Commercial, Cafe, Hospitality & Office Furniture – Have a Seat

top tips for caring for stainless steel hospitality furniture

If you are a lover of stainless tables and/or chairs we certainly can’t blame you. For decades, restaurant, pub, and café owners have opted for stainless steel furniture due it its obscenely low maintenance and incredibly high shine even after years of use.

But it’s important to remember that low maintenance does not mean no maintenance. To keep your stainless steel looking as good as it did the day you placed it on your dining room floor or outdoor patio, there are steps that should be followed. Think of it as a protection of your investment—you bought high-quality, commercial furniture with your hard-earned money, so it only makes sense that you’ll want to care for it so it lasts as long as possible.

As one of Sydney’s most trusted purveyors of commercial hospitality furniture, we know a thing or two about caring for stainless steel, and that’s why we’re sharing a few of our favorite tips to ensure your stainless pieces remain in excellent condition.

It’s important to note…if your stainless-steel furniture came with instructions from the manufacturer on how to best clean your pieces, follow those instructions.

Cleaning Options

Keeping your furniture clean should be a top priority, particularly if your stainless steel is exposed to outdoor elements. Dirty stainless steel is more likely to develop rust that may damage the structural integrity of your pieces…and just looks unappealing.

It’s best to use a soft, non-abrasive rag for cleaning stainless steel. While paper towels can be used in a pinch, they are more likely to leave fibers behind and aren’t very environmentally friendly.

You might be surprised to learn that one of the best cleaning agents to use on stainless steel is everyday dish soap. Because it is designed to remove food buildup and grime, it works perfectly to break down food debris left on tables and greasy fingerprints from chairs and stools.

To clean, simply apply a few drops of dish soap to a damp rag and wipe your stainless-steel surfaces. If you come across stubborn, stuck-on food particles, you may need to apply a drop or two of soap directly to the food and allow it to sit for a few minutes so the soap can break down the bond. Gently rub the food particles with the rag until they are removed.

Rinse the soap from your rag and wipe down the furniture once more to remove any soap residue, then follow up with a dry rag.

Once the furniture is dry, you may apply a few drops of mineral oil to a dry rag and buff it into the furniture to bring that brand-new shine.

An All-Natural Alternative

If you prefer a more natural alternative, white vinegar makes for a surprisingly effective cleaner for stainless steel. You can apply it the same way as the dish soap or add it to a spray bottle so you can tackle a larger area more efficiently.

Once the furniture is clean and dry, use olive oil in place of mineral oil to achieve that polished look.

And if you’re wondering what not to use on your stainless steel, keep the following products away from your furniture:

❌ Bleach and other acid-based cleaners
❌ Chloride-based cleaners
❌ Abrasive cleaners
❌ Steel wool


Occasionally, you’ll run into issues with stainless steel furniture. Here are a couple of the most common issues and how to tackle them.

Scratches – While stainless steel is extremely low maintenance, it is somewhat susceptible to scratching. The good news is, most scratches can be easily removed. Use a scouring pad like Scotch-brite to gently buff out the scratch. If you look closely, you’ll notice most stainless surfaces have fine lines. This is the grain, and it is important to follow the directions of those lines when buffing out scratches.

Discoloration – From time to time, your stainless-steel furniture may develop areas of discoloration. You’ll be to know that these, too, can usually be removed with a little TLC. Try rubbing the area with a bit of baking soda and water (once again remembering to move in the same direction as the grain of the steel) and see if that does the trick. If you have a particularly stubborn stain, try using a drop or two of a non-abrasive, cream cleanser to gently buff out the discoloration.

And so…

With proper maintenance, your stainless-steel furniture will last until you turn over your establishment to the next generation…or decide to change up the look of your place.

If you are looking for stunning stainless-steel pieces that will elevate the look of your establishment and last a lifetime, we hope you’ll stop by our Smithfield showroom. And, visiting in person isn’t an option, you can always shop our online selection.

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