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Stainless Steel Propeller Discoloration:
In this part we are going to focus on the issue of propeller discoloration. A word people with stainless propellers do not like to see and/or understand is “Rust”.
Over time, depending on how you care for your propeller and the environment you use it, what most people call “rust, discoloration and corrosion” can appear on the surface of any stainless prop. So why do stainless propellers discolor, have a magnet stick to a blade and what can be done to prevent it?
First, it’s important to remember the propellers are stain-less steel, not stain-free steel. Stainless (Stain Free) Steel would be a metal free of ferrous materials (iron and the like) thus making the metal a lot softer than Stainless Steel and thus not maintaining the necessary hardness in metallurgy. So, since there is a measure of iron contained in any stainless-steel propeller, surface discoloration can appear, and it doesn’t affect performance, just appearance. This surface discoloration is somewhat normal in certain instances where the boat is constantly in the water, not removed and washed down. The best prevention is to thoroughly rinse the props with fresh water (and perhaps mild liquid soap) after each use.
For more stubborn stains, you might also try a soft rag and spray-on household bathroom cleaner, hydrogen peroxide, or a mild rubbing compound. It’s very important, however, that you rinse the prop immediately and thoroughly with fresh, clean water after using these. Remember, surface discoloration is not a defect in materials or workmanship. It is a product of the environment where the prop is used and how you maintain your stainless propeller is in your control. So if you see some discoloration, remember fresh water wash the prop and wipe down with a light coat of WD-40 for it to maintain its shine.