How to clean steel: I'll reveal some secrets to clean steel and make it return to its former glory. From cleaning oxidized steel to the most resistant dirt.
Guide valid for cleaning steel jewelry, hood, hob, oven, brushed steel elevators, steel handrails, surfaces, sinks, pots, kitchen elements and all steel accessories.
Let's make a clarification immediately: many think that steel is a metal, nothing more wrong. Steel is an alloy obtained from the union of a metal and a non-metal, that is, composed of iron and carbon. Also therecast iron, like steel, it is an alloy of iron and carbon. In cast iron, however, the carbon concentrations are higher. Despite this difference, the instructions I will give you are valid for both the steel cleaning both to clean the cast iron.
How to clean steel (polished or brushed)
In case of persistent dirt, you can use a specific detergent for cleaning steel. In this context, pay attention to your choice: most of the detergents on the market are very aggressive, which means that they are not only bad for your health and the environment, but risk damaging or aggravating the situation of thesteel to clean.
Among the market proposals I recommend a product already tested by me. It was created for cleaning satin or polished steel. You can use it for clean and polish practically for everything: oven, grills, pans with burnt bottom, barbecue, sink, hob, components in rusty steel….).
The only concern, if you use the product for cleaning of pots or other objects that will come into contact with food (sink, steel hob...) it is important to rinse well over and over again. It is true that I am recommending you a cleanerbiologicalisbiodegradable(so it is not bad for the environment, because it deteriorates spontaneously in a short time) but it is important to follow hygiene rules! The product in question is called "Twister" is manufactured by Franke. It is non-abrasive and has pros and cons.
Among the advantages, I'll tell you right away that it's easy to use: just wet the supplied sponge with water and wipe it over the steel to be cleaned. As I have already told you, it is an organic and natural product, free of harmful or abrasive substances. In its field it is quite versatile because it can be used on:
- cast iron
- shiny steel
- brushed / satin steel
- oxidized surfaces
- stainless steel
- classic steel
Personally, I tried it to polish the oxidized steel of the home terrace. I dress on the seafront and the salt often corrodes the steel components present causing rust. With a little elbow grease and the supplied sponge, I was able to clean the rusty steel. I also tested it with cast iron, where dark halos had formed that I could not eliminate in any way. The supplied sponge becomes immediatelygray black, so you'll want to wash it every time you use it. It has a fresh lemon smell, not bad considering that all the products tried in the past had a terrible pungent smell.
Among the disadvantages I tell you that it cannot be used on lacquered (painted) steel because the lacquering makes it ineffective. The sponge is very small so if like me you have to use it on a large surface, you may want to take a larger sponge or it will take a long time to pass it! The sponge should be washed very often because it immediately turns black and retains dirt.
Another disadvantage, the instructions are only in German, but as stated, the use is simple: just rub the sponge on the surface to be treated! I know that on the product sheet it is not written that it is "biodegradable" but on the purchase package it reads clearly:"Umweltfreundlich und biologisch abbaubar!"What does it mean “Ecological and biodegradable“.
Before buying it I thought that another disadvantage was the price (a 125 ml jar on Amazon can be bought with 15.99 euros and free shipping costs), however I found that it has an excellent yield because it requires a very thin layer of product to clean large surfaces, made of cast iron or steel.
For all information, I refer you to the product sheet: Frake Paste for cleaning and polishing.
Grandma's remedies for cleaning steel
It is rare to find oxidized steel because most of the widespread steel isstainless(stainless steel), in this case the alloy is enriched with a high chromium content which due to its properties does not cause the material to rust even when exposed to air and water.
Forclean oxidized steelstrictly avoid the use of bleach or other products containing chlorides or abrasives. Better to use baking soda to rub vigorously on the oxide stains.
If your purpose is toclean brushed steel, it may be useful to create a mixture of equal parts of lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide. Mix the ingredients in a bowl, the liquid solution should be dabbed on the surface ofbrushed steelto clean. Very useful in case ofoxidized satin steel.
Brushed steel, better known as brushed steel, is also very common for the production of elevators, handrails and other building elements.
How to clean steel with natural detergents
This is my first article dedicated to cleaning steel, yet I have explained several times how to clean steel using natural detergents such as vinegar, fireplace ash or coffee! Leftover coffee is useful for removing grease and burnt organic matter from steel grids or pots soiled with burnt (you will have to leave the coffee to act for a long time), vinegar is very useful for removing limescale halos from the steel shelves of the kitchen and to sanitize the steel hood.
Vinegar or lemon can be useful for cleaning oxidized steel: leave the surface to be cleaned to soak for at least 4 - 5 hours with vinegar or lemon juice, at the end of the wait, with a steel wool of thin metal give it a further clean. Even the ash from the fireplace can be a good ally when it comes to cleaning steel, it is used to obtain a paste combined with olive oil. To understand how to clean steel naturally and using coffee, vinegar or fireplace ash, I refer you to my eco-guides:
- How to clean with vinegar
- How to use leftover coffee
- How to recycle fireplace ash
Since each steel can have a more or less high amount of carbon or can be enriched with other metals, before trying these remedies on the entire surface it would be better to do a test. Try the remedy on a more secluded area of the object to be treated.