Non-reactive stainless steel is used when storing chemicals that are incompatible with carbon steel or that corrode carbon steel. These include acids such as sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid, and bases such as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide. In addition, some chemists prefer using stainless steel because it does not react with other materials in the lab. This means that if you accidentally spill an acidic solution on your hands, you won't be burned.
Stainless steel is also used for chemical processing equipment, food packaging, and medical devices. It resists corrosion from most chemicals, but can rust if exposed to certain types of acids.