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Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Posted by jellytoast (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 8, 13 at 0:01

I have a new KitchenAid french door refrigerator and I can't find any information about the stainless steel finish on their website or anywhere online for that matter. I assumed I was buying a real stainless steel refrigerator, but my refrigerator doors feel very smooth and appear to have some sort of a coating on them. The finish doesn't feel similar to any of my other non-Kitchenaid stainless appliances. Those appliances actually DO feel like stainless steel. Does anyone know if KitchenAid puts some sort of a clear coat finish on their SS refrigerators? My fridge was delivered with a scratch on the door, but it doesn't look like a normal "stainless steel" scratch, but rather like a scratch would on an automotive finish. For other recent KitchenAid refrigerator purchasers, do your doors appear to be clear-coated? (Cross-posted on the appliance forum).


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Are you sure that the plastic coating has been removed? All stainless appliances come with a very thin plastic wrap over the stainless to protect it from scratches in transit and installation.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

I second what Marisa said. The new plastic coatings are so smooth that often they can't be seen.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

My stainless side x side KA fridge is a little over a year old and has no coating, i.e., fingerprints will show. It came with a plastic wrap but it was blue and very obviously a wrap. Magnets stick to mine, as they do to my new Bosch DW.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Yes, of course the plastic has been removed! :-)

Fingerprints definately will show on my refrigerator, but it still appears to have some sort of a clear coat finish. You can see the texture of it it when you look at it very closely, but it was the scratch that really makes me think it does have a coating on it. It doesn't scratch like any stainless steel I've ever seen, and it doesn't feel like bare stainless steel either. If it hadn't been for the scratch, I might never have noticed it.

I'm wondering if maybe the grade of stainless used is so low that it needs a coating to keep it from rusting?

Anyone else with a KA care to chime in?


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

I'm not sure what its made of but all my stainless steel KA appliances are the easiest I've ever had to keep clean. Just water and a microfibre cloth and it looks perfect. The other brands with stainless steel I had were a nightmare.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

I don't find the KA to be any easier or more difficult to clean than any of my other appliances. I use a damp microfiber cloth on everything and it works equally well on all of them. But while a scratch on stainless steel is not that unsightly to me, a scratch on the Kitchenaid "stainless steel" surface looks more like scratched paint than scratched stainless steel.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

This is what I found:
"These are all coated: Whirlpool �" “Satina;” GE �" “Clean Steel;” Amana �" “Ultra Finish Steel;” Kitchenaid �" Architect Series II, “Monochromatic Stainless;” Kenmore �" “Ultra Satin;” Frigidaire �" “Titanium;” Electrolux (all brands except “Classic,” “Icon” and “Electrolux”); Maytag �" “Silver Ultra Finish,” “Satina Stainless Look,” “Monochromatic Stainless steel,” “Monochromatic Satina.”
It's part of an article on how to get rid of scratches in SS (link below).

Sounds like a call to KA or the merchant is warranted

Here is a link that might be useful: SS restoration tips


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

nosoccermom, I saw that during my internet search. However, Kitchenaid's site has this regarding monochromatic stainless:

What is the Monochromatic Stainless Steel color option?
Monochromatic SS in refrigeration is simply the color option of having a Stainless Steel door(s) on an Apollo Gray colored refrigerator cabinet. It has no implication on the type of stainless steel used.

In my experience, customer service reps seem to know less about their products than I do. And Kitchenaid's website says nothing about any clear coat finish being applied to the surface of their refrigerators. Which is why I came here, to ask others who actually own the product what they think. ;-)


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Again, I have a KA fridge bought in 2012. It looks and feels like stainless to me. I clean it with Thor ($$$) stainless cleaner and it seems to make finger prints easier to buff out. I do make a point of trying just to touch the handles. Its sides are gray and magnets stick to the s/s. I don't have a stainless stove, but I do have a new s/s Bosch DW. The front panel looks just like the KA s/s and magnets stick to it as well. If they aren't gen-u-ine stainless, I sure as hell can't tell the difference.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Since you're not happy with the responses here why don't you ask your salesperson?


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Seems like Nosoccermom did find the answer to your question, and you had already seen it yourself: this KA product does use synthetic coated SS.

Just because the KA website doesn't mention this detail doesn't make it not so. If you want to be sure, you will just have to ask KA (and if the rep you speak to doesn't know, he can surely find out). Monochromatic does refer to the color scheme, not the SS, but the SS that KA uses on the Architect model offered in Monochromatic is coated according to that source.

Is that the model that you have?


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

My LG Refrigerator, my GE Café Gas Range, and my Zephyr Stainless Steel Range Hood (love this range hood so much!) all have that grayish brushed stainless steel that is so easy to keep clean and they do not take magnets. My top of the line Kitchen Aid Dishwasher has the shiny Stainless Steel less gray and more of a mirror image that is so difficult to keep clean and holds magnets! This is the Kudo70SS model (no time to look up the exact model but in November 2009 it was the top of the line model. I love the dishwasher but hate the stainless steel difficult to clean finish on it.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it?

What raee said about color and SS. As an aside: The link I linked to sounded pretty authoritative.
However, since the fridge was delivered with a scratch, I'd call KA or whoever sold it to you and ask them to come and fix it.

This post was edited by nosoccermom on Sun, Jun 9, 13 at 8:57


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it?

Wow, iowacommunte ... who said I didn't like the responses I was getting here? I thought this was a discussion, and since I was the one who had posted the original question, I was simply replying to the responses. Since you don't have anything to add other than to scold me, why even bother to reply?

Concerning nosoccermom's link, I replied that I had already seen it, along with the information on Kitchenaid's site that contradicts it, which I also posted in my response. Neosoccermom, I apologize if that came across as "not liking your response." I do appreciate your input, as well as the others.

Raee, my model is the Proline French Door.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the whole purpose of this site. I thought this was a community where people could go to gather information, or to commiserate, or whatever. If the answer to every question is "ask your salesman or call the manufacturer", what's the point of the forum? Now at least if someone googles "Kitchenaid clear coat," they will see that there was at least a discussion about it on gardenweb, even if there is no clear answer as to "yes, Kitchenaid puts a clear coat on their stainless steel" or "No, they don't."

In any case, I think whether they do or don't is information a consumer should have. And since that information is not available on their own website, I was trying to find it out for myself.

This post was edited by jellytoast on Sun, Jun 9, 13 at 12:40


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Yes I do believe you misunderstand the purpose of this site. No one else seems to have your exact model of refrigerator. There have been several people here however try to offer advice from other models from KA from the KA website. You implied over and over again you didn't like the answers because you had 'already seen them' or the answer is not what you think it 'should be.'

If you believe you have some sort of new product which was misrepresented and/or damaged product then you need to contact your salesperson.

Although I see from the rest of your responses you are unhappy with any sort of advice so don't worry I will not bother in the future.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Jellytoast, I'm glad you posted this subject, and the number of responses show that it is of interest to others, as well. I people hesitate to ask questions, this forum would lose a big part of its value to those of us who have benefited so much from it.

This thread opened my eyes a bit. Because have so many SS pots and pans, small appliances, and sink, I guess I've rather ingenuously thought of SS as something that would not rust---even though I know better. It did make me worry for a bit about rust on my yet-to-be-bought SS refrigerator or maybe inside my new SS dishwasher (especially since I've only recently learned to throw most things into the DW without much, if any, rinsing and sometimes let them sit a couple days before running the DW). However, I figure if the SS appliances were so easily rusted there would have been multiple warning posts about appliances with rust. I did cautiously try the magnet test on my appliances, and it did stick; I got the impression that if a magnet sticks it might be more susceptible to rust---is that correct?

Nevertheless, it has reinforced my routine of regularly wiping down the SS appliances I have. I've been doing so to keep the occasional fingerprints or smudges away---not too bad on their brushed SS finish. I've been using microfiber cloths to do this, either with just water or with a 32-ounce spray bottle containing about a cup of alcohol and 1-2 drops dishwashing soap---nothing else. I find the water/alcohol mix works well on my granite, too. It seems that anything stronger or more caustic could damage the SS? So I'm hoping regularly wiping the appliances down with the microfiber will keep the SS in good condition and be a deterrent to rusting. If anyone knows otherwise, please tell me.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

IowaCommute FTW.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Sail-away, is that 32 oz spray bottle 1 cup alcohol, 1-2 dw liquid, and the balance water? or just alcohol and dish liquid? Thanks!

I have a Kitchenaid Architect french door stainless fridge--it is, I think about a month old, and it replaced the same model which failed after a few months of use. Mine doesn't seem to have a coating on it, and it smudges and spots very easily and takes a lot of rubbing with a damp microfiber cloth to clean it up. Other stainless appliances in my kitchen are a Zephyr undercounter hood and a GE induction range. They all take a lot of elbow grease to look nice which I why I want to try the homemade cleaner posted above. Oh, the both the fridge and hood will hold a magnet, the range will not--and that doesn't seem to make a difference, smudge-y or cleaning wise. :)

I would think that if some appliance manufacturers are putting a coating over their SS, one might find more discussion about it than one website. OTOH, on the KA website itself, I noticed the Architect gas cooktop states the SS is clearcoated, so maybe this is a common practice for KA. In any event, I agree that if your refrigerator came already scratched, I'd contact KA or the seller.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it?

double post

Here is a link that might be useful: SS and coating test

This post was edited by nosoccermom on Sun, Jun 9, 13 at 17:05


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it?

Check out the link below to find out whether your SS appliance has a coating or synthetic finish.

Sorry for double posting

Here is a link that might be useful: SS and coating test

This post was edited by nosoccermom on Sun, Jun 9, 13 at 17:06


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

This post seems to have deteriorated into a discussion about my motives for posting and frankly, I'm sorry I asked. There was nothing sinister about my question. For those of you who took the time to try to help, thank you, I appreciate it.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

jellytoast, I am glad you posted as we all should not be afraid to ask questions on this forum since this it helps others also and we all learn form the questions. This post reminded me to wipe down the appliances even when they do not look dirty to prevent rusting and to prolong the life. Stainless Steel has various types we learned that some are clear coated. Thank you jellytoast for asking the question and thank you everyone else who contributed to help out.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Bookmom, Yes, I put 1 cup alcohol, 1-2 drops dishwashing soap, and fill with water. Actually, I put the alcohol in first, then water, and last the DW soap, so that the DW soap doesn't create suds.

Jellytoast, As you can see above, I appreciate your bringing up this subject, as I learned from several of the responses.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Lynn and sail-away, thank you for your kind words of support. I know that for the most part, gardenweb is a cordial and helpful forum. My post seems to have rubbed a few people the wrong way so I will make one last attempt to clarify.

While nosoccermom's link had a lot of helpful and useful information, it was not the information I was looking for. I do not have an "architect series monochromatic" refrigerator. And even if I did, Kitchenaid's site contradicts that information, saying that "monochromatic stainless" refers to a gray cabinet to go along with the stainless doors, with no mention of it referring to a clear coat finish.

And while the link to the "stainless steel test" had a lot of good information as well, it wasn't what I was looking for. I had already seen that link and had already done the tests. While my refrigerator failed the magnet test, it passed the others in that it does smudge and show fingerprints, and the temperature of the stainless doesn't feel any different than my other appliances. The "fingerprint test" says that I can be 99% sure my refrigerator doesn't have a clear coat if it shows fingerprints, but I may fall in that 1% who CAN'T be sure.

When I said I had already seen that link, I meant that I had already seen it, already read it, and already determined that it did not contain the information I was seeking. It did NOT mean that I wasn't appreciative of the time nosoccermom took to provide it. If the link provided the information I was looking for, I would have simply said thank you very much and moved on. Which is probably what I should have said anyway, given some of the annoyed resonses I got.

Iowacommute, you seem to be all bent out of shape that I wasn't taking anyone's advice, but if you will look at my original post, I didn't ask for any. I simply asked other Kitchenaid owners if their doors appeared to be clear coated.

And to the poster who edited their post to remove the comments questioning my motives for posting, there is no hidden meanings in my post. There are a lot of people on this site who own Kitchenaid refrigerators and if there is a clear coat over the stainless steel, we would all benefit from knowing about it. I've seen Bar Keeper's Friend recommended numerous times for use on stainless steel, but I wouldn't want to try it on a coated surface.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

I only get bent out of shape when people can not understand the written word.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

I was curious since I was looking at a KA dishwasher. So I contacted KA and was told that the Proline series has no kind of clear coat or synthetic finish on it. Hope that helps!


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Raee, thank you for letting us know!


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

I think part of the reactions was that the purpose of your posting wasn't quite clear, and, honestly, I still don't really know what it was since the responses apparently didn't help you. You asked whether KA fridges were coated. I quoted from a web site:
"THESE ARE ALL COATED: [list of various manufacturers], including Kitchenaid Architect Series II, “Monochromatic Stainless.” I.e. the monochromatic stainless is just the color, not whether it's coated or not as someone explained.

You had seen the links I posted. You also didn't want to call KA as was suggested because "they wouldn't know."

Anyways, I hope that Raee now answered the question to your satisfaction? Or was the question how to get the scratch removed?

BTW, I don't mind looking up information. I actually enjoy finding answers as I always learn something new.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Did you see anywhere in any of my posts where I asked how to remove the scratch? If I wanted to know that, I would have asked, "How do I remove a scratch?"

You questioned my motives in one post, then deleted it, and now you are wondering again what was the purpose of my post. I replied that there was nothing sinister about it, and my question is clearly stated in my original post, but for some reason, you don't seem to want to let it go.

My question was directed specifially to owners of KA refrigerators and I wanted to know if their doors appeared to be clear coated. That is it. Nothing more and nothing less. Seriously, is there a list of acceptable reasons for posting that I need to be aware of?

There are dozens of cleaners that are manufactured for use on stainless steel, yet my manual says to use only one cleaner, a non-abrasive product manufactured by Whirlpool. If my doors are truly not clear-coated, I would think that I would be able to use any of those other products. Yet I was told in my call to KA only to use that one product. And while KA says that the Proline does not have a clear coat, it does appear to have SOMETHING on it, and I was hoping another owner might be familiar with it, or might have experienced a scratch on the surface and could offer some insight as to why it scratches differently from my other stainless pieces. Why do I want to know this? Why not? Maybe I want to know how to care for the surface or maybe I'm just curious. I really didn't put that much thought into it before asking. What difference does it make?

There you have it ... the reason for my post. Mystery solved. Maybe we can all move on now and let this thread die a necessary death.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Thank you Sail_away, I am going to try that cleaner mixture--with my fingers crossed. :)

jellytoast, I'm in the same boat as you as far as that SS "test." My fridge doesn't feel any different, temperature or otherwise, than my other ss appliances, it does hold a magnet, but smudges and fingerprints like crazy. No scratching that I can see, however, so I can't help you there.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

OK, sounds you got your answer, or not?
I asked for the purpose of your question to be able to provide a satisfactory answer. In the post that I edited, I offered a few possible explanations, but then didn't want to get into a discussion of motives, on which you were taking off.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Okay then. Shall we just call it a day and put the matter to rest? Again, I appreciate everyone's input.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

bookmom, I hope it works for you. Let me know what you think. Is it just your refrigerator that is hard to keep up the SS surface on, or are there other appliances that need a lot of attention?

We have been updating our kitchen on a pay-as-you-go basis, so I don't have a SS refrigerator yet---just cooktop, DW, microwave, and wall oven. I worry that the refrigerator upkeep will be far more challenging. With the appliances I have at present, I generally just spot clean with a microfiber cloth that is dry or slightly damp with water or, occasionally, using the alcohol/water/DW soap mixture. Then, once a week , I remove everything from my counter tops (don't keep a lot on the counters) and use my alcohol/water mix to clean all counters and all the SS appliances I have so far. I may have to work harder when we get a SS refrigerator.

Anyway, let me know if this solution works for you.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

I wonder if KA is saying to use only their cleaner just to sell their cleaner, or maybe to avoid complaints about damage from other cleaning methods.

If I buy the KA, it will be from the scratchndent outlet, so I will post about my adventures in trying to remove any scratches. I haven't decided on it yet, though.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it?

Just looked at the latest Consumer Report issue about kitchens and appliances in particular. KA Architect series was rated the worst (ranges, so they didn't even gave details). Also, the repair record for KA overall was the worst. You may want to get your hands on the issue and look at it in more detail. Other KA appliances seemed to fare better.
No idea why this post was re-posted a day later below.

This post was edited by nosoccermom on Wed, Jun 12, 13 at 13:17


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

nosoccermom, can you let us know what faired the best? I wish I had bought a Samsung Counter FD Depth SS Refrigerator or a Jenn-Air Counter FD Depth SS Refrigerator instead of my LG French Door SS Refrigerator. But it was my first major Kitchen Appliance purchase at the end of 2006 and I did not understand that I was better off without the refrigerator sticking out and it was worth paying more. I love my French Door Refrigerator style with the freezer at the bottom and the less clearance needed to open the door so I do not have to keep moving the kitchen chairs out of the way like I used to have to do but I hate how the door does not close all the way and does not always beep and how it sticks out so far. I always wished I bought a Kitchen Aid French Door Counter Depth Refrigerator but now I see I would have been happier with Samsung or Jenn-Air rather than LG.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

I have all KA Architect 11 Series SS appliances, including the counter depth French door refrigerator. They are 2 1/2 years old now and were difficult to keep smudges and fingerprints away when they were first installed. I've used practically everything to wipe them down, including my stone cleaner! The best product I have found is the Swiffer dusting spray. My appliances look great and I haven't had any issues with any of them. I guess I've been lucky.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Sorry, I leafed through the issue while waiting in the check-out line, so I don't know which brand fared best for what appliance. I remember that Frigidaire did actually quite well, also Kenmore (oh, and Hotpoint for gas ranges; Blue Star did poorly.) For GE, it depended on the model no.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it??

Sail_away, thanks! I have stainless finishes on my GE microwave and induction range, and the KA fridge. All smear and smudge very easily and are a pain to clean, but I think the fridge is the toughest to clean. I will mix up the cleaning solution this weekend and give it a try.

FWIW, the July 2013 CR issue is out, and has an article on refrigerators. For bottom freezers, KA and Whirlpool are the two brands that are the highest rated for reliability--tied for first. LG, Whirlpool, Kenmore, and Samsung sweep the top 10 overall ratings for models listed for bottom freezer french door. The article doesn't rate any individual KA models.


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RE: Kitchenaid "stainless steel" finish ... what is it?

Removed. No idea why this double posted a day later.

This post was edited by nosoccermom on Wed, Jun 12, 13 at 13:14


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