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How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances and Make Them Sparkle

If you have invested your time and money into a beautiful space at home, you probably treasure your home appliances. Making sure they last a long time not only involves keeping them functional, but also keeping them clean.

The kitchen is one of the rooms in your house that is most prone to dirt and debris, so keeping a clean kitchen is important. And for those kitchen appliances, especially stainless steel, it can be hard to keep everything spick and span.

Your stainless steel refrigerator or oven door can end up being covered in streaks, grease spots, or smudged fingerprints. Suddenly, that appliance that was once shining and clean is covered in stains and no longer glistens.

However, with the right upkeep, it is possible to clean stainless steel appliances. In this article, we will cover how to clean stainless steel appliances in your kitchen and throughout your home. There is often more to it than just using the right cleaning product. A stainless steel surface needs the right method applied to make sure that you are left with a streak-free shine.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Stainless Steel

When cleaning a stainless steel appliance, the surface needs to be treated with something smooth that matches the surface. This is why you should avoid using harsh abrasives like steel wool, bleach, or scouring sponges and powders. These materials can damage the surface and leave scratches and marks.

Even if the stainless steel surface has tough spots on it that are difficult to scrub off, it is better to leave your cleaner to soak on the surface than try to scrub it off with something like steel wool. Using an abrasive cleaner will just damage the finish and leave marks and scratches on the stainless steel grain.

If you are unsure of how to clean stainless steel, it is best to check the manufacturer’s instructions to see what the best course of action is. The manufacturer’s manual may be available online as well, so check online resources if there were no instructions in your appliance manual.

Oftentimes, they will recommend against using certain cleaners that can wear away at the appliance surface. For example, it is usually recommended not to use glass cleaner on stainless steel as it can damage the surface.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is an easy-to-use cleaner that will get rid of hard water stains. Mix baking soda with water until it forms a paste-like consistency. Then, using a cloth or soft side of a sponge, rub the paste onto the stainless steel in a circular motion. Gently work in the paste on any stains and wipe away with a wet cloth and dry.

Use Dish Detergent

This is an easy cleaning solution that does not take too long and will still effectively clean your stainless steel kitchen appliances. In a bowl, mix warm water with mild dish soap. Dip a microfiber cloth, or any soft cloth, in the mixture and wipe down the surface.

Wipe down the surface a few times until the surface is completely coated, and then wet your cloth again and rinse off the surface. Dry with a paper towel or other dry cloth to prevent any streaks or water spots.

Use Oils for a Smooth Finish

You may have heard of this unconventional cleaner before, but olive oil will do wonders as a polish on a stainless steel surface. Oil on stainless steel surfaces may not necessarily get rid of stains, but it is a great finish when you are done cleaning. Often, after rubbing away a stubborn stain, the surface can look and feel quite dull. This is where oil comes in, leaving the surface smooth and glossy like it is brand new.

To use oil as a finish, use olive oil (or lemon oil for a fresh citrus scent) when you are done cleaning. A little can go a long way, so dab it onto a cloth and rub it in small circular motions over the surface for a beautiful stainless steel polish.

Use a Stainless Steel Cleaning Product

It may not often be the most environmentally friendly option, but consider purchasing a stainless steel cleaner to clean your appliance. There are plenty of stainless steel cleaning creams that will work wonders on stubborn stains.

If using homemade cleaners just is not working on any stains or spots, sometimes it is best to use cleaning products made specifically for stainless steel.

If you want to avoid using harsh chemicals, here are some of our recommendations for a steel cleaner.

The Best Stainless Steel Cleaners

(links to each of the products below are to Amazon).

This polish by Better Life is one of the best-selling stainless steel polishes on Amazon. It leaves a fresh lavender and chamomile scent. It is a great eco-friendly option that is plant-derived and will still effectively clean steel without damaging it.

Method is well known for its environmentally friendly, plant-based cleaning products, and this is a great all-in-one cleaner for stainless steel. Their cleaner and polish will get rid of any stubborn stains that are hard to work off while also polishing the surface. It also has a refreshing apple scent.

This stainless steel cleaner and polish by Hey Mom is also a best-seller on Amazon that is made from natural ingredients. With a vanilla lavender scent, it removed smudges, grime build-up, and fingerprints, leaving a streak-free shine.

Final Thoughts

Before you start cleaning, remember that it is best to double-check and see if your appliance comes with a manual listing any maintenance tips. To take care of the appliances in your kitchen, perform routine maintenance and cleaning when you can, either weekly or monthly.

Often, using a homemade cleaner can be the best route, but for tough stains, use products that are recommended for the surface you are working with. Happy cleaning!

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