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Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances


Stainless steel appliances are very popular in homes today where years ago, they were only found in commercial and industrial kitchens. Stainless steel appliances are sleek and beautiful – and have you noticed – they are hardly ever stain-less.

If you have stainless steel appliances, you already know the pros and cons and you may equally know the frustration with keeping them clean and fingerprint free.

From the time we got our new stainless steel appliances, I can’t remember when I wasn’t cleaning them or taking a towel to polish them up after using them. Ho Hum!

By following our time saving tips, your stainless steel appliances can be easy to clean and have a flawless, factory finish look once again.

It Doesn’t Have to Be a Losing Battle

I love my pretty appliances and I’m not the kind of person to throw in the towel. No way! Don’t you give up, either; it doesn’t have to be a losing battle, especially when you paid the high price.

Clean Your Stainless Appliances Regularly

Think about how many times a day you and your family use the refrigerator. How often is the microwave opened and closed? Then there’s the toaster and stove.

I’ve gotten into the habit of wiping down the appliances at the end of the day. With the five of us, we’re using our appliances quite a bit.

Important: remember to clean stainless steel in the direction of the grain. And never use anything abrasive as it can scratch the surface.

General Cleaning

Wet a lint free cloth (we use cloth baby diapers) with warm water and wring it out so it’s just damp, then wipe down the appliances. Dry and polish with a dry lint-free cloth.

You can also use plain white vinegar to wipe down your appliances. Just apply some to your clean lint free cloth, clean and dry.

For larger appliances like the fridge and stove, I clean in sections so I don’t have to worry about water drying and leaving spots before coming back to dry and polish.

Cleaning Grimy Fingerprints

This has got to be one of the most complained about things for any of us that own stainless steel appliances. The dreaded fingerprint marks.

Again, you can use plain white vinegar as we mention above. But what else can you use in place of vinegar?

Liquid Detergent

I use a few drops of Dawn dishwashing detergent mixed in a small mixing bowl with warm water. Dip your cleaning cloth, wring it out, and clean the grime.

Rinse with clean water and wipe dry.

Natural Glass & Surface Cleaner

Here’s another product you can use to clean fingerprints from your stainless steel appliances. There are many on the market, the one I purchase happens to be Seventh Generation. It’s a multi-surface cleaner.

I apply the cleaner I’m using to the cleaning cloth first, then clean the appliance. If the fingerprint is particularly grimy or greasy, I will spray a little directly on the offensive print and wipe it clean.

Be sure to dry immediately so you’re not left with any spots.

Cleaning Burnt or Caked on Food

Here's a quick tip for getting caked on, burnt on food off the stovetop:

Dab a little liquid dishwasher detergent (again, I use Dawn) on the spot and let it sit for a few minutes to soften the burnt on or caked on foodstuff.

Use a nylon scouring pad to gently rub and get the spot off. Repeat with the dishwashing detergent if necessary.

When the food has come off, rinse the area with water and dry.

Polishing Stainless Steel

When you’ve finished cleaning your stainless steel and you want an extra pop of shine, here’s the trick:

Mineral Oil

Apply mineral oil to a clean, dry, lint-free cleaning cloth and buff it in to the stainless steel for a great look.

Don’t overdo the oil though; you only need a thin layer to make it shine.

Stainless Steel Wipes

Another option is Cerama Bryte stainless steel cleaning & polishing wipes. They are ready to use and are easy for touch-ups and spot cleaning.


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