Stainless steel is great for producing reliable, long lasting and relatively cheap tools and surfaces. In a medical setting, stainless is valued for its ability to handle autoclave treatment. Perhaps because of the association between stainless and medicine, some people think that stainless steel is inherently anti-microbial.
This is definitely not the case.
While some metals, such as copper and silver, are natural bactericides, stainless is not. It is possible to find some stainless products which use exotic techniques and coatings to produce an anti-microbial effect, but these treatments are expensive and fragile.
So are silver bench tops the next big thing?
While it might be a cool idea, probably not. Stainless steel is here to stay – but you can follow some simple steps to remove bacteria from your stainless steel products – Washing, Sanitising and Drying.
Always wash steel with clean, soapy water. In the case of utensils, dishwashers can be an effective means of sanitisation. Surfaces need to be treated with an effective sanitising solution. Finally, dry thoroughly with a clean, dry towel. Water helps bacteria to grow – if you don’t dry effectively, any bacteria left over after the first two steps will multiply rapidly.
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