The Appliance Expert's Advice on Cleaning Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is perhaps best known for its ability to resist rust and corrosion, making it a popular choice in kitchens. However, if you own stainless steel appliances, then you probably know that they are hardly ever free of stains. The surfaces of dishwashers, refrigerators, and ovens tend to attract fingerprints and water stains. This can be frustrating, but the good news is that cleaning stainless steel appliances is easy.

As appliance experts, we wanted to share nine simple ways you can clean your stainless steel appliances for a flawless finish.

1. Dish Soap and Baby Oil

Put about ½ teaspoon of dish soap on a rag and moisten it with a modest amount of water (just enough to dampen). Then, wipe along the grain of your appliance. For extra stubborn stains, you might have to go over the area a few times. When you finish cleaning, be sure to dry the appliance with a clean towel.

To polish the appliance, dab a few tiny drops of baby oil onto a clean, dry rag. Again, rub along the grain of your steel, in both directions, and you’ll see a nice shine emerge.

2. White Vinegar and Olive Oil

Pour a bottle of distilled white vinegar into a clean spray bottle. Spray the surface you want to clean and let it sit for 30 to 60 seconds. Then, wipe away the vinegar in the direction of the grain with a microfiber cloth. Repeat as necessary. When the appliance is completely clean, apply a few drops of olive oil to a clean, dry cloth and polish in the direction of the grain.  

3. Club Soda

Pour a bottle of club soda into a clean spray bottle. Spray the club soda directly onto your appliances. Wipe clean in the direction of the grain with a soft, microfiber cloth. This will clean the fingerprints, stains, and leave behind a nice shine in one step.

4. WD-40

This is an odd, but super simple method for cleaning stainless steel. Get a bottle of WD-40 and spray a light coat directly onto your appliance, then wipe away for instant clean and shine. As a bonus, WD-40 also provides a layer of protection to help prevent pesky fingerprints from appearing later on.

5. Lemon Oil Furniture Polish

This is another simple, but effective way to clean stainless steel. Unlike other methods described, first pour or spray the polish directly onto a clean cloth, and then rub it into the appliance in the direction of the grain. Then, wipe clean with a different microfiber towel.

6. Glass Cleaner

Fingerprints can be easily removed with any common glass cleaner, such as Windex. Spray the cleaner on a microfiber cloth and apply evenly in a circular motion to remove the fingerprints. This won’t bring out a shine, but it’s a good way to keep stainless steel clean between polishings.

7. Flour

This method is ideal for stainless steel sinks. First, make sure your sink is clean from any surface dirt and food particles. Then, coat the sink in plain white flour. Finally, use a soft cloth to buff the sink in a circular motion. It will start to shine like new almost immediately.

8. Commercial Stainless Steel Cleaners

If your appliance has extensive stains, scratches, scratching, or needs a thorough polishing, then you may want to consider a commercial stainless steel cleaner. This is the most expensive option, but these products are effective at producing dramatic and long-lasting results. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before using any commercial product.

9. Water and a Cloth

You’d be surprised how much routine cleaning you can accomplish with just warm water and a lint-free cloth. By following the direction of the grain, the majority of the smudges will vanish without the need for special supplies or chemicals. Just be sure to dry the appliance with a towel or cloth to prevent water stains.

What’s the Best Method for Cleaning Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel appliances are durable and attractive, but they do require regular cleaning. The best method for cleaning stainless steel is the one that works best for you. Choose one of the techniques above and with a little bit of elbow grease your stainless steel appliances will look fantastic again.

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.