Guide To Maximizing Your Stainless Steel Product Life

All grades and finishes of stainless steel may in fact stain or discolor in normal service regardless of maintenance, but in many cases the product will have a significantly shortened life if not properly maintained. To achieve maximum life under variable circumstances, general guidelines should be followed.

Maintaining 316L Stainless Steel
This is the most corrosion resistant grade available for most applications and is ideal for saltwater applications. This grade of stainless steel will need the least amount of maintenance in saltwater environments. 

*316 is usually not used for fasteners due to elasticity.

Maintaining 304 Stainless Steel
This grade is more susceptible to corrosion than 316, but it does offer higher strength factors. This grade of stainless steel is usually used for fasteners due to the strength.

*304 is not ideal for saltwater or high chloride environments like swimming pools.

Maintaining 17-4 PH Stainless Steel
17 = Chromium content
4 = Nickel content
PH = precipitation hardening

PH stands for precipitation hardening. This grade is known for strength and heat tolerance, not corrosion resistance. Though it has some corrosion resistance properties it will require routine maintenance in saltwater environments. If you use a product made of 17-4 PH, such as a Suncor Anchor Swivel, you need to follow a routine maintenance schedule.

*Not known for corrosion resistance. It will require routine maintenance in saltwater environments.

What To Use For Maintenance & Cleaning?
Never use strong acids and chemical solutions, these chemicals will destroy your stainless steel hardware. If contact occurs, the chemical must be removed by water flushing and cleaning with a mild automobile detergent. You should also avoid any abrasive compounds or metal abrasives.

Always use readily available car or boat wash products to clean your stainless steel hardware. In cases of extreme staining or corrosion, you can use a derived citric acid product such as Citrus Surf, while following the safety and use instructions.


To learn more about the world’s most complete and highest quality sources for stainless steel hardware and custom parts – visit our Suncor Stainless website. This Plymouth, MA-based company offers a variety of the highest quality stainless steel hardware for industrial, marine, architectural, commercial, government, and OEM markets. 

For more information on our stainless steel hardware and custom parts, you may contact Suncor Stainless at 1-800-394-2222 or by completing the Contact Us Form.