How to Tell if Stainless Steel Is Real

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Things You'll Need

  • Magnet

  • Muriatic acid

  • Eye dropper

  • Towel (cloth or paper)

Stainless steel is used to make a variety of products, including faucets and pots and pans.

Stainless steel is used in construction, vehicles, electrical goods and more. It is an iron-based alloy that contains chromium. Carbon, nickel, copper, titanium, aluminum, silicon, and nitrogen are other elements that are found in stainless steel. This metal is ductile, magnetic and resistant to corrosion, abrasion, erosion and electricity. If you are not sure whether an object or piece of metal is stainless steel, there is a way to tell.


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Step 1

Stick the magnet on the piece you are testing. If it holds firmly, the metal is possibly stainless steel. If not, it is another metal such as aluminum.

Step 2

Pick a spot on the piece that you don't mind damaging a little.

Step 3

Fill the eye dropper with muriatic acid. Drop a small amount of the acid on the test spot. Wait half an hour.

Step 4

Wipe the acid off the piece. Examine the test spot. If it is discolored, the piece is stainless steel.



Laura Nations

Laura Nations started writing professionally in 2008 for Lost Girls World and "The Menagerie." She also has experience creating marketing materials for non-profit organizations like Surf City Animal Hospital. Nations holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.