How to Remove Scratches from Stainless Steel

Stainless steel kitchen appliances are durable, attractive, and never go out of style, which is why they are so incredibly popular. Although stainless steel appliances have a reputation for being scratch-resistant, that doesn’t mean scratches will never appear. As sturdy as it is, stainless steel can acquire unsightly scratches over time.

Fortunately, it is possible to successfully remove scratches from stainless steel and get your appliances looking like new. Follow the steps below to get scratch-free surfaces.

For Light Scratches

  1. Before you begin to actually tend to the scratch, clean the appliance, or at least clean the area around the damage. There are a few different ways to clean stainless steel, but one of the easiest and most effective methods is to first spray your appliance liberally with white vinegar. Then, wipe the vinegar off with a microfiber cloth. Finally, dip your cloth in a little bit of olive oil or mineral oil and wipe in the direction of the grain to reveal a nice shine.
  2. Now that you have a clean working surface, you can use a powdered scratch removal compound to address the scratch. Add a few drops of water to the compound to create a paste that’s roughly the consistency of toothpaste. You can also choose to skip this step if you purchase a pre-mixed compound.
  3. Apply a small amount of the scratch remover compound to a microfiber cloth and then very gently rub it back and forth over the scratch, working in the direction of the grain. It’s essential to rub only in the direction of the grain. If you rub against the grain, you may cause further damage.
  4. Continue to apply compound as in step 3 until the scratch is gone.
  5. Once you are satisfied with the results, gently wipe the surface with a fresh, barely damp microfiber cloth to remove any compound residue. Dry with a separate, clean microfiber cloth.

For Deeper Scratches

For larger imperfections that do not respond to the method above, use a stainless steel scratch removal kit, which contains a polishing compound and a set of abrasive pads, and follow these steps:

  1. Starting with the appropriate grit pad recommended in the instructions, rub the scratch with the grain in one direction only. Rubbing back and forth could cause unattractive circular marks. Use light, but firm pressure, being careful not to rub too hard.
  2. Move to a smoother grit pad, and continue the buffing process, adding water, or any compounds included in the kit, as called for in the instructions.
  3. Wipe the surface down with a microfiber cloth to finish the process, buffing the steel to a clean shine.

The steps above are a good guideline, but manufacturers’ instructions may vary. When in doubt, refer to the instructions included with the scratch removal kit.

Keeping Stainless Steel Scratch Free

Once you’ve removed the scratches from your stainless steel appliances, follow these tips to prevent more scratches from forming.

  1. Always wipe your appliances with the grain, never against the grain. Even if you’re just wiping it down with a damp towel, always go with the grain for best results.
  2. Never use steel wool or abrasive pads for regular cleaning and maintenance. Always use a soft microfiber cloth.
  3. Protect your stainless steel sink with a rubber dish mat when washing heavy pots by hand. Just be sure to remove the mat when finished so that water won’t remain trapped underneath.
  4. Avoid using magnets directly on stainless steel refrigerators, which can cause tiny scratches over time.
  5. Be mindful of where you use knives in the kitchen. Don’t cut directly on a stainless steel countertop or too close to stainless steel appliances.
  6. Never rest any pot, glass, or utensil directly on top of a stainless steel appliance.

If you’ve got scratches in your stainless steel appliances, then don’t think all hope is lost. With the steps above, you can restore the beauty of each appliance in your kitchen. But if you think it’s time for an appliance upgrade, then come to Reno’s Appliance. We have every home appliance you will possibly need in an array of attractive finishes, including stainless steel. Stop by our showroom in Paterson, NJ to view our selection and speak to our friendly sales experts.