What is Brushed Steel and What is it Used For?

When you’re looking for durable products such as faucets, fixtures, and other items that get a lot of use, choosing the best materials can be a confusing task unless you’re familiar with the metals and their properties. Compounding this task with finding an attractive finish can make it even harder if you’re going for looks and strength simultaneously. One such material that offers both is brushed steel. Here is everything you need to know about brushed steel, its uses, and how to properly care for this type of finish.

What is brushed steel?

Brushed steel is an option for manufacturers who wish to add a special aesthetic to products featuring steel construction. According to Wise Geek, brushed steel is a type of steel that has a brushed finish on the surface. A brushed finish features small scratches that are unidirectional give it a unique appearance that diminishes its metallic luster without completely removing it. There are a lot of different patterns available in brushed steel for the sake of decor, and it gives you a broad choice of aesthetics in these sturdy and durable materials.

How is the brushed finish accomplished?

According to Hunker, there are a few different methods used for giving steel its finish. Some steel is put through a grinding process followed by polishing. Some finishes are accomplished by electroplating and galvanizing coating applications. Brushed steel finishes are created through a process that applies friction to the metal’s surface. Arthur Harris adds that the metal is polished with a fine bristle brush that is affixed to a wheel that moves it in the same continuous direction. The metal is then softened with a compound that is greaseless with a belt or pad. The process leaves a matte sheet on the steel that is dull and no longer reflects light. It also imparts fine lines on the surface that are used for decorative items most often. Some patterns are wider than others, with lines more noticeable, while some brushed steel finishes feature tiny lines that are so close together they are barely distinguishable.

What is brushed steel used for?

Brushed steel is generally used for decorative items such as specialty sink faucets, vases, and other items. It is also used for the facing on many different kinds of appliances such as refrigerators, coffee makers, can openers, dishwashers, ranges, microwave ovens, and more. It is highly valued because of its strength and its ability to hide fingerprints. The tone of brushed steel is warmer than steel that is unfinished which helps to hide any minor blemishes that occur with everyday use of an item. Brushed steel is also used for making cabinet hardware, as well as other types of home decor. You can also find brushed steel finishes in many kitchen and bathroom sinks. Some lighting fixtures also feature brushed steel finishes.

Other applications for brushed steel

According to THG, brushed stainless steel is a popular choice for use in public places. This is because of its corrosion resistance. It is also highly decorative and is often used to add a masculine tone to interiors. It offers a neutral color that is commonly favored in modern decor.

Features of brushed steel

Brushed steel is a popular choice because it offers good resistance to corrosion. It’s not difficult to clean and it is also scratch-resistant. It is highly compatible with most cleaning products and the finish holds up well under intense cleaning without marring the finish.

How to clean and care for brushed steel

According to Wikihow, cleaning the steel with a brushed finish is not much different than cleaning regular steel without a brushed finish. Basic spills on the steel can usually be cleaned with water. For tougher stains, you can use common household cleaners or make your homemade cleaners. It’s always advised to read the manual that comes with the item for manufacturers’ instructions included with the item. Some items come with specific cleaning instructions. Most stainless steel items can be cleaned with gentle cleansers, water, and a soft cloth. it’s also important to make sure to dry the surface completely with a soft dry cloth for the best results. Water spots can leave a white residue on brushed steel.

Tips for effective brushed steel cleaning

There are a few things to keep in mind when cleaning brushed steel. Avoid using harsh abrasive cleaners, steel wool, or abrasive scrubbing cloths. These can damage the pattern of the finish and level it looking damaged. Dirty water or hard water can also leave a gritty residue on the surface. Also, when cleaning appliances made of brushed steel materials, always make sure that the appliance is cool. Unplug any electrical sources for additional safety and prevention of electrocution.

Final thoughts

Brushed steel is an attractive feature on a durable and strong metal. The finish is achieved by applying friction to steel that makes small uniform lines in the steel. There are different patterns in brushed steel finishes. This type of material is used for a variety of different applications. It is often seen on appliances such as washers, dryers, ranges, microwaves, can openers, and many other useful or decorative items used in the home. It is also used for a variety of public applications, particularly on interiors because of its highly decorative appearance and resistance to corrosion. Brushed steel is not difficult to care for or to clean if you follow a few basic rules for care and maintenance. It is useful to help hide fingerprints and minor blemishes that occur from everyday use. The only thing that makes brushed steel different from other types of steel is the finish. It offers the same strength and durability except for being more decorative with a duller matte finish.

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