How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances and Keep Them Shining

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances and Keep Them Shining

Stainless steel appliances are a popular choice for modern kitchens due to their sleek appearance and durability. However, they can easily accumulate smudges, fingerprints, and water spots, making them look dull and unappealing.

This guide will provide you with detailed steps and tips on how to clean stainless steel appliances effectively, maintain their shine, and keep them looking new for years to come.

Why Choose Stainless Steel Appliances?

Stainless steel appliances are known for their durability, resistance to corrosion, and ability to withstand high temperatures. They also have a modern and sleek appearance that complements various kitchen styles. However, they require regular cleaning to maintain their shine and prevent the buildup of dirt, grime, and other contaminants.

Creating a DIY Cleaning Solution

A simple and effective way to clean stainless steel appliances is by creating a DIY cleaning solution. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and shake well to combine. The acidity of the vinegar helps break down grease, grime, and other contaminants, making it an ideal cleaning agent for stainless steel.

Cleaning the Appliance

  1. Spray the Solution: Spray the DIY cleaning solution on the stainless steel appliance, covering the entire surface evenly.
  2. Wipe Along the Grain: Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the appliance along the grain, which is the brushed pattern on the stainless steel surface. Wiping along the grain ensures that the cloth glides smoothly over the surface, preventing scratches and streaks.
  3. Dry the Surface: After cleaning, use a dry microfiber cloth to dry the surface thoroughly. This step is crucial as it prevents water spots from forming on the stainless steel surface.

Sealing with Olive Oil (Optional)

To add extra shine and protection to your stainless steel appliances, consider sealing them with olive oil. Apply a small amount of olive oil on a microfiber cloth and wipe it gently along the grain or in a circular motion. The oil creates a barrier that repels water and prevents smudges and fingerprints from sticking to the surface.

Using Commercial Cleaners

Commercial stainless steel cleaners, such as Milwaukee Clean, can be a quick and convenient solution for cleaning and polishing stainless steel appliances. These products are specifically designed for stainless steel and contain ingredients that help remove smudges, fingerprints, and water spots.

Avoiding Abrasive Cleaners

Never use cleaners or scrubbers designed for stainless steel sinks or cookware on appliances, as they can be too abrasive and scratch the finish. Instead, stick to cleaning products specifically labeled for stainless steel or use the DIY cleaning solution mentioned earlier.

Regular Maintenance

Clean your stainless steel appliances whenever they get smudgy, aiming for at least once a week. Regular cleaning not only maintains the shine but also prevents the buildup of dirt and grime, making the cleaning process easier and faster.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Stainless Steel Appliances

  1. Avoid Using Scouring Pads: Scouring pads can scratch the surface of stainless steel appliances, so avoid using them. Instead, use a soft microfiber cloth or sponge.
  2. Use Warm Water: When cleaning stainless steel appliances, use warm water instead of hot water, as hot water can leave water spots.
  3. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Harsh chemicals, such as bleach or ammonia, can damage the finish of stainless steel appliances. Stick to mild cleaning agents like dish soap, vinegar, or commercial stainless steel cleaners.
  4. Clean Spills Immediately: Clean spills immediately to prevent stains and damage to the stainless steel surface.
  5. Protect the Surface: Use coasters, trivets, and cutting boards to protect the surface of your stainless steel appliances from scratches, stains, and heat damage.

Table: Comparison of Cleaning Methods

Cleaning MethodProsCons
DIY Cleaning SolutionCost-effective, eco-friendly, easy to makeMay not be as effective for heavy-duty cleaning
Commercial CleanersQuick and convenient, specifically designed for stainless steelMay contain harsh chemicals, more expensive
Sealing with Olive OilAdds extra shine and protectionMay attract dust and dirt, requires regular maintenance


Cleaning and maintaining stainless steel appliances may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and methods, it can be a simple and rewarding process. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can keep your stainless steel appliances looking new and shiny for years to come. Regular cleaning, using the right cleaning products, and protecting the surface from damage are key to maintaining the beauty and functionality of your stainless steel appliances.


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