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How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

In order to clean your stainless steel appliances efficiently, we've come up with step by step instructions that will get your appliances shiny and clean quickly.


Stainless steel appliances provide a sleek and sophisticated look to any room, but not when they're covered in fingerprints and smudges. Thankfully, you don't need to embark on the journey of a complicated cleaning process in order to keep your appliances looking their best. These steps for how to clean stainless steel will have your appliances looking sparkling clean in no time!
Woman Cleaning Stainless Steel Fridge with a Microfiber Cloth
  1. Refer to your owner's manual for a list of all restricted cleaning agents.
    Before anything else, double check your owner's manual to make sure to use an approved cleaner for the certain type of refrigerator you have. Certain brands and models of appliances have their own specific suggestions for cleaning. To preserve the quality of your stainless steel appliances—and possibly your warranty coverage—don't skip this step.
  2. Remove dirt and debris with a simple cleaning solution, diluted if necessary.
    Start with a clean, soft microfiber cloth that won't scratch up your stainless steel. Then, either spray your cleaning solution onto the cloth, or dip the cloth into the solution to wet it. The cloth should be damp enough to wet the surface, but not so wet that it drips everywhere. Gently wipe the surface of your dishwasher or fridge with the damp cloth to remove dirt and debris. Pay attention to areas that people touch most–like door handles.
  3. Tackle stains with a nonabrasive cleaning mixture.
    If your stove top is covered in stubborn grease or you tend to leave behind splatter when you cook, you might need something a bit more powerful to tackle the mess. If your gentle cleaner hasn't yet done the trick, make a paste of baking soda and water and wipe very thoroughly. It's always best to rely on elbow grease rather than abrasive scrubbing agents or steel wool. Stainless steel doesn't stand up against this type of harsh handling, and will likely scratch.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with a damp cloth and then wipe dry.
    Even if you use a gentle cleaner, lingering chemicals could potentially strip the finish off your appliances. To avoid permanent streaks or marks, rinse away what's left of your cleaner with a clean damp cloth and then fully wipe dry.
  5. Make it a habit to regularly wipe down your stainless steel appliances.
    Even if you don't regularly use a cleaner, a simple wipe with a damp towel will help keep the surface of your appliances smooth and streak-free, and possibly help you avoid needing to do a deep clean every day. Just keep in mind that water won't kill germs, so it's always a good idea to use a cleaner every once in a while.

What to Use to Clean

Baking Soda Cleaner
There are several different commercial cleaners on the market that are specifically made for stainless steel, but you can also use cleaning agents that you probably have in your home already, such as:
  • mild dish soap mixed with water
  • undiluted white vinegar
  • glass cleaner or household ammonia
If you're using a commercial cleaning formula, always do a test patch in an inconspicuous area first, just in case.

What Not to Use to Clean

Harsh chemicals could potentially harm the surface of your appliances, so be sure to select a gentle cleaner or diluted formula. Don't ever use bleach, or cleaners that contain bleach, as it can cause a damaging chemical reaction that will ruin your appliances. If you happen to accidentally use a damaging formula, rinse it off as quickly as possible to hopefully avoid a reaction or irreparable harm.

Investing in Stainless Steel Appliances

Bosch French Door Stainless Steel Refrigerator
While many home decor trends come and go, stainless steel has proven to be a timeless option that meshes well with many different styles of home design–and matches practically every wood tone imaginable. Whatever type of home appliance you're shopping for, stainless steel is a go-to option that can really elevate your space.

Keeping It Clean

Stainless steel doesn't require much more maintenance than appliances of any other material, but when cared for properly, it does offer quite the sophisticated touch to your home.

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    March 27, 2020 - Janice Z.
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