Cleaning stainless steel flatware
is essentially iron which has been infused with more than 10%
chromium. It is very good at resisting corrosion and rust through
normal wear and tear, but occasionally it will dull. Stainless
steel is noted for its hardness and ability to withstand everyday
use. To make the flatware shine a little of the chromium is used to
form the hard oxide coating on the surface. This is like a hard
outer shell protecting the steel on the inside. Over time, and
subject to use and exposure to harsh elements like dishwashing
detergent….this hard protective shell slowly wears down. Frequently
the exterior of flatware will dull and does not retain its luster.
This is a normal occurrence for all flatware – although it should
not occur for quite some time (depending upon the initial quality of
flatware is still relatively new and in good shape – there are a
number of possible ways to clean it up and restore some of its
original shine. One such method used to remove streaking is to take
a soft dish towel rub a little Olive Oil on the flatware….this
should remove streaking. One can also polish and shine stainless
steel by using Vinegar and a soft cloth to wipe the flatware – this
is also good to remove heat stains from the flatware. If you don’t
have any vinegar, club soda can also be used as an alternative.
your flatware in the dishwasher – try to rinse off any salty or
acidic foods stuck to the flatware. Usually people will put
utensils in the dishwasher and then wait upwards of 3 days to
actually run the dishwasher. This extended time is a killer on your
stainless steel flatware and will dull it quicker. An important
note to remember is that detergents are harsh chemicals used to
clean off stubborn foods….but they can also damage your flatware if
they come in contact with flatware which is wet. Usually dark spots
are the result. You should already know how to remove those spots
if you read the paragraph above.
These days it
is not surprising to see very nice stainless steel pots and pans.
The same principals for flatware apply to these utensils as well.
Try not to ever let boiling water completely evaporate from a dry
pot or pan…this will definitely cause discoloration. Frequently,
due to the conductivity of stainless steel – hot spots will occur
within your pots and pans – try not to let food items burn in your
steel utensils as this too will cause discoloration.
If you truly
want to take the time to properly care for your stainless steel
flatware and pots and pans – then washing by hand is the way to
go. Not all of us are willing to take such time, but on occasion
this is not a bad idea. Simply clean the items with warm water and
a gentle detergent and dry them by had immediately. Letting them
drip dry will cause spotting and streaking. If a haze or blur
occurs over time, a gentle silver polish can sometimes be used to
remove this. Certain foods are more corrosive than others and
should be removed from the stainless steel as soon as possible.
not to use harsh abrasives or steel wool on stainless steel as it
will surely scratch the surface and cause additional problems.
FLATWARE USE AND CARE LINK