their original state and shine.
1. Use the coarse side of a finishing pad on the scratch if it is minor. Be sure to follow the grain of the metal. Overlap the area by one or two inches on each side, which will help it to blend in with the surrounding metal. Flip the pad over and use the fine side of the pad to smooth out the area.
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