Cleaning Instructions

The cleaning and maintenance of our products is a continuous topic of discussion and difference of opinion within our industry.
Due to several different materials used in various climates there is no set fast rules to maintain your products.

General Knowledge

The stain resistance of Stainless Steel stems from an extremely thin but tenacious and self-repairing film which forms on the surface.

This film imparts the properties of Stainless Steel: stain resistance, non-tainting of food, hygiene, cleanability and the aesthetic appearance that make stainless steel the ideal choice for many household products.

Further, Stainless Steels do not chip, flake or crack.  Stainless steel will be unaffected by the normal conditions of household use.

Here are some excerpts from others.

Routine gentle cleansing will reward the owner with a product which retains its properties and appearance through many years of constant daily use.

Olivari

Cleaning and maintenance Superfinish® Products treated with the Superfinish® cycle require cleaning to be carried out periodically with a cloth moistened with water. Any dirt, stains or traces of limestone associated with intensive use or exposure to the outside must be removed through periodic maintenance using SUPERCLEAN® Olivari solution or with creams for stainless steel surfaces, which will allow the product to maintain its original surface gloss.

SASSDA (south African stainless steel development association)

Directly after purchase, brushed stainless steel has a tendency to slightly discolour. This is caused by the oxidisation of the residue of the buffing wax left on the finished surface.

Once this has been cleaned by a non-abrasive cleaner, the finish will maintain itself with just the occasional clean.

Routine Cleaning

The best method for cleaning Stainless Steel is quite simply soap, or a mild detergent (such as SUNLIGHT LIQUID®) in warm water, applied with a soft cloth or synthetic sponge. Rinse in hot water and dry with a soft cloth or allow to ‘drip’ dry.

Occasionally, the use of a mild household cleaner (HANDY ANDY®) and fine synthetic scourer (green SCOTCH-BRITE®) or a brush with nylon bristles may be used.

Routine cleaning applied over several days will generally remove heavy soiling and staining.

USE:

Routine gentle cleaning
Household cleaners showing ‘suitable for Stainless Steel’
Repeated routine gentle cleaning rather than a single aggressive cleaning

DO NOT USE:

Course abrasive powders
Metallic scourers
Silver or brass cleaners

Routine cleaning stains - problems & solutions

ADHESIVE LABELS

Remove labels – Remove labels by soaking in a hot soapy solution and rubbing with a cloth or sponge. If adhesive remains, remove with a soft cloth soaked in alcohol (Mentholated Spirits) or an organic solvent (Benzene). Follow with routing cleaning.

FOOD STAINS/BURNT FOOD

Use a mild household cleaner (Handy Andy®) If heavily stained, pre-soak in hot detergent. Use a synthetic scourer with fine abrasive cleaners (e.g. Vim®, Ajax®) Repeat if necessary. Follow by routine cleaning.

TEA & COFFEE STAINS

Use a thin paste of washing soda (Sodium Carbonate) or fine household cleaners (Handy Andy®, Vim®, Ajax® made with hot water, on a synthetic scourer. Follow by routine cleaning.

FINGER STAINS

Pre-treat marks with alcohol or organic solvent. Follow by routine cleaning.

GREASE, FATS & OILS

Wipe off excess with soft paper towel. Pre-soak in warm detergent. Follow by Routine Cleaning.

WATER MARKS/LIME SCALE

Prolonged soaking in a 25% Vinegar solution will loosen the deposit. Continue cleaning as for food stains.

CHEMICALS

(eg swimming pool acid (hydrochloric), battery acid (sulphuric), tile cleaners (hydrochloric acid), undiluted bleach.
Rinse immediately with large volumes of water. If staining/damage has occurred contact SASSDA.

Cleaning Unlacquered Brass & Real Copper Door Handles

Brass and copper are generally thought of as very traditional materials, mostly seen in older style properties.  However, they are currently undergoing a renaissance in popularity. Like silver, they’re both highly susceptible to tarnish, but they are easy to manage if you’re prepared to roll your sleeves up occasionally. Here’s a great DIY way to clean your brass and copperware.

You’re going to make a paste which will clean the tarnish away for you. Take a bowl and measure in one tablespoon of flour, one of salt, and one of vinegar. Mix it thoroughly until it turns to a paste, and then rub it on to the surface of the brass or copper. Leave it for a couple of minutes, and then wash it off with hot soapy water. Then rinse it and buff it with a soft cloth; your brass or copper handles are restored!

Alternatively, take a cut lemon and dip it in salt. Then rub it onto the surface of the metal and wipe it clean with a cotton cloth. This simple method is also highly effective, and works on brass and copper very well. This method should not be used on lacquered brass or copper or brass plate. For these finishes, simply dust and clean with warm soapy water, then dry thoroughly.

Natural, unlacquered metal materials can achieve a lovely patina when tarnished over many years and this is sometimes very attractive.

If you prefer a cleaner look, then real, unlacquered brass can be buffed up to a lovely shine with a cleaner such as Brasso.  However, do not use this on lacquered brass.

Cleaning Pewter

Pewter also suffers badly from the damaging effects of tarnish, and if your door furniture is made from pewter it will need special attention. Funnily enough, pewter responds best to treatment by the outer leaves of a cabbage. It might sound a bit like a village witch-doctor remedy, but it’s true. Take the outer leaves of a cabbage and rub them firmly over the surface of your pewter. Then buff it with a soft cloth. Sounds strange, but it works well.

Pewter is made mostly of tin and, over time, may develop a dark patina. This dark patina can be a very desirable look for some people.  Further, the proper way to clean your pewter may depend on the type of finish your pewter has. Generally, pewter will have a polished finish, a satin finish, or an antique (oxidized) finish. Following these simple methods will help keep your pewter in fine condition.

To clean pewter, put one teaspoon of salt in one cup of white vinegar. Add flour into the salt and vinegar mixture until it makes a paste. Apply the paste and let it sit on the pewter for fifteen minutes to an hour. Rinse with clean warm water and polish dry. There is no need to rub and polish too much – pewter is not meant to look like silver.

Cleaning Lacquered Brass, Plated Chrome and Nickel Finishes

Most door handles these days are lacquered or plated over brass or a mixture of materials.  Natural unlacquered brass, real copper, pewter and silver can be very expensive, so most of us choose a lacquered or plated finish.  Lacquered finishes such as polished brass can be damaged easily by rings and keys and these little cuts in the lacquer will allow the air to tarnish the metal underneath.  You should never use commercial cleaning products on these metal finishes as this will damage them.  These products should be cleaned of dust with a soft cloth, then any sticky or dirty marks rubbed off with a damp cloth soaked in a mild soapy solution.  Once clean, the handles should be dried thoroughly.  A light coating of natural wax will then give them an extra bit of protection.  Keep this up on a monthly basis and your door handles will last much longer.  Most manufacturers will only give a very short warranty on finishes, so this is well worth doing.

The key to great looking door handles is regular maintenance.  And, bonus!, it’s easy and cheap to do.

A brief history of tarnish

‘Tarnish’ is a word taken from an ancient sense of things darkening. The roots of the word can be traced back beyond English, beyond French and through to a long extinct European language known as Proto Germanic, and is distantly related to the word ‘dark’ (both words find their roots in a very ancient hypothesised word, ‘darnijaz’, used in central Europe deep in our tribal past). From the long history of the term, we can see that tarnishing is an effect with which humans have been familiar for a considerable time. So what is it?

In short, it’s a layer of corrosion which affects certain metals. It’s like rust, only much slower acting. The metals most commonly affected by tarnish include aluminium, brass, copper and silver, so it’s no surprise that door furniture is one of the most common casualties of tarnishing, since door furniture is often made from one of these metals.

Tarnishing manifests itself as a dulling down in the surface of the affected metal. The metal loses its shine and reflectivity and, if left untreated, will result in a surface layer which looks grey and black – a little like mould. The texture of the surface of tarnished metal changes too, from a cold, smooth one to a rough, gritty one. Designers are increasingly incorporating tarnish in their furniture designs; and it has a profound aesthetic effect and can actually look great when it’s deliberate. But when the tarnishing is natural, when it’s the byproduct of a lack of maintenance, it doesn’t look so good. It’s a noisy indicator that owner has neglected their house, and it can dampen the ambient mood of any room. The door handle is often the first part of a room to be encountered; if it looks unappealing it can be difficult to shed that first impression.

Tarnish is caused by the metal’s interactivity with the air – in particular with sulphur, but there are many contributing airborne chemicals. It’s important to keep it at a manageable level, because when it comes to selling your house, bright, sparkling door furniture can give the entire building a subtle – but important – boost.

How To Clean Brass Using 2 Natural Kitchen Ingredients

Brass has slowly been making its way into interiors again as a trendy sheen to accent accessories. And since this was a popular edition to home decor years ago, it’s not unheard of to find good deals on brass objects while thrifting. But if your new-to-you brass accessory or furniture piece has loss its brassy bite, you might need to clean it up. We’ve got the step-by-step guide to cleaning brass using only two natural ingredients you probably already have on hand!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a lemon
  • a teaspoon or so of baking soda
  • a small bowl to mix your paste
  • and some dirty brass
    *adjust to suit project and juiciness of lemons

Instructions:

1. Check to see if it’s really brass
First off you’ll probably want to know if you’re actually working with brass. This might seem obvious but old brass can get pretty dirty and I’m not expert enough to pick fakes or brass plating. So if like me you’re not 100% sure grab a magnet from your fridge and see if it sticks. If it does you’ll want to stop right here and do some more investigating. If it doesn’t you’re probably looking at some really dirty brass.

2. Squeeze half a lemon into your bowl.

3. Add your baking soda.
It will fizz a little but settle down when you mix it.

4. Stir the baking soda and lemon mix until it forms a delicious smelling paste.

5. Use a soft cloth and apply the paste.
Gently work it into the brass. I got the best results when I rubbed the paste gently in one direction. (In the end I mostly used my fingers)

6. Rinse off the paste and dry. 
Reapply and repeat the process as and where necessary.

7. When you’re done, give the brass a really thorough rinse.
Make sure there’s no paste left over and then dry it with a clean dry towel.

8. If you want to buff your brass try rubbing it gently with a clean dry cloth.
I’m also told that you can shine brass with olive oil.

Fresh out of baking soda? Salt works too!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a lemon
  • a teaspoon or so of salt
  • dirty brass

1. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle on a generous helping of fine grain salt.

2. Using the lemon as a scouring pad, begin to work it all around the piece, lightly squeezing the juice as you go. The slightly abrasive salt will begin to work away the tarnish.

3. Continue to work the lemon all around the piece until it is clean.

4. Rinse under warm water and you’re all set! Can you see yourself smiling in your reflection?