Scratches on Stainless Steel: How to Get Rid of Them

by craftyclub
Scratches on Stainless Steel: How to Get Rid of Them

Cleaning stainless steel properly and routinely may seem like a hassle, but it’s essential. Cleaning your stainless steel equipment and goods is essential for keeping them looking good and keeping their corrosion resistance intact. Stainless steel is safeguarded by a light coating of chromium oxide, which acts as a barrier against oxidation and rust. Environmental oxygen combines with chromium in the steel material to form a film that resists further erosion.

As a bonus to its resistance to rust, the chromium in stainless steel alloy also makes it slightly harder than it would be without it. However, the concentration of steel, along with heat treatment, is what determines its hardness, and stainless steel alloy has a relatively low carbon content. Stainless steel, while durable, is still vulnerable to dings and scrapes, and these flaws are noticeable given the material’s intended mirror-like sheen. 

Long-term protection for your stainless steel equipment is possible with this film and the right maintenance. However, grime and other pollutants can easily compromise the film’s integrity, so maintaining clean stainless steel is essential. So, it’s important to clean the steel surface on a regular basis to keep it in good shape and prolong its lifespan.

Minor Damage Occurs

The occasional scratch on your stainless steel equipment, countertops, or sink is unavoidable due to normal use. The good news is that the same vulnerability that permitted the scratch to appear also allows you to remove it using a variety of methods. In order to remove a scratch, it is essential to begin with, the least abrasive technique possible and gradually increase the abrasiveness of the procedure until the scratch is completely removed. You shouldn’t scratch it or accidentally damage the coating.

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Check to See If It’s Legit

You should check that the stainless steel you’re using is authentic stainless steel and not a simulated stainless steel that has been clear-coated to prevent fingerprints.

True stainless steel is both nonmagnetic and prone to showing fingerprints. Stainless steel typically has a rubbed finish and a “grain” that runs in a straight line. When cleaning and polishing metal, it is important to keep the grain orientation in mind. Always work with the grain of the metal rather than against it when attempting to fix a scratch.

You should eliminate any dirt or oily film from the stainless steel’s surface before starting to repair the scratch. You can use a vinegar remedy and then thoroughly rinse it off, or you can use a product made specifically for cleaning stainless steel.

Eliminating a Tiny Scratch with a Cleanser

If you need to remove a scratch from your stainless steel, the safest way to do it is with a non-abrasive cleaner. Both powder and semi-liquid forms are commercially available. To use the powder, first, make a paste by adding water.

Spread the cleaner on the scratch with a damp cloth or sponge and rub strenuously in the same position as the grain of the metal. Monitor in order to check if the scratch has been removed; you can flush the cleaning solution with a wet sponge at regular intervals.

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If this method succeeds in erasing the scratch, you can complete the job by applying a thin layer of stainless steel polish. Otherwise, try something more forceful.

Fixing a Scratch with Toothpaste

Regular whitening toothpaste contains a small amount of grit, which you can use to your advantage when trying to remove the scratch from stainless steel.

First, cover a soft-bristled toothbrush in toothpaste.

Secondly, use nylon bristles over the scratch, following the grain of the metal once more. Brushing away the toothpaste with a washcloth is a good way to see how far along you are or a sponge.

Third, keep brushing, and if you run out of toothpaste, just get more.

Remove the scratch, clean the area, and finish with stainless steel polish or olive oil if you’ve been successful. If the nick has not yet been eliminated, proceed to the next, more forceful strategy.

How to Polish Stainless Steel to Remove Deep Scratches

If the scratch is stubborn and cannot be removed by brushing with toothpaste, you can try to smooth it out with extra-fine sandpaper. It’s possible you’ll need some practice before you can pull this off successfully in public. A sanding block can help you apply consistent pressure while sanding.

Wet the sandpaper first. Sandpaper needs to be kept damp at all times for optimal performance.

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Second, use a sponge to apply water to the scratched area. Keep the exterior wet as you work by reapplying as necessary.

Third, using very light pressure and working in the same direction as the grain of the metal, sand the scratch until it is gone.

And if a few minutes of sanding doesn’t do the trick, switch to a coarser grit of paper. When the nick has been removed, you can go back to the finer part. Use sandpaper and lightly sand the entire work area, moving outward to blend with the rest of the stainless steel.

You can also use a wet washcloth to wipe down the sanded area. It’s important to remember that you’re wiping away loose grit from the sanding procedure, so be sure to use plenty of water.

What to keep in mind when cleaning your appliances?

Always clean and polish in the direction of the metal’s grain. Using this technique, you can remove the grime, dust, and dirt that has settled into the minute crannies.

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