stainless steel: our love and hate relationship

June 2014 Newsletter

after the remodel: how to protect your investment

No, we are not talking about getting additional insurance here, although that is important and you should discuss with your insurance professional. We are initiating a series of discussions on cleaning and protecting the pristine surfaces (in your newly renovated home) which are integral to the aesthetics of modern design.

stainless steel: our love and hate relationship

Stainless steel surfaces are strong, durable, and versatile. Both polished and brushed versions complement many design styles from Mid Century Modern to Industrial Chic. But to the homeowners, S.S. is far from stainless. In fact, many were horrified to find that even clean water drops could stain a brand new cooktop. Not to worry, we have gathered many good tips from past clients, hardware store owners, and home improvement experts:
  • Not all stainless steel surfaces are created equal. Make sure you check the particular manufacturer's instruction about cleaning and protecting.
  • Try to clean soon after cooking every day so as to avoid burning in grease and food scraps.
  • Always wipe following the grain of the steel to avoid scratching. Try any new cleaning products at an inconspicuous spot first. Always wet the surface first with a soft cloth or sponge.
  • For everyday cleaning, use a few drops of white vinegar, leave for a few minutes, then wipe with a soft cloth or sponge. 
  • For more hardened spots, sprinkle baking soda and add a few drops of vinegar. Wipe with a wet soft cloth or sponge.
  • For really hardened spots, make a paste with Bar Keepers Friend (in powder form) with a few drops of water. Leave for up to a minute, then wipe it with a wet soft cloth or wet sponge. To add shine, chase it with Windex or a natural product such as Seventh Generation Natural Glass & Surface Cleaner.
  • For spots that were there since the last century, you may have to use Bar Keepers Friend paste and scrub with a small 1" square piece cut from a white scrub. (Green scrub is the harshest, blue second, white is softer and more flexible)
  • For the exterior of refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven, spray with Method Steel For Real (natural stainless steel cleaner) and wipe with a soft cloth or wet sponge. The inside of the oven is another story better left for a future newsletter.

annual rebuilding together oakland project

building Lab designers and carpenters worked with Piedmont Community Service Crew (PCSC) in a home renovation for an elderly woman in the Temescal district of Oakland. On two consecutive Saturdays in April, we mentored Piedmont High School students in a complete overhaul of a house with serious deferred maintenance issues. Highlights include installing a hot water heater housed in a new shed, reconnecting bathroom sink to the drain, new fence in the front and new deck at the rear entry, and exterior and interior painting. Everyone agreed these were two most enjoyable and rewarding days.

a sad farewell to stella

She was the best looking, goofiest, and most loving of all. We miss her tremendously and hope that wherever she is, there are lots of Bonies.

shoup residence featured at

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