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Powder-Coated Mild Steel vs Stainless Steel – Keeping Your Semi-Commercial Kitchen Clean

When hosting events in your community centre or church, we all know it’s the food that truly brings people together.

However, to successfully cater for large numbers, you need assurance that your kitchen is designed to maximise hygiene, cleanliness and efficiency. That means having easy-to-clean, durable surfaces that are resistant to dissemination.

That said, you equally don’t want to have to sacrifice aesthetics. You need a kitchen area that offers both practicality and personality.

Steelplan’s semi-commercial kitchens combine stainless steel and Zintec polyester powder-coated mild steel for the perfect blend of hygiene, durability and aesthetics. However, it’s important to note that these materials require slightly different maintenance to ensure a clean, hygienic kitchen area.

That being said, before we jump into cleaning specifics, let’s take a look at the differences between stainless steel and mild steel…

STAINLESS STEEL VS MILD STEEL: What’s the difference?

Industrial or commercial-grade kitchens traditionally have many elements made of stainless steel – not just the worktops. They’re extremely hard-wearing, corrosion-resistant, and easy to clean, and the material can withstand significant wear and tear, which you can expect from prolonged, repetitive use.

However, stainless steel kitchens don’t offer the most welcoming appearance. They’re designed for purpose, not for aesthetics, and as such they can often give off a very cold and institutional atmosphere – not something you want for a community-oriented space.

This is where powder-coated mild steel comes in. While domestic kitchens can easily rely on materials like MDF or chipboard for their kitchens, community kitchens require something a little more durable to keep up with more frequent use – without compromising on aesthetics.

Mild steel is a more appealing alternative to stainless steel – promising durability, strength, cleanliness, and various colour options to tie in with the chosen theme of your community kitchen. Steelplan uses a combination of stainless-steel work surfaces and polyester powder-coated mild steel cabinets and doors for a functional but welcoming environment.

That said, while it’s important to find a balance between aesthetics and practicality, it’s even more important to consider how you will keep your semi-commercial kitchen clean and in perfect working order.

So, here are some dos and don’ts for cleaning your kitchen:


1. Use of abrasive cleaners

Stainless Steel:

While it is renowned for being incredibly durable, it is advised to avoid abrasive cleaners such as bleach on stainless steel.

This is because their chemical content makes them more likely to scratch the surface and compromise the appearance of the worktop, leaving rust spots visible.

Work-top tip: The clue is in the name – stainless steel ‘stains less’ – but it isn’t fully corrosion-resistant.

This scenario is more likely with ‘lower grade’ stainless steel, which has a greater iron content, and while you can remove rust spots with a scouring pad, you will prevent this problem by avoiding abrasive cleaners and choosing a higher-grade work surface at installation.

Did you know?: Steelplan Kitchens’ work surfaces are made of a higher-quality 304-grade material with less iron content, which is more resistant than a 404-grade worktop.

In any case, you should clean stainless steel surfaces with mild detergents or a specific stainless-steel cleaner with a soft cloth to keep surfaces clean.

Powder-coated mild steel:

Powder-coated mild steel is durable – however, it’s a misconception that it can tolerate bleach and other potent chemical cleaners.

While it isn’t used for worktops (but rather, cabinets and drawers) abrasive cleaners will damage the surface, so you should use mild detergents (such as Mr. Muscle) or even soapy water and a piece of kitchen towel.

2. Routine Maintenace

Stainless Steel:

For routine maintenance, regular cleaning with mild soap and water is usually sufficient. This helps to preserve its appearance and maintain clean surfaces – which are particularly prone to showing fingerprint marks.

Work-top Tip: Steelplan’s worktops are made of 304 Grade 240S grit silicone-impregnated stainless steel. This particular ‘grain’ in the worktop gives an attractively reflective surface with the benefits of a resilient, easy-to-clean material.

Mild steel:

Though it is a very rare concern, it’s still important to periodically care for your mild steel surfaces, as these can show signs of oxidation after heavy use, which can gradually wear at the surface.

Applying a protective oil or coating can help prevent build-up in the long term, and keep these surfaces usable for a very long time indeed.

3. Maintaining appearance with special cleaners

Stainless Steel:

To maintain the surface’s lustre, specialised stainless steel cleaners can be used occasionally to boost the appearance, reduce signs of wear and tear, and keep the surfaces looking clean and tidy. However, you can also achieve a similarly impressive effect with baby oil or WD40.

Mild steel:

On top of simple cleaning with mild detergent or soapy water, depending on the application, you may choose to occasionally use of rust removers or metal cleaners designed specifically for removing oxidation and scale.

Work-top tip: That being said, Steelplan’s polyester powder-coated mild steel is not a high-gloss finish. It’s a satin gloss finish, which not only hides finger marks and dirt better than gloss, but is also highly colourful.

With this in mind, polyester powder-coated mild steel is the perfect choice for a kitchen in a busy community hub, as it requires little maintenance – letting your community focus on enjoying the kitchen, rather than cleaning it.


At Steelplan, we understand that the appearance of your community kitchen is just as important as its durability and functionality. After all, this is a space for people to socialise and connect – which means you need something more welcoming than an industrial-style kitchen.

We combine the best of stainless steel and mild steel for a kitchen that delivers in all areas: hygiene, practicality, quality, durability, and aesthetics – and we design the perfect kitchen for your specific requirements.

With our free design and consultation service, you’ll get a chance to visualise your dream semi-commercial kitchen, and see how it fits into your community hub space – no strings attached.

Get in touch with one of our experts to book your free design and consultation service today: [email protected]

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