Stainless steel is popular among many homeowners when choosing appliances for their kitchens. It is an interior design trend that has truly stood the test of time. In fact, a report from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers showed the market shares of stainless steel appliances have increased from 2010 to 2016.
This is unsurprising, as when stainless steel appliances first arrive they look great and shiny. However stainless steel is prone to showing both watermarks and fingermarks.
Don’t let this put you off purchasing the stainless steel applicance that you want, though. All you need is to learn how to clean your appliance properly. If you can keep your appliance looking clean, you may not feel the need to purchase a new one for a considerable length of time.
Read on to find out how you can clean your stainless steel appliances so they look shiny and new again.
Table of Contents
Find the grain
Steel has grain, just like wood. What exactly is the grain?
The “grain” refers to tiny striations that are found on the surface of your appliance. You must first understand the direction of the grain when you’re about to clean your stainless steel appliance. The grain is not the easiest to see, but with some determination and a keen eye, you will discover them. You may also be able to feel the grain with your fingers.
When you find the grain, clean along it and not against it. If you do clean against the grain it can lead to an incomplete clean and your stainless steel appliance may even get scratched.
Check the manual
Before cleaning your stainless steel appliance you should always check the owner’s manual and manufacturers’ websites to check their recommendations if they have any.
Some stainless steel appliances are treated with a clear-coat finish when they are being made at a factory, for example, and this can be stripped if certain cleaning products are used.
You don’t want this to happen as the goal when cleaning your appliance is to make it look brand new.
9 Ways to clean your appliance
Of course, there are multiple ways for you to choose from when deciding how you would like to clean your stainless steel appliance. Some of them are:
The steam clean
To steam clean your stainless steel appliance you will need a steam cleaning machine. Steam cleaners have been known to leave a beautiful streak-free shine on appliances.
First, you need to attach the nozzle onto the steam cleaning machine and then turn it on and then steam your machine. Grab a cloth and wipe it down until it is dry.
Vinegar works great to remove the water stains and smudges on your stainless steel appliances. All you need to do is add 1 part vinegar, 1 part water to a spray bottle and then spray the contents onto the fridge generously.
Then take your microfiber cloth and wipe along the grain until its dry. That’s it! Also don’t worry about the smell as it won’t linger for too long. Your home will be smelling fresh again in no time.
Baking soda scrub
Searching for a earth-friendly and non-toxic way of cleaning your stainless steel appliance that is strong enough to remove caked-on dirt and sticky spots? If you have already tried scrubbing your appliance with vinegar but still some dirt and grime remains, then creating a baking soda scrub may be your answer.
First, you will need to make a paste. This can be done by adding just the right amount of water so that it begins to stick together. Then gently take the baking soda and begin to wipe away at the grime on your appliance until it eventually removes as much as possible. Again, make sure to wipe along the grain.
Club soda is another budget-friendly way of cleaning your steel appliances. You may even have some laying around your home. Simply pour the club soda into a spray bottle and then spray the soda onto the fridge and wipe along the grain to remove any debris and stains.
Don’t wait around to try this method, as cleaning your appliances with olive oil can result in shiny results! You can kiss the stains goodbye after using this safe and non-toxic solution. First, put a drop on to a microfiber cloth and wipe against the grain to remove any stains. Then, once the marks are gone, use paper towels and wipe along the grain to increase the shine of your appliance.
When cleaning your appliance with dish detergent it’s important not to go overboard with the amount of product you use. A dab of dish detergent on a soft cloth is all that is needed with a little water. Then wipe your appliance until you have removed the marks.
Bon Ami, Flour Sack & Wax Paper
You will need wax paper, a soft flour sack and a small amount of Bon Ami. Take some water and dampen a small section of your flour sack. You can do this with a cloth or a spray bottle.
Then take the Bon Ami and sprinkle a small quantity of it on the sack.
Apply this to the stainless steel appliance along the direction of the grain. Then, take a part of the flour sack that is dry, and then wipe your appliance clean. After that take your sheet of wax paper and rub the waxy side along your appliance.
You will first need to clean your stainless steel appliance before going in with the flour. Once your appliance is clean, simply apply flour to a microfiber cloth and buff it in. Flour is great because it absorbs dirt that has been ground into the grooves of the stainless steel.
Water and a Cloth
If you want to find a method to clean your stainless steel appliance weekly and that is easy, we recommend using a warm water and a microfiber cloth. Make sure the cloth is only damp, though. As if you put too much water in it, this will be counterproductive and cause water stains.
Mistakes you need to avoid when cleaning your appliances
When it comes to cleaning your stainless steel appliances, there will always be certain cleaning solutions and products that you should avoid at all costs – if you want your appliance to last you for the next ten or more years. Some of them are:
1. Using Abrasive Cleaners
Abrasive cleaners can damage the protective layer over time. So, unless you want to scratch your stainless appliance, always avoid using abrasive cleaners at all costs. This includes steel wool, steel brushes or highly abrasive cleaning pads. Always use something with a gentler touch.
2. Using Chlorine and Bleach
If you use bleach to clean your stainless steel appliance there is a chance that it will stain and damage it. This is because there are corrosive chemicals in bleach and these chemicals can react with stainless steel. The Association of Residential Cleaning Services International recommends avoiding applying chlorine or bleach.
3. Not Rinsing Thoroughly
When wiping your appliance you must make sure all of the product is rinsed off your cloth. This will ensure that there is no residue left on the surface when you wipe your appliance again. Why is this important? Residue can cause stains.
4. Not Doing a Spot Test with Commercial Cleaners
If you have purchased a commercial stainless steel cleaning product and really want to use it, we recommend always testing it first in an inconspicuous spot before applying it all over your appliance. Of course, make sure to read the directions thoroughly first.
5. Allowing Water To Dry
You want to avoid being left with water droplets on your stainless steel appliance after you have spent all of this time cleaning it. To do this, simply make sure you wipe your appliance with a dry and clean paper towel.
DIY with my personal tutorial
Below you will find my personal tutorial that I use to clean my stainless steel appliances. Feel free to try it on your own appliances and get ready for the shine!
The supplies I use to clean my stainless cooker are:
- Spray bottle
- Microfiber cloth
Below you will find my trusted and faithful method that I use to clean my stainless steel cooker:
1. I find the direction of the grain on my cooker
2. I mix equal parts vinegar and water and then add them into the spray bottle.
3. I spray the vinegar and water on my appliance and
4. I wipe the appliance in the direction of the grain with my microfiber cloth.
That’s it folks. after you have read this article you will be fully prepared to clean your stainless steel appliance.
Let us know if you have any questions below or if you have any cleaning experiences to share.