Stainless steel railings can add a classy, modern touch to any home or commercial property. If you are considering installing stainless steel railings, or if you are wondering how to care for railings you have just put in, there are several mistakes people make in their selection and care that you will want to avoid to get the most out of your investment.
Choose the Right Materials for Your Railings
When considering steel railings, be sure that they will provide the look and durability that you want for your staircase. Aluminum and carbon steel are other popular metal railing choices, but each option comes with its strengths and weaknesses. Carbon steel may be preferred for indoor use, though it is more easily damaged and needs a protective coating. Stainless steel railings, on the other hand, is more expensive and holds up better to corrosion, but is not ideal in areas where it may be exposed to chlorine or excessive salt.
Do Not Use Abrasive Cleaners on Stainless Steel
Inevitably, you will need to clean your railings. This can particularly become a problem if they are outdoors or in a public place. You may be tempted to try and buff out grime or damage with strong cleaning supplies, but stainless steel can easily be damaged by abrasive cleaners like coarse steel wool or commercial cleaning liquids. Use water and a microfiber cloth first, remember to rinse with clean water to avoid damage, and test any chemical cleaners on a small area first. If you need more heavy-duty cleaning power, look for cleaners that are specifically made for stainless steel.
Chlorine and Stainless Steel Do Not Mix
Many commercial cleaning solutions include chlorine bleach. Be sure to read the ingredients on any product you use before applying it to stainless steel railings. Chlorine can corrode stainless steel and will wear it down over time. Hydrochloric and sulphuric acids should be avoided, and oven cleaners should not be used on stainless steel. For tough stains, try hot water, mild detergent, or rubbing alcohol.
Make Sure You Use a Reputable Company And Install Properly
Because stainless steel is a significant investment and can be damaged by chemicals or improper handling, be sure that you are purchasing your stainless steel railings from a reputable source. It is also important to install your railings properly to ensure that they are securely in place. Consider having them installed by professionals if you are not familiar with installing and handling metal railings.