Cleaning and sanitizing are vital for all businesses. During the pandemic, they’re invaluable. In an industrial setting, stainless steel shelves are a common sight. They may be used for storage or as a work surface. If they’re not kept clean, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Fortunately, cleaning stainless steel shelves is easy. The steps below will help you get the job done quickly and thoroughly.
1. Remove Any Items on the Shelves
Before you can clean the shelves, you’ll need to remove any items on them. This may include products, tools, or other equipment. If possible, put the things in a safe place where they won’t get dirty. Move or cover groceries, such as canned and boxed nonperishable goods.
2. Choose the Right Cleaner When Cleaning Stainless Steel Shelves
Stainless steel stays bright and shiny from a protective layer of chromium oxide. The wrong tools and products can break the layer down. Anything abrasive can damage chromium oxide.
Ideally, you’ll want to use a product specific for cleaning stainless steel. There are many commercial cleaners on the market that fit this description. Choose a mild dish soap or window cleaner if you can’t find a stainless steel cleaner.
3. How To Clean Stainless Steel Shelves With Stains
Stains can be a common problem with stainless steel. Ink, oil, and other liquids tend to soak in. They may also leave behind odors you don’t want to smell when food is stored or prepared there. It’s best to act quickly when you notice stains on the shelf.
You may need to try a few remedies to get all the stains out. Here are some options for removing them:
Remove the Stain With a Commercial Cleaner
This step is the easiest with a commercial stainless steel cleaner that explicitly covers stains. However, these can be expensive and might not work for tough stains that won’t come out. Follow the instructions on the bottle to get the best results.
Remove the Stain With a Household Product
If you don’t have a commercial cleaner, you can use a household product. Mix equal parts baking soda and water to form a paste. Spread the paste on the stain and let it dry overnight. Clean it off with a damp rag in the morning.
Remove Oil and Ink Stains With Alcohol
If the stain is oil or ink, you can try using alcohol. Pour a small amount onto a cloth and dab at the stain. Continue until the spot is clean. Always rub with the grain of the metal to prevent further scratches.
4. Sanitize the Shelves
Sanitizing is an essential final step to completing your cleaning job. Once the shelves are clean, you need to ensure there aren’t any bacteria lurking. Even if you remove all visible stains, germs can still be present.
Pour a disinfectant onto a cloth and wipe off the shelves. Be sure to get into all the corners and around any equipment on the shelf. The disinfectant you use doesn’t have to be commercial. Avoid using bleach. Even a diluted solution can break down stainless steel over time.
Instead, consider sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC). This is a chlorine-based sanitizer that’s often used in water treatment plants. It’s also available in tablet form, making it easy to handle.
After you’ve wiped the shelves, let them dry completely before storing anything on them or using any equipment.
Rub The Shelves Down With Lemon Oil
Add some extra shine to your stainless steel shelving units by rubbing them with lemon oil. Lemons are a natural bleaching agent and help remove any streaks or smudges.
Pour some lemon oil onto a cloth and rub the surface of the shelves in a circular motion with the grain until they begin to shine. After you’re done, let them air dry.
5. Keep the Shelves Clean
Cleaning stainless steel shelves is a quick and easy job, but it’s essential to do it regularly. Dirt and stains can build up over time and make them difficult to remove. Sanitizing is also important to keep your shelves bacteria-free.
As you can see, it’s not difficult to keep your stainless steel shelves clean and shiny. With a bit of effort, you can have them looking their best. Follow these simple tips on how to clean stainless steel shelves, and you’ll be able to keep them clean with minimal effort.