Author Topic: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)  (Read 2186 times)

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Online Halcyon

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Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« on: May 31, 2018, 10:22:52 am »
Stainless steel is everywhere. My kitchen appliances are covered in the stuff, however I refuse to pay good money for a few hundred millilitres of a so-called specialised stainless steel cleaning products from the supermarket. I've tried them before and they barely do a better job compared to water alone. Probably just marketing bullshit.

Does anyone have any effective home-brew recipes for cleaning oily deposits like cooking oil and fingerprints from stainless steel and aluminium surfaces that I can make up in a spray bottle?
 

Offline JohnnyMalaria

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2018, 10:44:20 am »
Some white vinegar in water with a drop or two of washing up liquid.
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Offline DimitriP

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 10:44:51 am »
Sponge with dish soap. The trick is to use the right kind of microfiber towel to wipe it dry.  Some microfiber towels tend to stick to rough skin more than othes. That's the "right kind".
I  also use Meguiars Express synthetic wax for extra shine.  wurks gud :)

To me the most significant ingredient seems to be the microfiber towel.
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Offline Ian.M

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 11:03:08 am »
See https://www.bssa.org.uk/topics.php?article=77

One thing to be aware of is the possibility of slight surface rusting due to depletion of the protective Chromium oxide layer.  To resolve this you need to passivate the surface - etch away any Iron oxides and enough elemental Iron to raise the surface Chromium concentration.  There are various ways to do this, but probably the easiest it to use an Oxalic acid based cleaner.
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 11:33:12 am »
IPA?
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Online ChunkyPastaSauce

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 11:57:09 am »
After trying rubbing alcohol, glass cleaners, acetone, soap...for the hell of it I tried straight dishwasher rinse aid (finish turbo, dunno if it matters); works almost instantly for me
 

Offline Ian.M

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 12:11:30 pm »
IPA?
:popcorn:

Isopropanol isn't terribly effective as a degreaser for heavily oil, grease or wax soiled surfaces, especially when the residue is a drying oil (e.g. many vegtable oils, especially after heating in a metal pan) that can form varnish-like deposits.

India Pale Ale is likely to be even less effective - 5% to 10% Ethanol in water isn't going to do much for grease removal, even with the slight boost the carbonation gives it and possible slight saponification due to the hops.

Its much more effective self-applied internally post-cleaning as an incentive to apply a more appropriate cleaner with enough 'elbow-grease'!

OTOH, while we are on a brewery theme, Bar Keepers Friend will do a good job on stainless surfaces that aren't extremely highly polished.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 01:38:26 pm by Ian.M »
 
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Offline Ampera

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 12:36:52 pm »
suggestion: don't embed absolutely massive images into the forum, scale them down first. that filled up more than my entire screen on a 1920x1080 desktop.

I've found that it works quite well for degreasing, but if the situation is really so bad for that to not work well enough, then you'd need something like WD-40 to clean it, and I don't imagine Halcyon's steel is that dirty.
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Offline Ian.M

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 01:33:12 pm »
suggestion: don't embed absolutely massive images into the forum, scale them down first. that filled up more than my entire screen on a 1920x1080 desktop.
OOPS!!
Sorry I didn't notice as this forum auto resizes images in the browser to fit the page layout, and as I'd been to the linked Colonial Brewery page, it was already cached so I didn't notice the extended load time.  They are might proud of their cans to publish them at that resolution!

I'll attach a small version here and inline that instead.  If anyone has problems with that I'll replace it with a Creative Commons image of a different brand of IPA from Wikipedia . . . .
 

Offline BradC

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2018, 01:48:40 pm »
70% Nitric acid works well. I also have a weak hydrofluoric acid paste that does a fantastic job. Both are probably overkill for the kitchen though.
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2018, 03:14:18 pm »
...for cleaning oily deposits like cooking oil...

Depends how health your diet is. Worst case, Engine degreaser.  ;)
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Offline Gyro

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2018, 03:18:31 pm »
70% Nitric acid works well. I also have a weak hydrofluoric acid paste that does a fantastic job. Both are probably overkill for the kitchen though.

Isn't hydroflouric the one that eats your bones if you get it on your skin - tales of people having fingers and hands amputated after touching rubber components from braking systems in burned out cars etc.?
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Offline JohnnyMalaria

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2018, 03:54:09 pm »
HF is like the Energizer bunny (which they stole from Duracell) - it keeps on going and going. Not only does it do all the horrible things you say but it acts as a local anesthetic, too, as it burrows through your flesh so you don't even know it's there.

I've got conc. HCl and conc. nitric in a cupboard less than two feet in front of me. Mix those and you can dissolve gold. I have much respective for these things.
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Offline Gregg

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2018, 07:21:58 pm »
The powdered cleanser called Barkeeper's Friend is the best bang for the buck and leaves a nice shine without making more scratch marks (unless it is a mirror finish; then use Simichrome polish).  Simichrome is also great for loading a knife sharpening strop.
 

Offline CopperCone

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2018, 07:35:40 pm »
I don't wash appliances often but I think that stainless steel wipes are pretty good. I can't get the same results with other methods. I  find the spray tends to streak and you require more elbow grease and time to get the same finish as the wipes. Convenience seems to pay.

They have a kind of mildly abrasive texture I have not seen elsewhere, which makes the job go quick.


I also love lineman's wipes or whatever their called. Like grime-away. They are very rough, like a cats tongue,  but it cleans gummy oil and shit super good. It does not seem to 'clog up' like with a paper towel (I tend to use the thicker blue 'shop towels') when used on heavy grease. Then I wipe away the chemical its soaked with using a regular paper towel.

I have a feeling you will have a shit time doing any kind of polish/cleaning without specially textured towels.

I really think your problem is texture. The roughness of the wipes seems to kind of 'grind off' grease, hard to imagine but you can defiantly feel a difference vs the spray. I don't think regular bounty or other paper towels are appropriate.

The ones that they sell in a stack, folded into three sections (like how you mail a letter) work pretty well with the spray, but not as good as the wipes, even though they are harder then the wipes. I think they are less absorbant.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 07:38:38 pm by CopperCone »
 

Offline TheSteve

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2018, 07:53:16 pm »
Not home brew but the "go to" cleaner in the bonnet of most DeLorean owners seems to be Windex - it always worked well to get rid of the finger and hand prints from those who insisted on touching the stainless.
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Offline BradC

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2018, 12:21:07 am »
70% Nitric acid works well. I also have a weak hydrofluoric acid paste that does a fantastic job. Both are probably overkill for the kitchen though.

Isn't hydroflouric the one that eats your bones if you get it on your skin - tales of people having fingers and hands amputated after touching rubber components from braking systems in burned out cars etc.?

Yeah it is. This is a couple of percent in a thick gel. Commonly used for cleaning up stainless after an improperly purged or shielded weld. It's fairly aggressive, but no more so than other fairly noxious chemicals. It does a spectacular job in removing almost anything from stainless.

I must say the only thing in a car I thought would produce HF when burned was the refrigerant in the AC and the only damage I'd heard of was it etching the windscreen. I've not heard of tissue damage. Chlorinated products break down to hydrochloriic acid and occasionally phosgene (which isn't much fun at all).
 

Offline CopperCone

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2018, 01:07:38 am »
Hydrofluoric acid is potent poison and skin rot agent. As a organic eating acid, it is weak.

It does not kill you by burning instead of seeps into the skin, like DMSO, into fatty tissue, and causes calcium to precipitate.

This causes lysis of cellular matter and I believe clogs your heart.

In a gel form, it is probably safer, because it does not penetrate the skin as rapidly, you can wipe it off to minimize exposure, but expect to lose flesh, like a spider bite, at the very least.

I would recommend through wiping rather then washing. If you spread it out, the contact with your skin is larger. It is surface area dependent. In-fact I would recommend carefully scraping it off with a razor as to minimize spread before smearing it around to get rid of it (keep in mind the HF molecule will already have diffused through your skin some what and you should get medical treatment).

Keep in mind, the dose absorbed through inhalation is rather small, compared to the massive dose you would receive with skin contact. Don't take the fact that breathing some fumes won't kill you as it being safe for contact.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 01:15:20 am by CopperCone »
 

Offline JohnnyMalaria

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2018, 01:26:04 am »
To clarify a point that often confuses people: "weak" doesn't mean it's feeble and relatively harmless. The scientific meaning of it being a weak acid is that it doesn't dissociate fully into H+ and F- ions but exists in an equilibrium with HF molecules. A strong acid is almost fully dissociated. Hydrochloric acid is a strong acid and, at a given concentration, has a lower pH than hydrofluoric acid. Even citric acid is lower than HF. But it's not just the pH that'll get you.  I'd much rather have to deal with HCl than HF any day.

Tell me it can't be done and I'll do it. Or give it a damned good try.
 

Online IanB

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2018, 01:26:25 am »
Stainless steel is everywhere. My kitchen appliances are covered in the stuff, however I refuse to pay good money for a few hundred millilitres of a so-called specialised stainless steel cleaning products from the supermarket. I've tried them before and they barely do a better job compared to water alone. Probably just marketing bullshit.

Does anyone have any effective home-brew recipes for cleaning oily deposits like cooking oil and fingerprints from stainless steel and aluminium surfaces that I can make up in a spray bottle?

A trick that I learned is mineral oil. You can buy this either in the kitchen department for treating cutting boards, salad bowls and other wooden food utensils, or in the healthcare department as unscented baby oil (which apparently is not made from babies).

Simply wipe down stainless steel surfaces with a paper towel soaked in the mineral oil. It will easily dissolve and remove finger prints and other greasy marks and leave the steel with a nice even sheen. Wipe off any excess oil with a dry paper towel. The remaining film of oil will also protect the steel from further marks like finger prints and smudges.

If the steel has any calcium deposits from hard water, you can wipe it down first with a solution of kettle descaler followed by a good rinse with clean water and a thorough drying before using the oil to polish it.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 01:30:12 am by IanB »
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Offline Zero999

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2018, 12:37:26 pm »
To clarify a point that often confuses people: "weak" doesn't mean it's feeble and relatively harmless. The scientific meaning of it being a weak acid is that it doesn't dissociate fully into H+ and F- ions but exists in an equilibrium with HF molecules. A strong acid is almost fully dissociated. Hydrochloric acid is a strong acid and, at a given concentration, has a lower pH than hydrofluoric acid. Even citric acid is lower than HF. But it's not just the pH that'll get you.  I'd much rather have to deal with HCl than HF any day.


The hazard associated with HF has little to do with it being and acid and everything about it being highly toxic and easily absorbed through the skin.
 

Offline dwpaulver

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2018, 04:08:36 am »
Stainless steel is everywhere. My kitchen appliances are covered in the stuff, however I refuse to pay good money for a few hundred millilitres of a so-called specialised stainless steel cleaning products from the supermarket. I've tried them before and they barely do a better job compared to water alone. Probably just marketing bullshit.

Does anyone have any effective home-brew recipes for cleaning oily deposits like cooking oil and fingerprints from stainless steel and aluminium surfaces that I can make up in a spray bottle?

Try these varieties of homemade stainless steel cleaner. https://homeremediesfor.com/cleaning-stainless-steel/#j_Windex
 

Offline DTJ

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2018, 04:23:25 am »
Try wiping the stainless over with a tiny amount of kerosene after you've cleaned it with soapy water, vinegar or whatever.

There's expensive stuff in a silver spray bottle you can buy (I can't recall its name at the moment) but its main ingredient seems to be kerosene.
A small spray and rubbing it over with a cloth leaves a very thin layer maintains a shine  and aids in cleaning next time.
 

Offline darrellg

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2018, 05:58:12 pm »
I'll second the recommendation for Barkeeper's Friend. All of my cookware is stainless steel and that stuff is like magic on it. It's very inexpensive.
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Offline tooki

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2018, 07:08:36 pm »
FYI, the secret to keeping stainless steel free of fingerprints is to not degrease it! Stainless steel cleaners often contain a bit of suspended oil to effect a thin layer of oil. This way there’s less contrast with fingerprints. (Same thing in cleaners for matte LCD screens, by the way!!)

I suspect you could mix up one yourself with some blend of water, IPA, and a few drops of silicone oil. Just give it a vigorous shake before applying!
 

Offline CopperCone

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2018, 07:46:37 pm »
well not only contrast but a fluid film will dissolve the finger print some what, so it won't have high ridges and stuff. Not sure how soluble it is.

Cleaning oils are basically a mixture of lemon oil and petroleum distillates. I would say the body is more adapted to dealing with them then silicone oils. My opinion.

I will get a glass plate and do some film residue experiments now. I have neglected to research this for too long.

Actual chemical facts:
Lemon Oil - BP - 175C
Kerosene - BP - 150-300C

Detailed Chemical Facts:
Lemon Oil
Appearance:    pale yellow to dark yellow clear liquid (est)
Heavey Metals:    <0.004%
Food Chemicals Codex Listed:    No
Specific Gravity:    0.84900 to 0.85500 @  25.00 °C.
Pounds per Gallon - (est).:    7.065 to  7.114
Refractive Index:    1.47200 to 1.47400 @  20.00 °C.
Optical Rotation:    +57.00 to +65.50
Boiling Point:    176.00 °C. @ 760.00 mm Hg
Vapor Pressure:    0.950000 mm/Hg @ 25.00 °C.
Flash Point:    115.00 °F. TCC ( 46.11 °C. )
Shelf Life:    12.00 month(s) or longer if stored properly.
Storage:    store in cool, dry place in tightly sealed containers, protected from heat and light. store under nitrogen.

Kerosene:
Melting point    24-25 °C
Boiling point    175-325 °C(lit.)
density    0.8 g/mL at 25 °C(lit.)
vapor density    4.5 (vs air)
vapor pressure    0.23 mm Hg ( 20 °C)
refractive index    n20/D 1.436
Fp    179 °F
storage temp.    2-8°C
form    Liquid
color    Light Yellow
explosive limit   5%
Merck    14,5294
Stability:   Stable. Flammable. Incompatible with strong oxidizing agents.'

My crude analysis:
Lemon oil, despite being more volatile then the kerosene carrier that is used, does have antimicrobial properties and a nice smell. Surfaces coated with a mixture of plant oils and mineral oils may have some long term sanitary properties desired for human contact.

Unknown what the heavy metal content of petroleum oils is. I would opt for just using old english or lemon oil pledge on stainless steel (it is listed on the applications). It's manfuacture probobly has more oversight. Additionally the distillation process may be carrier out slower/better, so you won't get things like aerosols carrying over heavy metals during distillation as much. Would need to investigate the companies.

This has got me thinking about what is best to use on the refrigerator door and faucet handles and other stainless things I touch frequently in the kitchen. In the shop I do use silicone oil for protection on certain things, on handles I tend to use paint. I don't like bare metal handles.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 08:14:37 pm by CopperCone »
 

Online IanB

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2018, 08:33:59 pm »
This has got me thinking about what is best to use on the refrigerator door and faucet handles and other stainless things I touch frequently in the kitchen. In the shop I do use silicone oil for protection on certain things, on handles I tend to use paint. I don't like bare metal handles.

Mineral oil. Get the food grade or pharmaceutical product (e.g. baby oil). If it's safe for babies it's safe for you  :)
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Offline CopperCone

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2018, 08:36:35 pm »
Yes, I think the old english I sometimes use on wood is a mixture of mineral oil and lemon oil. Not sure if anything else. I might start using it on door handles for the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets instead of the stainless cleaner/protector.

Not terrible.
C13-14 Alkane    Oil
Fragrance/Parfum    Fragrance
Limonene    Fragrance Component
Citral    Fragrance Component
Solvent Yellow 72    Colorant

I don't want fucking solvent yellow 72 though.

god damnit
https://www.ewg.org/guides/subcategories/196-WoodFurnitureWaxPolish?page=1#.WzaZooplBaQ

im sure though that its probobly bullshit compared to an hour of gas welding or some shit  :palm:\
\
make no illusion toxicity and longetivity interests me but i am by no means a particularly healthy or clean man when it comes to chemical exposure. Every time I try I find 5000 problems and I think I am getting more damage from the stress of trying to 'live healthy' vs the various toxins present in my environment. At least I use mostly use 7th generation and am too lazy to apply all the coatings and shit.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 08:52:32 pm by CopperCone »
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Cleaning stainless steel (with home made cleaners)
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2018, 09:37:41 pm »
This has got me thinking about what is best to use on the refrigerator door and faucet handles and other stainless things I touch frequently in the kitchen. In the shop I do use silicone oil for protection on certain things, on handles I tend to use paint. I don't like bare metal handles.

Mineral oil. Get the food grade or pharmaceutical product (e.g. baby oil). If it's safe for babies it's safe for you  :)
Coconut oil is another fine choice for those who prefer something natural.
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