People often think that if a product is made of stainless steel then it will be completely stain free. However this is not the case, Stainless Steel is not "stain free" or "corrosion proof." The amount will vary depending on the conditions the product is put into, but you can help prevent tea stains and surface rust through regular cleaning of your stainless steel products. Like all your other stainless steel products your stainless steel ceiling fan will require regular cleaning.

Stainless steel is not a magic material, it is by and large resistant to corrosion and Grade 316L (the grade we use) is perfectly suited for ceiling fans in coastal environments. From many years experience we find there does seem to be a lot of misunderstanding about stainless steel in general, both by customers and some sales outlets.

"Stainless steel" will not suffer structural corrosion or damage that affects the strength or usefulness of the base metal when exposed to normal environmental conditions. Stainless Steels protect themselves by forming a chromium oxide surface layer that prevents harmful oxidation (rusting) of the iron that makes up the bulk of the material.

Stainless Steels are not stain free, corrosion proof or even rust proof. Corrosion does occur with stainless steel, the difference between stainless and normal steel is that the rate of corrosion is much lower and not likely to be structurally significant. The finish and cosmetic appearance of Stainless Steel is very dependent on the maintenance regime employed.

To ensure your fan stays in good condition Hunter Pacific recommends at least seasonal cleaning (4 times per year) of stainless steel fans and more regularly for ones that are installed in outdoor or coastal locations. Wipe the fan with a soft damp cloth to remove dust and excess moisture. After cleaning, dry fan with a soft dry cloth. NOTE: You can remove the blades from your fan for easier cleaning.

If tea stains or surface rust are already present the you should try using new nylon scourers* along with mild detergent and hot water. Make sure you rub the stainless steel in the direction of the grain to avoid damaging the finish.

Never use: [Sourced from Australian Stainless Steel Development Association]
1. Steel wool scourers or any scourers which have been used for cleaning carbon steel products (ordinary steel products like pots and pans) as this can allow for carbon steel contamination and deep in-grain rust stains that will difficult or impossible to remove.
2. Concentrate bleach or hydrochloric acid based cleaning agents because these chemicals will frost the surface and cause pitting in stainless steel products.
3. Plastic scourers rubbed across brushed finishes.

Please note the above document recommends (on the last page) cleaning between 2 and 12 times per year for 304 grade stainless installed in places where it is not washed by rain (of course ceiling fans can't be installed where they are rained upon), and where deposits accumulate (such as from salt laden air). Since HPI fans are 316L and not 304 we believe this cleaning schedule could be adjusted to between 2 and 6 times per year.

To determine the best cleaning schedule routinely check a new fan every month for the first six months after installation to see if any contamination is occurring. You can then decide how frequently it needs cleaning.

Click here to find out 'Why it is important to clean stainless steel, where tea staining occurs and what are some common stainless steel myths.