How to Restore Rusty or Tea-Stained Stainless Steel
Unfortunately, Stainless Steel is Stain "less" - Not Stain "Free". Cleaning Tea Staining or Rust off of Stainless Steel is not enough. The surface must be protected or the metal will rust again in just days.
It is a misconception that stainless steel is stainless. Stainless steel will degrade like all other architectural metals. The term "stainless" implies a resistance to staining, rusting and pitting. Stainless steel generally has a higher resistance to the effects of exposure but will still be affected by the elements.
ProtectaClear® will seal and protect Architectural metal, building exteriors, restaurant equipment, stainless steel refrigerators, Stainless Steel sinks, Stainless Steel Barbeques and much more. Like all Everbrite™ coatings, ProtectaClear® is food safe once it is cured and will help kitchen equipment easier to keep clean.
1. First, Clean Off the Rust
This can be done chemically (ERW-XL Stainless Steel Cleaner will clean rust off stainless steel - Paint it On, Let it Work, Rinse it off.) Brushed stainless steel can be cleaned manually with synthetic steel wool pads or very fine sand paper. (Do not use real steel wool or it can cause even more rust.) A no-scratch cleanser like BonAmi can also be used but it is more messy. If you use an abrasive, make sure to clean WITH the grain. Do not use abrasives or cleansers on stainless steel that is not brush finished.
If an acid-based cleaner is used, the surface must be neutralized. Many stainless steel cleaners are acid-based. Pickling is also an acid process. Passivation or neutralizing is a very important step. Neutralizing can be done with a neutralizer or with baking soda and water. Rinse afterward.
3. Solvent Wipe
The final step to preparing stainless steel before application of ProtectaClear® is to wipe it down with a clean solvent like xylene or denatured alcohol.
4. Seal and Protect
ProtectaClear® is a tough, clear protective coating that has excellent adhesion on stainless steel. It is highly resistant to salts and chlorines to protect stainless steel from rust, corrosion and tea-staining. It is very natural looking and practically invisible on stainless steel. Wipe ProtectaClear® on with a lint-free cloth, a clear coat applicator pad, solvent rated paint brush, foam brush, high density foam roller or ProtectaClear® can be sprayed on.