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The Ultimate How to Clean and Care for Stainless Steel Guide

Stainless Steel appliances are the most popular appliance finish put into homes today. We all love that sleek look of brand new appliances, all shiny and ready to create culinary masterpieces. However, keeping stainless steel clean and fingerprint-free can feel like a challenge. Here is how to keep your stainless steel looking it’s best. 

Tools for Stainless Steel Cleaning

Before cleaning anything, always remember to clean stainless steel in the same direction as the polish lines. Going against these polish lines or using a circular motion can cause stainless steel’s polish to lose its shine and sparkle. Even the softest cloths can cause damage over time if rubbed over stainless steel against its grain. 

The best cleaning tools for stainless steel are microfiber cloth or paper towels. These are soft and will not scratch the surface. Harsh types of cleaning cloths or sponges can leave tiny abrasions on the surface of the stainless steel. Eventually, these abrasions can cause stainless steel to look dull. Avoid this worry entirely by sticking to microfiber cloths or paper towels. 

stainless steel cleanerRegular Cleaning Tips

As with most things, cleaning spills and messes as they happen is the best way to care for and protect your belongings from getting damaged or stained. This is no different with stainless steel. Wipe off the jelly on the handle when you see it, polish away the fingerprints as you go. This regular upkeep of your appliances will prevent further damage to the surface and ensure deep cleans are less often necessary.

 

For regular cleaning, use an equal parts solution of vinegar and warm water. Spray this onto the appliances and wipe with a cloth or paper towel. Then, use a small amount of olive oil on your rag or towel and wipe in the same direction as the polish lines. This will not only remove any watermarks, fingerprints, or food spots, but it will also polish the stainless steel and leave it looking shiny and new. 

Another similar option is dish soap and baby oil. Using the same technique, switch the vinegar with dish soap and only use a few drop in a bucket of water. Then switch the olive oil with baby oil. Your appliances will thank you!

Deep Cleaning Tips

If you run into baked-on or dried food stains, don’t reach for those abrasive cleaners or sponges. Use a mixture of baking soda and warm water to create a paste and scrub with a soft cloth over the spot. Baking soda is harsh enough to scrub the area clean without being too harsh to damage stainless steel’s lovely finish. However, if this is done repeatedly, it could leave those tiny abrasions mentioned above and eventually could result in the stainless steel appearing dull. 

What to Avoid

Avoid using steel wool or steel brushes on stainless steel appliances. These tools are too abrasive and will leave behind scratches. Additionally, harsh cleaners with chlorine or oven cleaners are also a no-no. These can harm the finish of stainless steel in irreversible ways. 

Store-Bought Products

There are also many store-bought product options out there specifically for stainless steel. If you’re not interested in creating your own cleaner and you just want a simple wipe you can use whenever needed, you can find Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes at almost any grocery or hardware store. Yep, it’s even on Amazon!

Though stainless steel appliances can sometimes seem like a headache when trying to keep them clean. To keep it clear of fingerprints and pasta sauce spills, use these tips and tricks to cut down on dirt and germs without spending a lot of time cleaning.

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