General Question

JLeslie's avatar

Is it dangerous to use Stainless Steel flatware that lost it’s coating?

Asked by JLeslie (65326points) 2 months ago from iPhone

My forks and knives were shiny and silver colored for many years until I used Finish dishwasher detergent and then it turned dark. I read that maybe a coating was stripped off. Does that change the safety of the flatware? Do you think it’s not stripped and can possibly be polished back to pretty?

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12 Answers

seawulf575's avatar

If it’s truly stainless steel there is no coating. It is an alloy that is made of carbon, steel, chromium and nickel…possibly a few others depending on the type of SS. If you washed it and went from shiny to gray its possible that it wasn’t stainless to begin with but was electroplated to make it shiny. That is a coating and it does wear off. It is also possible that the dishwasher detergent reacted with something in the metal, though generally that is not the case with SS.

My take is that it wouldn’t be unsafe. It is a metal knife. It’s iron and carbon and chromium…all elements you have in our body already and which you actually need.

If you want you could take one of the discolored pieces and wash it by hand to see if anything changes.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Clean tarnished stainless steel cutlery by:

Step #1: Mixing eight parts hot water and one part white vinegar in a washing-up bowl;
Step #2: Putting your cutlery into this mixture and letting it soak for 5–10 minutes;
Step #3: Rinsing the cutlery and drying it right away with a lint-free cloth;

Blackwater_Park's avatar

It’s fine, just tarnished. If you use vinegar water it down at least 50–50 and don’t let it sit for more than 15 min. I have seen “vinegar baths” even ruin cast iron if used to strong or too long
Stop using the harsh cleaners or it’ll be even worse next time.

kritiper's avatar

No. Stainless Steel has no coating and is solid Stainless Steel all the way through.
Follow what @Tropical_Willie said above.

Jeruba's avatar

Expert guys: How can you tell if the discoloration is something stuck on (that will come off with cleaning) or something that’s been removed (like a coating)?

JLeslie's avatar

It isn’t stuck on in my case. The utensil that were in the dishwasher for that washing turned dark.

I guess I’ll try the home remedy on one piece and if it doesn’t help I’ll try a chemical that is sold in stores.

The flatware is 25 years old, and this happened about 6 years ago and I haven’t done anything about it, but I want to try to fix it now.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree that there is no coating on stainless steel.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The black on SS maybe caused by chlorine and salts in the dishwasher detergent !

jca2's avatar

I just googled it and it’s called “passivation.” There are a number of fixes on the internet. It says it’s caused by a number of factors.

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