How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel is prone to fingerprints, water stains and may rust. Learn how to maintain stainless steel, what cleaners you can use, and how to keep it shining.

Clean stainless steel image

While the stainless steel refrigerator and dishwasher in your kitchen may look sophisticated and brighten up your home, they can also be notoriously difficult to maintain. They’re prone to fingerprint marks and water stains. And once they lose the outer chromium film, stainless steel appliances may begin to rust. 

The first step to ensuring the longevity of your appliances is regular maintenance and care. Below are some detailed steps to help you keep all your stainless steel items looking shiny and new.

Clean Stainless Steel Appliances and Utensils

Step 1: Make your own solution or use a stainless steel cleaner

To clean appliances that don’t have stains, use a solution of equal part vinegar and water or a solution of dish soap and water. To fight persistent stains, use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. You can also use the commercial cleaner Bar Keepers Friend, which is known to restore stainless steel products to their original state and shine. To remove rust, prepare a mixture of 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 cup water.

Step 2: Spray solution or apply mixture

Next, coat the appliance with your chosen solution or mixture.

Step 3: Scrub (optional)

To remove rust or stubborn stains, you might need to do a light scrub. However, don’t use harsh and abrasive tools or chemicals, which might leave scratches or damage the surface. 

Step 4: Wipe with a paper towel or a lint-free cloth

Wipe the surface thoroughly with a clean paper towel or a lint-free cloth in the direction of the grain. You might see the stains or rust transfer to the towel, leaving your appliance shiny and clean.

If needed, these steps for cleaning stainless steel appliances can also be used for cleaning stainless steel utensils.

Maintain Stainless Steel Appliances

Step 1: Spray with water or a rubbing alcohol solution

The easiest way to ensure your appliances are not fingerprint magnets is to clean them with water. Or, make a solution of one part water and one part rubbing alcohol and spray the solution on the appliance. This method has an added advantage of disinfecting the surface as well.

While water is a good option for daily upkeep, rubbing alcohol offers a visible shine.

Step 2: Wipe with a microfiber cloth or lint-free cotton

After you’ve sprayed your appliance liberally with your selected cleaning solution, wipe the surface with a lint-free cloth. It’s important to wipe along the direction of the grain to prevent scratching and avoid leaving any small marks on the surface where grime and dirt can collect.

Repeat this process daily to prevent appliances from getting dirty or stained.

These steps will leave your appliances, pots and pans looking clean and fresh again. You can also look into hiring a professional appliance cleaner or contacting the company from which you bought the appliance to receive periodic maintenance. If you're looking for someone to help you clean and maintain your home, you can contact your local Merry Maids for scheduling and pricing options. 


AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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