Stainless steel is easy to clean. Washing with soap or a mild detergent and warm water followed by a clean water rinse is usually quite adequate for domestic and architectural equipment. An enhanced appearance will be achieved if the cleaned surface is finally wiped dry. Sections below give passivation treatments for removal of free iron and other contamination resulting from handling, fabrication, or exposure to contaminated atmospheres, and pickling treatments for removal of high temperature scale from heat treatment or welding operations.

Fingerprints: Soap or mild detergent and water
Oil or Grease Marks: Organic solvents: acetone or alcohol
Rust stains can be removed by adding one part of nitric acid to nine parts of warm water. Leave for 30 to 60 minutes, then wash off with plenty of water, and flush any drains thoroughly.

Routine Cleaning of Boat Fittings: frequent washing down with fresh water.
Slight scratches - use impregnated nylon pads. Polish with scurfs dressed with iron-free abrasives for deeper scratches. Follow polish lines. Then clean with soap or detergent as for routine cleaning.

Do not use ordinary steel wool - iron particles can become embedded in stainless steel and cause further surface problems; Stainless steel and "Scotch-brite" scouring pads are satisfactory.