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How To Clean Stainless Steel

by | Jun 16, 2020 | Cleaning Tips

How To Clean Stainless Steel

Cleaning stainless steel involves more than just rinsing and drying as most people think. With the right cleaning process, you can maintain your stainless steel appliances in pristine condition for years to come.

If you find stainless steel an appealing addition to your home, you’re definitely not alone. Stainless steel is popular in households all over Australia and for a good reason! Aside from its sleek and long-lasting finish, stainless steel is less susceptible to rust, stains, and bacterial growth. It’s no wonder why a lot of modern kitchens commonly feature an array of stainless steel appliances.

As impressive as stainless steel can be, it’s not exactly invulnerable. It’s best to be familiar with proper cleaning and maintenance when it comes to handling this material in order to keep your appliances good as new. Maintenance and cleaning are also key to prevent corrosion or other major damages in the long run. To help you with that, we’ve come up with tips you can use for your cleaning!

Stainless steel appliances need some extra attention to be sparkling clean.

1. Use The Appropriate Materials

Just like any other activity, cleaning stainless steel requires the appropriate material to do the job. In general, what you need to remember is to preserve the finish which protects the steel from damages. To do that, we recommend using a microfibre cloth since it is not abrasive and it absorbs water easily. Avoid steel brushes, steel wool, or any other abrasive scrubs in cleaning because they can damage the finish or leave iron particles that may lead to rust and corrosion.

Another important cleaning tip to remember is that chemicals should be used with caution when dealing with any material. Intense chemicals such as scouring powders, bleach, and ammonia will damage stainless steel upon excessive use.

Don’t worry, there are still a wide range of materials you can use to clean stainless steel depending on the type of cleaning you need to do. Here are some that we recommend:

For Light Cleaning

For daily cleaning, you can wipe your appliances with warm water for light maintenance. You can also opt to use a dish detergent solution for better results. Don’t forget to properly rinse it off – chlorides present in soap and detergents can lead to corrosion.

For Disinfecting And Removing Stains

To keep your stainless steel appliances in tip-top shape, disinfect every once in a while and remove stains to preserve the steel aesthetics. You can do so by using vinegar, which naturally disinfects surfaces while removing hard water stains. For more difficult deposits, you can use a baking soda solution that is abrasive enough to remove difficult stains, but is light enough to keep your stainless steel scratch-free.

For Making It Shine

There’s something appealing about stainless steel that shines like new. With the proper material, you can give your appliances that extra sparkle! To achieve this, you can use either olive oil or club soda. You can also remove scratches by scrubbing toothpaste on the surface with an old toothbrush. If you’re interested, you can also purchase commercial stainless steel cleaner and polish from trusted brands.

2. Learn The Technique

Now that you have an idea on what materials to use for cleaning stainless steel, let’s focus on how you should use these materials to get the best results:

  • When you’re wiping your stainless steel with a soft cloth, make sure that the cloth is clean and slightly damp. Remember that you can only reuse cleaning cloth if you wash it well after each use.

  • Wipe the cloth in the direction of the steel’s grain, either horizontally or vertically. Wiping and polishing stainless steel in the right direction gives it a better clean and a shinier surface.
  • Wipe gently and consistently. You don’t need to use force to remove difficult stains and deposits if you’re already using the right material. With that in mind, be patient in cleaning stainless steel as it might take more time than expected. The material needs some time to fully absorb any difficult deposits during cleaning.
  • Finally, immediately dry off the surface with a clean and dry towel to maintain that clean shine! Unfortunately, proper drying is not given as much attention as other parts of the cleaning process. Proper drying can prevent water spots and surface rust. It’s definitely a must!
Cleaning your stainless steel refrigerator properly will leave it sparkling.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice!

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect! Getting used to daily light cleaning and familiarising yourself with the more intensive forms of cleaning stainless steel will make it easier for you to maintain your appliances. Aside from that, being more familiar with the process will help you identify points of improvement to figure out what’s best for you and your appliances.

An opportunity for improvement with your approach to cleaning is to wait for the appliance to cool before starting. This ensures proper safety while you’re cleaning the stainless steel. Another tip to remember is to always use warm water when using solutions. As mentioned above in the materials section, there are different solutions to use for each cleaning. You can expect an easier cleaning process by using warm water!

Time For An Upgrade?

If you think that remembering all of the steps in cleaning stainless steel is too much, don’t fret. You have the chance to lessen the mental load. How, you ask? Well, on one hand, you can look into hiring a professional cleaner to help out. Or, if you want to give it a go yourself, you can upgrade your cleaning materials with commercialised cleaning products specially made for stainless steel!

There are ready-to-buy products that allow you to keep your steel shiny without having to spend too much time on the process. The key to having the best commercialised steel cleaner is to know which ones are worth the buy. To make sure that you won’t end up buying unsatisfactory steel cleaner, let’s chat about the things you want your product to have.

If you clean your stainless steel properly, it will last even longer!
  • One of the most important features your stainless steel cleaner should have is its universality. This is a steel cleaner, so it doesn’t mean that we’re looking for a product that can be used on other materials such as wood or plastic, but what we want is for it to be efficient on almost every type of stainless steel. Usually, the product is already deemed as good if it can be used on aluminium or chrome.

  • Commercialised stainless steel cleaners are usually used by people who don’t have enough extra time to spend on cleaning, that’s why another important factor you should look for is the time it takes for the cleaner to work. Some products may take minutes to hours, but there are also those that would do the job instantly.
  • Many stainless steel cleaners are effective, but you need to use a lot before it begins working properly. Since someone without much time to expend would not want to clean their steel only to see that the cleaner’s already spent, you might want to check the efficiency of your product first. It is recommended to take those with strong solutions that are able to do the job without using up a lot.

  • Some consumers use their steel cleaners for difficult-to-remove stains, including food residue or grimes. If you are one of these consumers, you should look for multipurpose cleaners – those that add a layer of protection – to reduce the potential of having such difficult stains again.

  • As time goes on, your steel will gain scratches and a duller surface. Luckily for you, these things can be fixed by the right steel cleaner. There are products that feature a formula that can smoothen scratches and make your steel shinier than when you bought it. Some steel cleaners can even make your steel fingerprint-proof, making sure that your reflection can be seen on it at all times!

  • An increasing amount of consumers are now concerned with the chemicals that are present in their products. If you are afraid that a stainless steel cleaner may be harmful to your surroundings, don’t fret. There are some cleaners on the market that are natural, so you can apply it without worrying about any possible hazards.

  • Lastly, the odour of stainless steel cleaners may be too strong. It would make the area near the steel you’re cleaning uncomfortable. It is recommended to buy those that have a plain smell, or no odour at all. You can even see some products with pleasant smells. This is something you should get if you have someone with a sensitive nose or pets with an acute sense of smell.

Striving For The Shiniest Stainless Steel?

Jumping into the whole stainless steel cleaning process may make you feel overwhelmed at first. But if you’re aiming for that professional touch and hoping to spend your time elsewhere, we have the answer for you! Maid2Match provides the best home cleaning service on the Gold Coast.

With expert household care, we’re sure to provide the convenience you’re searching for while bringing the best out of your home. Even the busiest households in Australia deserve to have their stainless steel appliances glimmering. Send us a message and our services will be there for you, guaranteed.

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.