How to Properly Clean & Care For Stainless Steel

How to Clean Stainless Steel

There is a good chance that the appliances in your kitchen are stainless steel. In the appliance and hardware world, stainless steel is the most popular finish these days by a landslide. Gone are the days where white and bisque colors ruled the kitchen. Stainless steel can give a kitchen a fresh, clean and commercial style feel that adds overall value to your home. One of the few downfalls to stainless steel is that it can be a pain to keep clean, as stains and fingerprints can be highly visible. Today we discuss how to clean stainless steel, and also share some tips on products and methods to avoid. Whether you’re caring for appliances or stainless kitchen hardware, here are a few tips on cleaning stainless steel.

Stainless Steel Cleaning Mistakes

Before we dive in on how to clean your stainless steel appliances and hardware, let’s start with some “no-no’s”. Stainless steel can scratch and damage easily, so there are a few products and methods to avoid.

  • Don’t use steel brushes, steel wool or any highly abrasive cleaning tools, as they can scratch your appliance or hardware surface
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaners
  • Avoid any cleaning product that contains chloride
  • Avoid using oven cleaners
  • Avoid using dirty or excessively hard water, as it can leave stains and spots
  • Only clean stainless steel when it is cool to the touch. Never attempt cleaning a hot surface

Stainless Steel Cleaning Tips

Cleaning Stainless SteelNow that we have discussed the “do not’s”, let’s move on to some cleaning tips.

  • First and foremost, especially in regards to your appliances, read and follow the cleaning instructions in your owner’s manual. Some appliances have special finishes that can be ruined with certain cleaning products
  • Starting at the top of your appliances, always wipe in the direction of the stainless steel “grain” all the way down to the bottom of the appliance
  • For food or grease stains, use hot water, a mild cleaning detergent and a nylon cloth or sponge. Once you clean, make sure you rinse the surface and dry off with a terry towel or micro cloth to prevent water spots
  • For heavier stains or dirt removal, try using a tad of baking soda paste mixed with liquid dish soap, and apply with a soft bristle toothbrush. If the stains persist, use undiluted vinegar. Again, make sure the surface is cleaned and towel dried afterwards

Products to Use

The market is flooded with quality, non-abrasive stainless steel cleaners. Before purchasing, make sure you research reviews as to which cleaners work best. Another good rule of thumb is to periodically buff your appliances or hardware after you clean them, for the ultimate shine. A good habit to pick up is to wipe down your appliances and hardware with a soapy washcloth every time you do your dishes. Make sure to rinse your washcloth with clean water, and re-wipe to remove any soap residue. Afterwards, dry off using a terry towel or micro cloth. By practicing these cleaning tips and habits, your stainless steel hardware and appliances will shine like the day you purchased them.