|Cleaning a steel counter top: 2000-grit sandpaper
||[Mar. 28th, 2010|06:11 pm]
We have a stainless steel shelf/counter unit that came with our apartment. It is generally great, but its top surface with a fine-brushed finish scratches easily, given that the unglazed bottom "foot" of a ceramic bowl is significantly harder than stainless steel. Compounding this is the fact that the steel is shiny, so minor blemishes show up clearly. Scrub as I might, I never felt like I had the right tool to clean it. A ScotchBrite sponge gets it clean, but it always looks dirty due to the scuffs. Bon Ami doesn't help (after all, it's motto is "Hasn't scratched yet").
I found one good solution: 2000-grit wet/dry sandpaper applied wet with a sponge in long strokes in the direction of the existing brushed finish. Now there are still some fine scratches and some areas are more scuffed than others, but the ugly spots are gone.
FWIW, 1/2000 inch is 12.7 microns, not far from a mirror finish in the visible band.
On the topic of surface finishes, this looks like an interesting 3M product (I haven't tried, although my 2004's lenses are getting a little hazy): 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System.
Disclaimer: I work for 3M although not in abrasives. To my knowledge, 3M does not recommend using sandpaper on decorative stainless steel. Oppinions expressed here are my own and do not necesecarily represent those of 3M.