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Keep Your Metal Shelvings Clean With These Steps

cleaning stainless steel shelves

Steel rack shelvings, tables, and other equipment are all durable and useful components of a commercial facility. Though, despite its strength and resistance to water and corrosion, stainless steel equipment still requires regular cleaning and maintenance to prolong its lifespan.

In spite of that, employees often overlook them or clean them haphazardly, leaving the stainless steel equipment to age and fail over time. To prevent this from occurring repeatedly, here’s a step-by-step guide on how your employees should be properly cleaning and maintaining the very equipment that helps to keep your space tidy and organised.

Things You’ll Need:

How To Clean Solid Stainless Steel Shelf Racks

Stainless steel shelves are one of the easiest things to clean as long as proper steps are followed and abrasive materials are avoided at all costs. Cleaning supplies such as harsh chemicals, steel wool, and metal scouring pads are all harmful to stainless steel and can exacerbate the problem.

Step 1: Remove all the items on your shelf and wipe them clean before placing them aside safely.

Step 2: With a soft cloth or a Swiffer duster, dust away loose dust from the stainless steel shelf racks.

Step 3: With a gentle cleaner (e.g. vinegar, specialised metal cleaner, dish soap or baking soda) and a soft cloth, gently wipe down the surfaces on the shelf.

Step 4: Rinse the shelf racks if necessary, otherwise, wipe them down a few more times to clean them. Make sure not to use too much water as it can cause corrosion.

Step 5: Thoroughly dry your shelves with a soft cloth or paper towel before putting your items back on the shelf.

Wired Shelving and Perforated Stainless Steel Table

 sample wired stainless steel shelving

When compared to solid stainless steel shelves, wire shelving, trolleys, and perforated stainless steel tables are more difficult to clean due to the numerous gaps, holes, and nooks and crannies that you need to get into.

In such circumstances, you can clean these surfaces in the same way you would clean solid steel rack shelving, but extra effort is required to remove debris trapped in small corners. Cotton buds are an excellent way to remove dirt from nooks and crannies; you can also use a citrus-based solution to remove sticky gunk.

Cleaning Away Rust

Although stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, it does not mean that it will never rust. Any exposure of water to the iron content in stainless steel can cause corrosion and rust to form on the surface over time. Rust, if not cleaned properly, will severely damage your stainless steel. Here’s how to effectively remove rust and prevent it from destroying your metals.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Sandpaper

  • Coarse salt

  • Lemon juice

  • White vinegar

  • Soft cloth

Step 1: Brush away loose rust on your stainless steel rack shelving with sandpaper.

Step 2: Sprinkle coarse salt on the rust.

Step 3: Mix equal parts lemon juice and white vinegar, then pour the mixture over the salt.

Step 4: Let the solution sit on the rusted area for five to seven minutes before wiping away with a dry cloth

Step 5: Rinse the area or wipe it clean with a wet cloth then dry it thoroughly.


  • Regularly wipe down surfaces in frequent contact with liquids, chemicals and foods such as solid and perforated stainless steel tables.

  • Create a cleaning schedule to allocate ample time each week for cleaning and maintenance of your stainless steel equipment.

  • Put together a cleaning kit filled with tools and cleaning supplies suitable for stainless steel.

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for each type of stainless steel shelving if possible


  • Do not leave water or spills sitting on the stainless steel.

  • Do not use harsh chemicals such as chlorine bleach and hydrochloric acid on stainless steel.

  • Do not leave rust and dirt on the stainless steel for a prolonged period of time.

Keeping stainless steel equipment clean and maintaining it regularly to extend its lifespan may seem unnecessary and a waste of time to some. However, having to replace damaged stainless steel shelves and tables is an even greater waste of time, money and resources. Dirty and damaged stainless steel equipment is also unhygienic and unsightly, which is why regular cleaning is a worthwhile investment.

Now that you know how to keep your equipment clean, start creating your own cleaning schedule and training your employees to maintain them.

From design to professional installation, Shelvings is your one-stop-shop for storage, handling and ergonomic solutions. So, if your stainless steel equipment is beyond repair, contact us for new ones.


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