The Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

Did you know stainless steel is among the most hygienic materials? The carbon in stainless steel is blended in such a way that bacteria slides off. That’s why it’s a staple for hospitals and laboratories and an ideal addition to your kitchen. However, it’s still important to clean stainless steel regularly because as grime and dirt begin to settle on your appliances, bacteria also find a foothold.

While we will clean the front of your stainless steel appliances during your regular clean, there are household ingredients you can use for a touch-up in between! Here’s how to clean stainless steel appliances and keep your kitchen shining.

Guide to Cleaning Stainless Steel

Stainless steel doesn’t require vigorous scrubbing like some other appliances, which means it’s easier to clean. However, it’s also easier to overdo it. Abrasive cloths or cleaners can easily scratch up your sleek stainless steel, forever marring its aesthetic. Here’s the best way to clean fingerprints off stainless steel appliances and keep them looking lovely.

  1. Start with a clean microfiber cloth. Because stainless steel is easily scratched, choosing a soft cloth will ensure your appliance isn’t damaged in the cleaning process.
  2. Break down grime with a gentle cleaning mixture. Any harsh cleaners like bleach could wear through stainless steel’s protective layer and lead to corrosion. Fill a bucket or sink with warm soapy water to wash away oily fingerprints and kitchen grease.
  3. Wipe with the grain. Similar to wood, stainless steel has a visible lined pattern referred to as a grain. Cleaning with the grain increases shine and prevents the formation of microscopic crevices in the steel that can fill with dirt and grime.
  4. Rinse with clean water and a fresh cloth, removing all the dirt and leftover detergent.
  5. Dry with another clean cloth to prevent water spots from marring your clean kitchen.
  6. Rehydrate with oil. Not only does finishing with a treatment of stainless steel polish or your choice of cooking oil give it a beautiful shine, but the oil also adds a protective layer against dirt and grime. Pour a dab of oil onto a clean cloth and continue to buff with the grain until you have a shining finish.

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Top Issues Cleaning Stainless Steel 

Stainless steel is simple to clean. However, common cleaning mistakes can leave it looking smudged or streaky. If your appliances don’t have the shine you’re hoping for, check to see if something in your method could change. Here are common issues with cleaning stainless steel and how to solve them.

Mistakes that Leave Streaks on Stainless Steel

If you’re frustrated with ugly streaks on your dishwasher or refrigerator, you’re not alone. Streaks are perhaps the most common issue with cleaning stainless steel because there are several possible reasons for the streaks. Here’s what you could unknowingly be doing wrong.

  • Wiping against the grain or circular motion. Rubbing against the grain can make stainless steel lose its shine or even create tiny divots that allow dirt to collect and expose the material to corrosion.
  • Using a dirty cloth can smear dirt along the appliance rather than cleaning it.
  • Not using enough cleaner to dissolve grease. If grime is only partially broken down, it could slide down the appliance in an unattractive streak. Make sure you use enough cleaner and wash any off thoroughly.
  • Not adding moisture back to the appliance. After cleaning, stainless steel is left dry and dull. Add polish to brighten the appliance, serve as a protective layer, and prevent streaks.

Why Are There Water Spots? 

If you have hard water, you may notice dingy water stains forming on your freshly cleaned appliances. Water spots on stainless steel often come from calcium in the water. For most stains, you can dampen a clean microfiber cloth, wipe the stain, and follow with a dry microfiber cloth.

Keep Your Kitchen Sparkling Clean

Caring for your stainless steel appliances does require consistency. If you need a hand deep cleaning the kitchen or any other rooms of the house, give our experts at The Cleaning Authority a call at (888) 658-0659 or request an estimate online today.