Hally Metal: How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances and Restaurant Cleaning Checklist

For decades, stainless steel has been a mark of quality in the kitchen. From refrigerators to ovens to work tables to sinks, you can find stainless steel in just about any part of a commercial kitchen. While stainless steel has a seamless, timeless look, keeping it clean requires more work than other appliance materials. Stainless steel collects fingerprints, smudges, streaks, and more. Any little contact with the appliance exterior can leave a mark.


To keep your stainless steel appliances looking pristine, they need regular cleaning. You know this struggle well if you have stainless steel in your kitchen. To help you keep your appliances looking fresh and new, we’ve created this quick explanation of how to clean stainless steel.


What Makes Stainless Steel ‘Stainless’

Stainless steel was first made by adding chromium to low-carbon steel. This combination of elements creates high resistance to staining. Today, metallurgists mix steel with nickel, carbon, iron, and titanium, making stainless steel appliances even more stain-resistant. These elements protect the surface of stainless steel from scraping and scratching. When a scratch occurs on the surface, the newly exposed surface takes its place. No matter how deep a scratch is, the material resists staining and rusting.


Benefits of Keeping Stainless Steel Clean

Keeping your stainless steel appliances clean helps with more than just their appearance. With regular maintenance, stainless steel appliances can last years past their expected lifespan. You can also keep seals, handles, and other crucial parts of your appliances working with just a few minutes of daily cleaning.


Stainless steel lasts for years if cared for regularly, which is one of the biggest benefits of incorporating it into your kitchen. With proper care and the right stainless steel cleaners, these appliances can become part of your cooking routine for years, saving you time and money in the long run.


What You Need To Properly Clean Stainless Steel

On to the big question: How to clean stainless steel? Here are a few crucial steps to ensure you’re cleaning your unit in the best possible way:

  • Stainless Steel Cleaning Supplies
  • Vinegar
  • Microfiber towel
  • Mineral oil of your choice
  • Soft cleaning rag


How to Clean Stainless Steel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Find the ‘Grain’

Before you start cleaning, take a closer look at your stainless steel appliances. Like wood, stainless steel has a grain that runs horizontally or vertically. It isn’t as obvious as wood grain, but if you look closely, you should be able to see it. Once you spot it, the grain helps you find the direction you need to clean in for the best results.


Step 2: Spray with Vinegar

Clean stainless steel appliances with vinegar, not water. Water leaves streaks, no matter how much you rub. Spray down the surface liberally with vinegar and let it sit on the stainless steel for a few minutes. Letting the vinegar sit before wiping it clean helps dissolve caked-on messes.


Step 3: Wipe it Down

After the vinegar sits for a bit, use a soft cleaning rag to wipe away messes. Using a soft cloth or paper towel when cleaning stainless steel ensures no scratches are left behind. Remove the initial debris and use more vinegar if needed.


Step 4: Polish

Polishing is key to getting that shiny stainless steel appearance. It also helps keep your appliance protected in between cleanings. To polish stainless steel appliances, dip a corner of a microfiber towel into a bit of oil — less is more. Wipe the doused cloth onto the appliance and drag it toward the grain. Any streak marks will quickly fade away, leaving you with a clean surface.


In-Between Cleaning

These tips are great for deep cleaning stainless steel cooking equipment. Throughout a work shift, stainless steel also needs cleaning. For quick, in-between cleanings, simply use soapy water to wash, rinse with normal water, and then wipe with a sanitizing solution.


Why Invest in Stainless Steel

Although it requires regular maintenance, stainless steel benefits any commercial kitchen. This rough, durable surface resists staining, damage, and everyday use in even the busiest kitchens. To learn more about the benefits of stainless steel or to shop for stainless steel for your kitchen, reach out to us today.


Everything Clean and Looking Good: Your Restaurant Cleaning Checklist

Cleanliness and sanitation are fundamental to keeping your restaurant operating well. Having a restaurant cleaning checklist is the ultimate preparation for a health inspector.


Here’s your commercial kitchen cleaning checklist that will contribute to your restaurant’s success.


Back Of House Cleaning Checklist

A lot of the daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning that your staff will be doing applies to the kitchen itself. Far away from diners’ eyes, sometimes, there’s a tendency to leave kitchen areas alone for too long. We're breaking down recommended cleanings into things your people should be doing every day, every week, and every month.


Daily Cleaning

A lot of the daily cleaning tasks for the back of the house address basic sanitation of surfaces and items that come in contact with food and drink daily.


You want to make sure people are cleaning key equipment. Utensils, glassware, plates, and other used dishes should be washed, cleaned, and air-dried.


Here’s a rundown of important daily cleaning tasks:

  • Clean the range and griddle
  • Run coffee makers
  • Clean crumbs from toasters
  • Swap out towels and rags
  • Take out trash and recycling
  • Refill soap dispensers
  • Remember to check paper towel dispensers when tasked with refilling.


Weekly Cleaning

Here are some tasks to complete every week in your restaurant kitchen:

  • Clean the deep fryer
  • Clean walk-in refrigerators and freezers.
  • Check drains
  • Wipe down walls and other surfaces
  • Check ovens, salamanders, etc. for buildup


The tip on evaluating drains is centrally important. Slow drains can add up to massive problems over time, and impact the sanitation of your kitchen.


Monthly Cleaning

Other longer-term standards apply to specific pieces of gear, including some of these:

  • Clean and sanitize ice machines,
  • Check hotline (hotline can get clogged, if not washed every so often)
  • Deep clean microwaves and coffee machines
  • Deep clean refrigerator and throw out unused portions of inventory
  • Empty grease traps
  • Follow applicable pest control programs
  • Remove grease buildup from walls
  • Clean refrigerator coils to preserve efficiency

As you go, remember that your kitchen hood is another place where grease and grime can build up. Make a specific cleaning list for your hood system including grease cups, filters, and grease catch areas. Remember to check fan belts, lights, and other features every so often.


Front of the House Restaurant Cleaning

Apply your cleaning strategies to the areas that guests and diners can see as a critical part of your restaurant cleaning checklist.


Many industry experts would say that restaurants drive return business by making their front-of-the-house operations look and smell as nice as possible.


Daily Cleaning Tasks

Working on front-of-the-house tasks every day is a vital part of making sure that the restaurant is safe, clean, and ready for business.

  • Clean the floors
  • Wipe and sanitize the tables
  • Freshen up any condiments or table settings
  • Replenish napkins, tablecloths and flatware
  • Go over the carpet thoroughly with a vacuum
  • Remove trash and recycling
  • Clean and sanitize trash bins
  • Sanitize toilets and sinks
  • Install air fresheners
  • Replenish any paper products

These daily tasks will ensure that you have a restaurant space that is neat and clean and ready to greet guests!


Weekly Cleaning Tasks

What do you need to clean every week?


A good part of your restaurant cleaning checklist involves cleaning any hanging light fixtures. Dust can build up and create an eyesore in your dining room.


Consider these tasks in weekly cleaning:

  • Deep clean runners and mats that guests walk on
  • Inspect seating closely for dirt or damage
  • Move portable seating to an organized floor plan
  • Freshen any visual ornamentation or decor for the front of the house area
  • A good thorough inspection of these areas is a must.


Monthly Cleaning

Deep cleaning of the front of the house every month keeps the restaurant from becoming dingy and grimy. Pay more attention to walls and other decorative surfaces, including certain types of artwork or decorations or bric-a-brac on the restaurant walls.


Checking for cobwebs and spiderwebs monthly ensures that the front of the house looks active rather than antiquated.


Many of these items will help your restaurant to meet food safety standards, and also give you peace of mind that you'll be providing the right impression to visitors. When people come back, your restaurant builds its commercial success. When people get a poor impression and don't return, your traffic is likely to dwindle, and you'll eventually see that in your financial reports.


You’re already making a significant investment in keeping your restaurant in top shape by reading this article. And that pays off!


For everything you need to outfit a good restaurant kitchen, contact Hally Metal. We are for chefs, by chefs,” and we have everything that you need to open – and serve – in style!

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