Powder coating is a long-lasting, attractive and top-of-the-line finish in which, according to the Powder Coating Institute, "finely ground particles of pigment and resin are electrostatically charged and sprayed onto products." More than likely you have several items in your home that are powder-coated. Any powder-coated item should be washed regularly. By following a few simple tips, powder coating can last for years.
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Determine a Schedule
Set up a cleaning schedule based on desired appearance and environment. Some environments require powder coat to be inspected and cleaned more often than others. Powder coating that's not exposed to salt or large amounts of pollution will need yearly inspections. Poolside and tropical environments warrant checks at least every six months;. Any powder coating along the seaside or in industrial environments will need checks at least every three months. Hazardous surroundings require inspection monthly. Any time an inspection reveals dirt or film, washing is necessary.
Wash powder coat with warm water and a gentle dish washing soap with a neutral pH. Abrasives will cause damage and should be avoided. You may use automotive detergents or cleaners made for outdoor furniture. Test a small area before washing to keep from having extensive damage if your detergent causes changes. Use a soft-bristled brush when washing and rinse thoroughly. Areas that don't get rained on need special attention; these areas will have greater amounts of damaging build-up.
Removing stains from powder coat should be done with care. Do not use harsh chemical cleaners, especially those containing ketones, acetates, petrol or high acid content; these can cause extensive damage. Using clear spirits, like white spirit, is preferred. Contact time should be kept as short as possible. Rinse extensively to remove all traces of the spirits when stains are gone. Be sure to test an inconspicuous area first before going after stains.
General Cleaning Tips
You may use a pressure washer to clean powder coating, but precise care and attention are absolutely necessary to avoid damage. Keep the pressure washer at least 10 inches away from surfaces and keep the psi under 1,500. To brighten white powder coating, use a bleach water solution. Mix one part bleach to three parts water in a spray bottle and apply. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before scrubbing with brush. Rinse thoroughly.
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