Stainless steel is a popular material within the hospitality world—you’ve likely seen it in kitchens, prep stations, and bars. It is also becoming increasingly popular amongst restaurant owners who are looking for a durable and economical option for tables and seating.
Today, we’ll look at what makes stainless steel a no-brainer option for those in the restaurant and/or hospitality business and share 5 tips to keep your steel in tip-top shape.
What makes stainless steel so great?
Stainless steel is a metal alloy, meaning the steel is mixed with other elements like chromium, nickel, silicone, carbon, and/or aluminum. One of the biggest selling points for stainless steel furniture is the fact that it is resistant to rust, corrosion, and stains, thanks in large part to the waterproofing process that happens during production.
Is all stainless steel created equal?
The short answer is no. Stainless steel is created in a variety of grades…and the right grade for you will depend on your needs. As a general rule, the higher the grade number, the more resistant the furniture is to corrosion.
- Grade 204 – This is a less common variety of stainless steel that is quite strong but less corrosion resistant than other grades. This grade would work well for businesses whose furniture stays out of the elements. If you’re looking for furniture to use in an outdoor setting, keep reading.
- Grade 304 – Most stainless-steel table bases, tabletops, and chairs are made from grade 304, or food grade, stainless steel. Not only is grade 304 steel easy to sanitize, but it also has a high percentage of chromium and nickel in its makeup. This makes the steel extra shiny and resistant to corrosion.
- Grade 316 – This is the most corrosion resistant stainless steel of the bunch. Also known as marine-grade stainless steel, grade 316 can stand up to harsh elements. This is the perfect option for businesses located near bodies of salt water or chlorinated pools.
5 Tips for Caring for Stainless Steel
Keeping your stainless steel clean is easy and requires no special equipment (though there are plenty of stainless-steel spray cleaners on the market if you decide to invest in that). Most of what you’ll use to keep your steel sparkling can be found in your restaurant’s kitchen or cleaning supply closet.
1. Clean Up the Grime
This step can be accomplished with a microfiber cloth, a bucket of warm water, and dish detergent or other mild soap. Gently wash the surface of the table and chairs with a damp, soapy cloth, then follow up with a dry cloth to remove moisture.
If you find stubborn spots of dried food or sticky drink that won’t come up with soap and water, try making a paste with water and baking soda and gently rubbing that over the stains. You may also use a commercial cream cleanser but make sure it is labeled as non-abrasive to avoid scratching the steel’s surface.
Once tables are clean, spray with disinfectant spray to ensure tables and chairs are properly sanitized.
3. Make Fingerprints Vanish
If you find yourself bothered by the build up of fingerprints on your steel furniture, try using everyday glass cleaner. Simply spray the surface of your table or chair and wipe clean with a paper towel or dry cloth.
4. Buff Out Scratches
Scratches on commercial furniture are inevitable given the amount of use the furniture must endure…but scratches don’t have to be permanent when you have stainless steel.
There are several stainless-steel scratch repair powders and creams on the market. If you’re using a powder, add enough water until your product has the consistency of toothpaste. Spread the mixture over fine scratches and gently rub the scratch with a microfiber cloth—following the metal’s grain—until the scratch buffs out.
If you are dealing with deeper scratches, you may have to purchase a stainless steel scratch remover kit at your local hardware store or order online.
5. Polish your furniture
Giving your stainless steel an occasional polishing will keep it looking brilliant. You can use vegetable, mineral, or olive oil to do the trick. Simply buff the oil into the surface of your table or chairs using a soft cloth and make sure to work with the grain of the steel.
A Few No-No’s
- Do not use the techniques mentioned above if your steel has a protective clear coat or is topped with a synthetic surface. Talk to the manufacturer of your stainless steel to find the right cleaning tips for your furniture.
- Never use bleach on stainless steel. It will corrode the metal and make your table appear blotchy and stained.
- Steer clear of abrasive materials like steel wool and abrasive cleaning products, both of which can scratch your steel.
- Don’t scrub against the grain. When we talk about grain, we’re talking about that brushed finish that makes stainless steel look so lovely. Make sure you clean, polish, and buff with the grain of the metal.
If you’re looking for lovely stainless steel table bases or seating for your establishment, come see us at Have A Seat. We would love to show you just how good stainless steel can look in your space.
Thanks for reading,
Have a Seat
1300 715 937