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How To Clean Stainless Steel

by | Jun 28, 2022 | Cleaning Tips

Think of all the things that happen in a kitchen. You make breakfast, lunch, and dinner there. You also keep all your food supplies, cleaning stuff, and storage containers there. The kitchen is a high-touch, high-traffic area in any home. So, it’s going to need more cleaning than other rooms.

As you may know, the most popular material for kitchenware is stainless steel. You can clean it with ease and it will always look good, no matter how often you wash your dishes or pans!

Although stainless steel is durable, it still requires care and maintenance to keep it looking its best. With the right cleaning supplies, you can keep all your stainless steel appliances and fixtures clean.



How to clean stainless steel appliances

As anyone who has ever tried to keep a stainless steel appliance clean knows, ‌it can be a real challenge. Water spots, fingerprints, and streaks seem to appear the minute you finish wiping them away.



General cleaning

To keep your stainless steel appliances looking their best, follow these simple tips:

  • First, use a soft, dry cloth or sponge to wipe away any dirt or debris.
  • Then, dampen the cloth with warm water and a mild cleaning solution, and gently scrub the stainless steel surface in a circular motion. Rinse the area with clean water, and dry immediately with a soft towel. You can mix either mild soap or dish detergent with water for your cleaning solution.
  • For tougher stainless steel stains, you can also use a paste made from baking soda and water. Rub the paste onto the stain using a soft cloth, then rinse and dry the entire surface.

Try to avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive scrubbers, as these can damage the finish of your stainless steel appliances. Steel wool is only good for aluminium products, not stainless steel. You’re better off using a plastic scrubber or brush for grime and tougher stains. If you ‌need to use a stronger cleaner, be sure to rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth afterwards.



How to clean a stainless steel fridge

woman in protective mask, red rubber gloves and yellow rag in her hand wipes stainless steel refrigerator door

A clean refrigerator not only looks great, but it also helps to keep your food fresh and prevent bacteria from spreading. While most people focus on cleaning the inside of their fridge, the exterior is just as important.

Stainless steel refrigerators are especially prone to fingerprint smudges and water stains. Here are a few tips for keeping your stainless steel fridge clean and shining:

  • First, dust the surface with a dry microfibre cloth to remove any loose dirt or debris.
  • Next, dampen another microfibre cloth with warm water and a mild dish soap. Gently rub the cloth over the surface of the fridge in a circular motion.
  • Rinse the soap off with a third microfibre cloth dampened with plain water. Dry the surface with a fourth microfibre cloth or a clean towel.
  • For extra shine, polish the surface with a small amount of furniture polish applied to a microfibre cloth. Wipe in the direction of the grain and buff dry.

We recommend using microfibre towels rather than paper towels or tea towels because these fabrics won’t scratch the surface of your stainless steel fridge.



How to clean a stainless steel dishwasher

Female hand wiping down front part of stainless steel dishwasher with microfiber towel

Over time, your stainless steel dishwasher can ‌show smears, streaks, and fingerprints. While it may seem like a daunting task, cleaning a stainless steel dishwasher is actually quite easy — and there’s no need to use harsh chemicals. All you need is a little white vinegar and water.

  • First, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bowl.
  • Next, dip a soft cloth into the white vinegar mixture and use it to wipe down the exterior of the dishwasher, including the door. Be sure to pay special attention to any areas that are particularly dirty or grimy.
  • Once you’ve given the dishwasher a good cleaning, take a spray bottle with clean water and use it to rinse off the solution. You may also wipe the outside of the dishwasher with a clean cloth to remove any residue of the vinegar solution.

Check out our article on how to clean the inside of your dishwasher.



How to clean a stainless steel toaster

Most of us use our toasters every day, yet we rarely think about how to clean toasters properly. Here are our quick tips for cleaning a stainless steel toaster:

  • First, unplug the toaster and empty ‌any crumbs that have accumulated.
  • Then, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a bowl.
  • Dip a cloth into the mixture and use it to wipe down the outside of the toaster.
  • Next, use a dry microfibre cloth to buff the surface until it is shiny.
  • Finally, use a clean toothbrush or small cleaning brush to clean any hard-to-reach areas.

As a pro tip, consider using aluminium foil to line your toaster oven trays. This makes cleaning up faster, and you can even use the same foil sheet to wrap any food you want to save for later.



Cleaning stainless steel in the kitchen

If you have stainless steel kitchen features, they need to be cleaned regularly to maintain their shine.



How to clean a stainless steel stove top

hands with gloves cleaning a stainless steel stove top

Believe it or not, there’s a right and wrong way to clean a stainless steel stove top. If you don’t believe us, just ask any professional house cleaner.

For example, if you have a small smudge or fingerprint, you can wipe it away with a soft cloth dampened with water. For more stubborn stains, you may need to use a stainless steel cleaner.

Here are a few quick tips to clean a stainless steel stove top:

  • First, make sure that the stove top is cool before you start cleaning. 
  • Then, use warm water and dish soap to remove any food particles or grease residue. 
  • Next, use a soft microfibre cloth or sponge to gently rub the surface of the cooktop. 
  • Finally, use a damp cloth to wipe down the stove top and remove any soap residue and excess moisture.

Pro tip: Do not use glass cleaners on your stove top or its glass cover. Using a glass cleaner can ruin the surface and cause permanent stains. The best thing you can do is clean with distilled white vinegar.

Check out our other article for more stove top cleaning tips.



How to clean a stainless steel sink

Cleaning the stainless steel kitchen sink

A stainless steel sink is a beautiful and durable addition to any kitchen, but it requires some special care to keep it looking its best.

  • First, fill the sink with warm water and a mild dish soap.
  • Then, use a microfibre cloth or sponge to gently scrub the surface of the sink. Be sure to rinse the sink thoroughly afterwards.
  • For tougher stains, use a small amount of white vinegar or baking soda. Just apply the white vinegar or baking soda directly to the stain and scrub with a soft cloth until it disappears.
  • Once you’re finished cleaning, dry the sink with a clean towel to prevent water spots.



How to clean a stainless steel kitchen bench

A stainless steel kitchen bench is known for its durability and easy-to-clean surface. However, if you’re not careful while cleaning, your bench can become permanently stained or scratched.

  • First, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers, as these can damage the finish. Instead, opt for a mild dish soap and a microfibre cloth.
  • For tougher stains, you can make a paste from baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for one to two hours before wiping it away with a damp cloth.
  • If your benchtop is showing signs of wear, you can give it a new lease on life with a little elbow grease. Buff out any scratches with a mild abrasive before applying a fresh coat of stainless steel polish.
  • Once you’ve worked the polish into the surface, buff it off with a dry cloth for a shiny, new finish.



How to clean stainless steel cutlery

stainless steel cutlery

Whether you’re setting the table for a dinner party or just preparing a meal for yourself, you want your cutlery to look its best.

  • Start by rinsing off any food debris with warm water. If there is stubborn dirt or dried food, you can use a mild detergent and a soft-bristled brush.
  • Once the cutlery is clean, rinse it thoroughly with warm water to remove any soap residue. 
  • To prevent the formation of water spots, dry the cutlery with a soft cloth.
  • For an extra bit of shine, you can buff the cutlery with a specialty stainless steel cleaner.



How to clean stainless steel pots and pans

Person, wearing rubber gloves, cleaning a stainless steel saucepan

If your stainless steel cookware is looking a little lacklustre, don’t despair. There are a few different ways to clean your stainless steel pots and pans, depending on how cooked-on the dirt and grease are.

For lightly soiled cookware, you can simply wash it with hot, soapy water. If your cookware is more heavily stained, you may need to use a particular stainless steel cookware cleaner. You can also try using a vinegar solution to help remove dark spots.

To prevent your stainless steel pots and pans from scratching, be sure to use only non-abrasive cleaning pads and sponges. Consider using stainless steel cleaning wipes or a microfibre cloth for polishing your pans. Also, avoid using harsh cleaning products that can strip the finish from your cookware.

With these simple tips, your stainless steel cookware will look good as new in no time:

  • The first step is to wash the pot or pan with warm, soapy water. Be sure to use a non-abrasive sponge or cloth to avoid scratching the surface. Rinse the cookware thoroughly and dry it with a soft towel.
  • Soak the cookware in clean hot water first for a more thorough cleaning. If there are any tough spots, you can try scrubbing them with a gentle cleanser and non-abrasive pads. Use either a mild detergent or white vinegar solution instead of harsh chemicals.
  • Finally, buff the cookware with a clean cloth to restore its shine. If your cookware has developed a patina, you can restore its shine with a liberal application of WD-40. Spray the WD-40 on the affected areas and wipe clean with a paper towel.



How to clean rust off stainless steel

Rust can be a real pain to deal with, especially when it’s on something made of stainless steel. But it’s possible to remove rust and restore your stainless steel to its original condition. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Begin by mixing ‌equal parts white vinegar and water in a bowl. White vinegar is the better, organic option for cleaning rust because it has acetic acid, which can chip away rust and acts as a mild corrosive cleaner.
  • Soak a clean cloth in the vinegar solution and wring it out so that it’s damp, but not dripping wet.
  • Rub the cloth over the rusty area in a circular motion until the rust comes off. If the rust is particularly stubborn, you may need to let the vinegar solution sit for five to ten minutes before scrubbing again.
  • Once the rust is gone, rinse the area with water and towel dry.
  • If there’s still a bit of rust left behind, mix ‌equal parts baking soda and water to form a paste. Rub the paste onto the residue and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a damp cloth.
  • Finally, buff the area with a dry towel to restore its shine and to remove any streaks. Apply a thin layer of stainless steel polish to help protect against future corrosion.



Another one fights the rust

Stainless steel appliances and fixtures are popular because they are durable, easy to maintain, and look great in any kitchen. However, keeping them clean can be a challenge, especially with little kids or lots of guests.

Thankfully, house cleaners can take care of cleaning the kitchen, including your stainless steel goods. By taking good care of your stainless steel items, you’ll be able to enjoy them for many years to come. And who knows — maybe your guests will be so impressed with your sparkling kitchen ‌they’ll start asking for cleaning tips!

About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.


About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.