Stainless Steel requires cleaning and maintenance (see our Cleaning and Maintenance Guide). Poorly sepcified, designed, manufactured or maintained Stainless Steel can suffer rust discolouration often known as Tea-staining. There are several precautions you can take to help prevent tea-staining occurring which include choosing the correct grade of stainless for your application (Guide to selecting the correct grade) , ensuring the smoothest possible finish of your stainless steel (for more information, refer to our DOs & DON’Ts Guide for Stainless) and adequate cleaning or washing of the installed product (see our Cleaning and Maintenance Guide).
It is important that residues and salt deposits are regularly washed from your stainless and an occasional rain washing is sufficient in many applications. A minimum of 316 marine grade stainless steel should be used in high corrosion or coastal environments and as a general rule, the smoother the finish of your stainless steel, the better it is able to resist corrosion. If tea-staining does occur, the Nickel Institute recommends application of a phosphoric acid gel to remove the staining and restore the surface of the stainless steel. For this purpose, Anzor Fasteners stocks Grunt Emergel, which is a phosphoric acid based gel that is excellent for this type of treatment.