Select Page

With these simple guidelines you can maximize the life and effectiveness of your stainless steel scratch brushes.


If you use a stainless steel scratch brush on carbon steel, do not use it on stainless because after-rust can occur. If you want to prevent contamination, store all stainless brushes away from areas where carbon steel particles might encounter the brush, such as steel workbenches.

Stainless has a chromium invisible layer which is what keeps it rust resistant. When carbon steel is introduced to it, contamination will happen as the chromium layer gets rubbed off or penetrated.  This can be pretty costly to fix and will ruin a weld because it causes pitting and areas will rust and can possible penetrate the surface over time.

For this reason, most manufactures will color coat the stainless brushes (typically black) so that shops and end users can easily identify the stainless brushes and keep them separated from the carbon brushes. 

stainless steel cup brush

An example of the the black coated stainless steel brush is pictured to the left. This is a Forney Cup Brush Crimped, Stainless, 2-3/4″ x .014″ x .014″ x 5/8″ – 11 Arbor, ITEM# 72801. 

This stainless steel brush is recommended when brushing corrosion-resistant or non-ferrous metals such as stainless or aluminum or when the brush is being used in a wet environment, and it is designed for use on angle grinders.


A common practice of using a magnet to check whether steel is stainless or carbon does not work on these brushes. The drawing process, which is used to produce brush wire, causes the material to be attracted to a magnet. Since there is some amount of magnetism due to the drawing process of the wire, determining if the bush is magnetic through that test that is not accurate.

The effects of the drawing process can be eliminated by heating the wire with a match until it becomes red-hot. If the wire is Type 302 stainless, it will not be attracted to a magnet after heating. The only true way to test is using a special solution called a Ferroxyl test.


Degrease stainless steel wire brushes before beginning your project or operation. If you’ll be storing the brushes after use, degrease them and wrap them in plastic. If you store the brushes without protection for any length of time, their magnetic properties can cause the brushes to collect foreign matter, leaving after-rust the next time the brush is used.


Wire brushes made from stainless steel wire are suitable for work on stainless steel and aluminum fabricated products, for use in direct food-contact applications, in higher heat situations (typically up to 600 degree) and in environments where the brush wire may be exposed to moisture or high humidity on a repeated basis. 

Other applications these brushes are used for:
Weld Cleaning
Rust and Oxide Removal
Surface Prep
Paint Removal
High Temperature and High Humidity


Stainless steel is highly corrosion-resistant and can be used in high-humidity or wet conditions. It has a higher heat tolerance than steel, allowing use at high temperatures on aluminum and stainless steel. Scratch brushes are constructed of dense filament/wire with an even trim for consistent brushing. They are also used in general maintenance applications.

Have questions? Find answers at 

Stainless Steel Brushes
Shop Stainless Steel Brushes Button