The sleek, modern look and high-end feel that stainless steel appliances bring to the kitchen makes them so popular. The downside is that they tend to show spills and fingerprints more easily than some of their glossier counterparts, so maintaining a cleaning and polishing routine is must. When your little ones are running around the house, this is especially important. The surfaces of dishwashers, refrigerators, and ovens are often covered with fingerprints and water stains.
Stainless steel cookware are at risk of rusting if they are covered in dust, dirt, and grime. In spite of their hefty price tags, harsh chemicals promise to restore your furniture to its original showroom beauty, but they rarely succeed. Cleaning stainless steel appliances is very easy, and you do not need to spend a lot of money on expensive products to do it.
Starting with the basics and working your way up is the best strategy. For a flawlessly clean stainless steel appliance, here are nine tips.
1. Dish Soap and Baby Oil
You will need dish soap, baby oil, warm water, and three microfiber cloths.
One teaspoon of dish liquid should be diluted in one quart of warm water. Clean with the grain using a damp microfiber cloth. Mix 1 teaspoon dish liquid with 1 quart of water. Wipe away the residue with a clean, warm microfiber towel dampened with clean water. Once the finish has dried, apply the baby oil, working with the grain of the wood.
Cleaning and maintaining your stainless steel appliances will help you prevent permanent damage and corrosion. Your appliances will remain shiny and new with just a little effort.
2. White Vinegar & Olive Oil
Spray white vinegar directly on your surface or apply it directly to a microfiber cloth. Wait a moment, and then wipe with the grain. You may need to apply vinegar several times to remove the grime. Polish the freshly cleaned surface with an olive oil-infused towel. Wipe away any remaining olive oil residue with a clean cloth. With this method, all the grime is removed and it receives a fresh, shiny polish from the vinegar and olive oil.
3. Club Soda
Wipe appliances in the direction of the grain after spraying club soda on them. This method will not only remove fingerprints and food residue but will also shine the surface. With a microfiber cloth, clean the surface.
WD-40 is the strangest way to clean stainless steel appliances. If you look around your garage or wherever you keep your tools, you will likely find a bottle. Use WD-40 directly on or into a rag to remove the residue.
In an instant, the surface of your appliance will be clean and shiny. Additionally, WD-40 helps prevent pesky fingerprints from appearing in the future.
5. Lemon Oil Furniture Polish
Use a clean towel to rub a bit of it on your appliance. After you have applied evenly, wipe clean with a different microcloth towel. If you apply the furniture polish directly to stainless steel, it may not be applied evenly, making cleanup even more challenging.
6. Glass Cleaner for Fingerprints
Stainless steel is notorious for leaving fingerprints. This is particularly true for all parents out there. These stains can be easily removed with any common glass cleaner, like Windex.
To remove fingerprints, spray the cleaner onto a microfiber cloth and apply evenly in a circular motion. As needed, repeat the process. After rinsing and drying thoroughly, make sure you do not leave any water behind.
If you spray directly onto your appliance, you may end up with more drip marks and splatter residue, leaving you with more work than you originally expected.
7. Bon Ami, Flour Sack & Wax Paper
Take a small section of a flour sack and dampen it. Sprinkle Bon Ami on the moistened area. Cover your stainless steel surface in circular motions by rubbing it on. Wet an additional section of the flour sack and scrub the stainless steel surface by rubbing it in the grain’s direction.
Take a clean part of the flour sack and dry the surface. Finally, rub the waxy side of a piece of wax paper over the whole appliance.
You can use this method when you work quickly, and you can handle small portions at a time. Do not forget to clean the inside of the doors since they get covered with dirt and fingerprint oils as well.
8. Commercial Stainless Steel Cleaners
If your appliance has stains, scratches, or needs a thorough cleaning, you can also use a commercial cleaner designed for stainless steel, but this will likely be the most expensive option.
In spite of their higher price tags, many of these cleaners and polishers can minimize scratching and often remove scratches. Surfaces can also be polished to a beautiful, long-lasting shine. Be sure to read the directions on the cleaner and test it on an inconspicuous area before using it on the entire appliance. Dry thoroughly after rinsing with water.
9. Water and a Cloth
Cleaning stainless steel with this method is the least risky. The majority of situations can be cleaned with plain water. To prevent water spots, dry with a towel or cloth. Water can leave deposits on stainless steel due to minerals in it.
By following the polish lines, you can achieve impressive results. When polishing stainless steel, microfiber cleaning cloths are an excellent choice because they absorb all of the water without scratching the surface.
The Do’s of Cleaning Stainless Steel
Check the manufacturer’s instructions before starting your search for the ultimate cleaning formula. Cleaning stainless steel appliances can be learned from them. They will suggest the best stainless steel cleaners and let you know what cleaners might damage the finish.
In this case, you can rely on the manufacturer; they know how to clean a stainless steel refrigerator or oven, and following their instructions will keep your appliances looking good.
Here are a couple of tried-and-true cleaning methods that are guaranteed to work on most finishes, provided they’re not contradictory to your appliance’s cleaning instructions.
- For general cleaning, a soft cloth dampened with warm water will often suffice.
- Fingerprints can be removed with glass cleaner.
- Avoid leaving streaks by wiping in the direction of the grain.
- After cleaning, pat dry with a towel to prevent water stains.
- To remove stains from stainless steel, use a commercial cleaner, but always read the directions and do a spot test first.
The Don’ts of Cleaning Stainless Steel
- If you use steel wool or brushes on your stainless steel, they will scratch the surface and make it more susceptible to rusting and staining.
- Surfaces will be scratched and dulled by abrasive cleaners.
- Bleach and cleaners containing chlorine will damage stainless steel.
- Stainless steel will become dull and stay stained if you allow dirty waters and cleaning solution residues to dry there.
- Tap water can be harsh and leave spots or stains. Instead, use distilled or filtered water.
Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel
Cleaning is necessary for stainless steel appliances because of their durability and ease of maintenance. Proper maintenance and care are critical for maintaining stainless steel’s “stainless” quality. Using a specially designed cleaning product would be the only guaranteed method. These are usually the most costly.
From small appliances to cookware and sinks, nearly every kitchen has stainless steel to look after. Your stainless steel appliances will remain gorgeous for a long time using one of the techniques detailed above and a little elbow grease.