Stainless steel is well-known for its durability, rust and corrosion resistance, and of course timeless compatibility with most decors. Even today, stainless steel is one of the most in-demand finishes among homeowners. It looks amazing, however, the name ‘stainless’ doesn’t really represent reality. Fingerprints, grime, grease, or even water drops can be seen even from afar. In order to keep your appliances clean and shiny, you need constant maintenance and care. The good thing is, that stainless steel appliances are the easiest to clean. Today, we want to share our best ways how to clean your stainless steel appliances, maintain them, and what to avoid.
Best Ways to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances
Warm Water and Dish Soap
It’s one of the easiest and hassle-free ways to clean your stainless steel appliances. Grab a cloth, use a couple of drops of your dish soap, and rub it into the surface. Then rinse with hot water and dry thoroughly with a fresh cloth.
Most soft stains, streaks, and fingerprints will wipe with just hot water. Grease and grime will need a bit of detergent.
For a bit heavier and older stains, you could make a water and white vinegar solution (50/50). For easier application, mix it into an empty spray bottle. Now spray the stains, give vinegar 10-20 seconds to react with the stain, and wipe it clean with a wet and then dry cloth.
If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, baking soda is another green cleaning product that also saves money on cleaning supplies. Baking soda is probably even better than white vinegar since it’s more efficient in dissolving dirt and grease. The only small disadvantage is that it’s a bit messier and takes more time. You need to make the baking soda mix by adding a bit of water to your soda and make a paste-like consistency. Scrub the paste on dirty spots and leave for 10-20min so the soda does its magic. Clean thoroughly with hot water and dry clean.
For heavy stains, very old grime, or nasty burnt grease commercial cleaners might be the best option. There’s a reason why professional cleaning services use strong commercial cleaners – they do the job quickly and efficiently. Commercial stainless steel cleaners are specifically manufactured to clean and polish stainless steel surfaces. If you don’t mind spending a little extra to save time and energy, go for the commercial cleaner.
Glass cleaner is exceptionally great at cleaning fingerprints and streaks. It can also clean soft stains and fresh grime. It’s an easy option for everyday maintenance since every household has a glass cleaner on hand.
WD-40 is extremely good if you want to clean stubborn grime or grease stains. You’ll probably find a can in your garage or toolbox. Spray some WD-40 on a cloth or directly on the surface and wipe it down. If it’s a very hard stain leave it for 5-10 minutes and then wipe it down. Just remember that WD-40 is petroleum-based so follow safe cleaning practices and use hot water to thoroughly rinse any surfaces. You don’t want any WD-40 getting in your food.
How to Get Streaks Off of Stainless Steel Appliances
No matter if you are using a natural or commercial cleaner make sure to always wipe with the grain. If you look closely you’ll find that every appliance has a different steel grain. It might be horizontal or vertical. Whenever you wipe, especially when drying and polishing your surface, always follow the grain. Most of the time people end up with a bunch of streaks only because they wipe in circles or across the grain.
How to Get Stainless Steel Appliances to Shine
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to make your clean stainless steel appliances shine is to polish them with club soda, mineral oil, or baby oil. Grab a clean cloth or paper towel, drizzle some oil or soda and polish your surface with the grain. If you see any residue, just grab a clean paper towel and wipe it down.
If you don’t mind spending a couple of extra bucks buy a cleaner that also polishes. As always before using make sure to check if it’s safe to use on food surfaces if you plan to use it on kitchen equipment.
What to Avoid When Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances
Steel wool or steel brushes – never ever use steel wool or brushes to clean your stainless steel surface. They are abrasive and will scratch the surface, which might look like permanent streaks on your appliances. Steel wool or brushes might also leave small particles behind which in time will rust, stain, or even start corrosion.
Chloride and bleach – stainless steel can be damaged by strong chlorides. It is best to avoid strong chemical cleaners if you are not sure about your stainless steel grade or if your cleaner is intended to clean stainless steel.
Leaving the surface wet – regardless if it’s dirty water, grease, or the cleaner always wipe your appliances dry. Even your regular tap water left on stainless steel surface will leave stains and can even pit it because of the natural minerals.