How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

Woman Cleaning Refrigerator
Stainless steel is a popular appliance finish. Not only does it look good, it resists stains and wears well. The downside: It can become a showcase for fingerprints. Here are a few simple tricks for how to clean stainless steel appliances.

Clean and Buff
The maintenance of stainless steel comes down to two things: cleaning the surface and buff the finish. As simple as that sounds, there are several don’ts. Don’t let grime or dirt sit on the surface for very long — clean it off as soon as possible. Don’t use chlorine bleach or abrasive sponges to clean your appliance. And don’t rub the finish in a circular motion or against the grain.

Use a Microfiber Cloth
You can buy one at most home improvement stores.

Use Gentle Cleaning Products
Many people swear by distilled white vinegar. You can also use a drop of dish soap or make your own cleaner by combining equal parts water and vinegar, four drops of lemon essential oil, and one drop of dish soap in a clean spray bottle. To buff your appliance, you can use a small amount of olive oil or vegetable oil, furniture polish or car wax.

For Tougher Cases
Remove rust stains with a mixture of baking soda and the juice of half a lemon. For small scratches, use a non-abrasive cleanser, such as 409, to gently buff the finish. Larger scratches or gouges can be treated with wet sandpaper or a scratch removal kit, but you should always check with the manufacturer before trying either approach.

Without regular care, stainless steel appliances can become an unsightly mess. But regular maintenance with the right tools can keep it a sparkling, striking focal point in your kitchen.