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How To Remove Scratches from Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a durable, fashionable choice for home surfaces, but it is not impervious to damage. Light scratches can still occur, for example by dropping or sliding objects across the surface. Luckily there are remedies which can help you camouflage the appearance of these scratches, the degree of success depending in part on a light and patient touch. Finishes and surface types can vary somewhat, so test all methods and materials in an inconspicuous spot prior to use in a wider area. Mirror surfaces in particular require highly specialized remedies, which are described in a separate, specific article.

Clear the stainless steel sink or surface of any extra objects and loose debris. Wet the entire surface thoroughly, and do a light overall cleansing with sprinkled Bon Ami and a soft clean sponge. Rinse the area thoroughly with water once again, and pat dry. Turning your attention to the scratched area, wet the area down with a clean sponge wet with water. Thoroughly wet a grit pad of 180 or higher/finer, and rub gently in the same direction and pattern as the existing finish. If you like, you can use a little bit of chloride-free paste cleanser to make a soft rubbing compound. Using a light touch and working in the direction and pattern of the existing finish, feather a little outside the affected area to help the treatment blend in to the overall appearance of the surface. Make sure that the grit pad remains wet with water, and that any surfaces you are treating are likewise wet with water.

After the scratch has been alleviated to your satisfaction, rinse the area thoroughly with water and pat dry with clean paper towels. Rinsing with water and patting dry with paper towels between each use is a good maintenance tip as well. For added conditioning, you can dampen a corner of a clean paper towel or soft cloth with a small amount of olive oil, and buff lightly into the stainless steel surface.

Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area. Accidental inhalation or ingestion of cleaning agents can be hazardous and even fatal, particularly to pets and children.

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