How to Clean Old, Stainless Steel Railings

How to Clean Old, Stainless Steel Railings

Stainless steel railings may seem like they don’t need any maintenance but, as all things, they do need some love every once in a while. If you’ve got some old, stainless steel railings that have seen better days, you might be wondering what to do. Pro Weld is here to help. Let us walk you through what’s necessary to clean old, stainless steel railings.

Clean Stainless Steel Railings

The first step to clean old, stainless steel railings is to actually wash them down. Unless your railings have every inch covered in rust, they should get a good wash down before going further. Just use a bucket with some warm, soapy water and an old rag. This wash will remove dirt and any loose flakes of rust. Be sure to get at the joints, as this area will need rust protection and the area needs to be clean before applying that.

Remove Rust

If your railings have a lot of rust on them, you should find a good rust remover and apply it as instructed. If your railings are polished stainless steel, apply this with the grain, rather than against it. You may find that, by the time you’re done with removing rust, the earlier railings have begun to get some rust spots again. This isn’t anything to worry about and will be dealt with during rust prevention.

Protect Stainless Steel Railings from Future Rust

The reason stainless steel railings don’t usually rust is because stainless steel goes through a process with the atmosphere called passivation. Near the joints where the railings have been welded together, the alloy is altered by the heat of the welding process. Because of this, the welded parts at the joints of your railings will not go through passivation properly and are more likely to become rusted. Fortunately, there are products made to replicate this process and prevent rust from developing.

As described here, Wichard offers a paste called Wichinox that can be applied to stainless steel railings and will help along the passivation process. That means it will prevent rusting for a period of time. Depending on the weather, your proximity to saltwater, and more, you may have to clean and reapply this every 6 months to a year. However, after cleaning up your old railings the first time, this process should be quick and mild.

Replace Stainless Steel Railings

If your stainless steel railings are beyond a quick clean, you might be better off just replacing them. Rust will eat through metal over time, so very rusty and very old railings might not even be sound enough to protect people from dangerous falls.

Call us today at Pro Weld to get more information on how to clean stainless steel railings, or how you can replace them.


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