Railings can be very beautiful regardless of the material they are made from but they need to be kept clean and be safe from a structural standpoint. Read on to learn how you can clean railings made from different materials.
Powder Coated Railings
Many-a-times railings are powder-coated to ensure that the underlying materials are safeguarded, making these railings tough, corrosion-free and highly durable. Use soapy water and sponge to clean your powder-coated railings. Ensure that the soap/detergent that you use does not contain chemicals that can damage the coating. If the application is mild and does not hurt your skin when you touch it, it is most likely usable. Test the application in an inconspicuous area of your railing and observe before spreading completely.
Aluminum railings require virtually no upkeep. Use soapy water and a soft cloth to rinse away any dust stains on your railings. Hosing down the railings with a power-hose may be a good alternative. Always dab away the extra moisture with a soft cloth and leave it to air-dry. Railings around coastal areas may be exposed to an accumulation of abrasive salts. Similarly, railings installed on a high-rise balcony may be subject to bird droppings and dust. In such cases using an appropriate solvent or cleanser may do the trick. You can lacquer your aluminum railings using a coat of car wax or floor wax. This will make maintaining your railings an easier chore, especially when they are constantly exposed to the elements.
Stainless Steel Railings
Stainless steel are available in two kinds, polished and satin. Although stainless steel is largely corrosion-proof, some unsightly marks and stains may retard the appearance. Use distilled water to clean away the white marks on steel railings. And pat down with a soft cloth or newspaper. You may also use polishing cleansers to remove tougher marks and stains. Oil and grease stains may require the use of solvents, such as acetone or alcohol wipes. It is a good idea to always use gloves and protect your hands while applying the polish or solvents to your railings.
There are both solid brass railings and the brass-plated railings. These two require significantly different approaches to maintenance. All brass tends to oxidize or tarnish fairly quickly. Use warm soapy water and sponge to clean and maintain your brass railings. If the stains are tough, use a stronger variety of soap, like dishwashing soap. Using conventional polish, like Brasso, may work for solid brass. But avoid using polish on plated-brass at all costs. The brass polish will cut through the brass and leave the underlying material (usually steel) exposed.