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How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

How to Put the Shine Back In Your Steel

If you're designing your own modern kitchen, chances are you're considering the always-popular stainless steel finish for many appliances. In fact, some models are only made in platinum hues these days. This sleek silver looks amazing in nearly any kitchen, whether your home is styled after art deco mansions or leaning toward modern minimalism. However, its polished surface hides a secret—the finish can attract fingerprints and smudges. And it's not always easy to get them off.
Those streaks won't work with your contemporary kitchen. Learn more about how to clean stainless steel appliances below.
Woman Cleaning Stainless Steel Fridge with a Microfiber Cloth

How To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances: The Prep

While commercial cleaning products designed specifically for this surface can be found in stores, you can also use natural and household agents you may already have on hand. Before you start, make sure you have at least one of the following:
  • Mild dish soap mixed with water
  • Undiluted white vinegar
  • Glass cleaner or household ammonia
  • Club soda (in a spray bottle)
You'll also need a microfiber cloth, no matter your cleaning solution.
Pro Tip: If you're using a commercial cleaning formula, make sure you do a test patch ahead of time, ideally in an inconspicuous area just in case. The microfiber is gentle enough to clean, buff, and wipe without scratching the surface.

How To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances: Step-By-Step

  1. Check your owner's manual for a list of all restricted cleaning agents. Before you move forward, start by double-checking your owner's manual to make sure you're using an approved cleaning agent for your type of refrigerator. Certain brands and models may have specific suggestions for cleaning. To preserve the quality of your appliances (and your warranty) do not skip this step. Many of these manuals can be found online if you can no longer find your own.
  2. Remove dirt and debris with a simple cleaning solution, diluted if necessary. Begin by spraying your clean microfiber cloth with your cleaning solution, or dip the towel in it. The cloth should be damp enough to wet the surface, but not so wet that it drips all across the kitchen. Gently wipe the surface of your dishwasher or other stainless steel appliance to remove surface-level dirt and debris.
  3. Tackle stains with a nonabrasive cleaning mixture. When it comes to ranges and stovetops, things can get a bit messy. Whether your range is caked in cooking grease or burnt-on batter, it might be a bit more than club soda can handle. Check out our article on cleaning black stovetops, or turn to the ultimate kitchen powerhouse: baking soda. Make a paste of baking soda and water and wipe your surface thoroughly. Even if you're still left asking how to clean stainless steel appliances, never turn to steel wool or abrasive scrubbing agents. These cleaners are often too tough and will scratch your shiny kitchen devices. Instead, apply a little bit of elbow grease and hot water.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with a damp cloth and wipe dry. No matter how gentle your cleanser is, lingering chemicals can strip the finish for a not-so-lustrous microwave. To keep your finish strong, make sure you rinse off cleansers quickly with a damp cloth before wiping completely dry.
  5. Make it a habit to regularly clean stainless steel appliances. Even if you don't use a cleaner on the regular, a simple wipe-down with a microfiber cloth will help keep surfaces free of streaks and fingerprints. And if you're hoping for a little less maintenance on your devices, opt for a kitchen appliance package with fingerprint-proof stainless steel.

What Not to Use to Clean

As we mentioned earlier, tough substances like steel wool and scouring pads will destroy the finish—and leave ugly marks. Additionally, harsh chemicals can harm your device’s surface. Never use bleach (or cleaners that contain bleach). It can induce a chemical reaction and potentially destroy your appliance. If you accidentally spill bleach, rinse it off as quickly as possible to avoid further damage.
Bosch French Door Stainless Steel Refrigerator

Stainless Steel Appliances: Should You Invest In Them?

The short answer is yes. While trends come and go, the platinum finish has proven to be a stylistic choice that will last. It blends well with nearly any style, and can upgrade your home with a look that fuses next-gen and classic elements together. Plus, it looks great with nearly every wood hue and cabinetry imaginable. Whatever type of home appliance you’re hunting for, consider this shiny silver your go-to purchase.
Now that you know how to clean stainless steel appliances, you might not know where to start looking for your newest one. Browse our stock online, and check out our buying guides tailored to share info on different types of devices. Once you’ve done a little bit of homework, give us a call at 800-860-3577 or step into the shop. We’re always ready to help you find the best choice for your lifestyle.

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