Cleaning stainless steel surfaces

Fall for Your Stainless Steel Appliances Again with Easy Cleaning Tips

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Remember when you first got stainless steel appliances and felt so proud of how modern they looked? Then the smudges started and the fingerprints spread. You cleaned them every day at first but that soon lost its charm, didn’t it?

It’s so much easier to clean your stainless steel and even get rid of grease once you know the right steps and stuff to use. Spoiler alert: you won’t find it in a 30-second TikTok because it’s a boring approach that cleans and protects stainless steel appliances safely.

Step 1: Wash.

To clean and degrease stainless steel in one go, use a microfiber cloth and a spray bottle filled with equal parts warm water and white vinegar plus one to two drops of liquid dish soap. Spray it on and rub in circles to lift away grime. Watch when you’re making the spray, though: too much soap leaves smears.

I keep a bottle of this pre-made under my sink and use it as part of my weekly kitchen cleaning. It’s a simple and easy cleaner for a variety of surfaces, but don’t use it on granite, marble, or other natural stone. They don’t play nicely with vinegar.

Step 2: Treat stubborn spots.

Dip the corner of a wet cloth into baking soda and gently rub stubborn grime first in circles then working with the grain. Wipe away the residue with the cleaning spray—the fizz removes more grime.

Step 3: Rinse and dry.

Use a clean cloth and plain water to wipe away the cleaning residue. Work in circles first, then flip your cloth over and follow the stainless steel’s grain. Finish by buffing it dry. Like any metal, stainless steel shouldn’t be left to dry on its own.

Step 4: Shine and protect.

To protect your stainless steel from fingerprints and water spots, apply a thin layer of oil using a soft cloth. This is a great use for olive oil, but mineral and vegetable oil work, too. You only need a tiny amount—too much will leave smears. Oil also acts as a moisture barrier, so this step also helps protect it from rust.

Pro Tip

For quick and easy touchups, rub a clean whiteboard eraser along the grain to whisk away fingerprints and smudges on your stainless steel appliances and restore the shine.

What Not to Use

Never clean stainless steel appliances with glass or oven cleaners, bleach, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, bathroom cleaners, scouring powders, steel wool, or melamine sponges like Magic Erasers.

Contrary to what its name suggests, stainless steel is prone to scratching because it’s a softer metal. That’s why appliances made from it are usually covered with a protective thin coating. If you use the wrong cleaning products, this coating will wear away.

And if you did fall for those TikTok hacks, using the step above will minimize the appearance of scratches and add a protective layer to safely keep your stainless steel appliances clean and shiny.

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  1. Darlene Arruda says:

    Love your cleaning tips. Keep them coming!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying them!

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