Best Stainless Steel Cleaner & Cleaning Guide

best stainless steel cleaner

People who are lucky enough to have stainless steel refrigerators, stoves and other elements in the kitchen know just how rugged, durable and great looking this simple, practical, classic choice can be.

Stainless has a sleek, smooth surface that stands up to hard use and resists bacterial growth. The best thing about stainless steel is that if you take good care of it, it will last forever and look great the whole time.

In this guide, we will share some smart tips and good advice on how to clean stainless steel appliances and the best stainless steel cleaner options to help you keep your stainless steel looking fantastic.

How Do You Clean Stainless Steel Appliances? Establish A Regular Cleaning Routine!

It’s a lot easier and more effective to keep your stainless steel clean on a regular basis than to have to perform heavy cleaning infrequently. Be sure to provide gentle, regular, consistent cleaning methods.

Using the right kind of cleaning implements is of the utmost importance in keeping stainless sparkling clean. Frequent cleaning with a sponge or soft cloth should be adequate. Microfiber is an especially good choice.


Wipe your stainless steel appliances and surfaces down every day with a soft cloth or sponge and plain, warm water. Add a mild cleaner such as dish soap as needed. Be sure to rinse off any cleaners with clean water and dry your appliances and surfaces with a soft, dry cloth to prevent water spotting.


Avoid streaks by making certain to wipe your appliances down in the direction of the "grain". Look carefully at the metal and you will notice faint lines. This is the grain. Wipe with the grain, rather than across it for a better shine.


Consistent cleaning is very important with stainless. Harsh chemicals and vigorous cleaning are not necessary because stainless' smooth surface deflects stains and germs. Just use mild products and use them frequently and consistently.

Don't mix and match your cleaning products as you might set up a chemical reaction that could damage the surface of your appliances.

When you take good care of your stainless steel appliance, you may be surprised to find that cleaning becomes easier with the passage of time. This is because stainless develops a patina as it ages. This helps it to show fingerprints and smudges less.​

Avoid Rust Stains

High quality stainless is equipped with a protective film that helps it prevent rust. If this film is damaged by harsh chemicals, metallic scrubbing pads or wire brushes, rust can set in. If you must scour an especially tough spot (e.g. burned on food) use a plastic scouring pad.

Never use a steel or copper pad as this will scratch the surface.

Likewise, lengthy exposure to hard water can damage this protective coating and the metal underneath. This is one reason why wiping your appliances and surfaces dry is so very important.

Stainless steel is rust resistant, but it is not rust-proof. It can take a lot of hard use, but if you abuse it you set it up for the development of rust spots. Always use gentle cleaning methods and products for best results.

Best Way To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances Naturally​

You can use glass cleaner for quick touch-ups and to remove fingerprints. Be sure the product you choose does not include chloride, as this can damage the surface of stainless steel. There are also some great homemade stainless steel cleaner options that can be made easily.​

  • Plain, white vinegar comes in very handy for cleaning stainless surfaces. Cleaning stainless steel appliances with vinegar is simple because you can make your own natural, thrifty glass cleaner by just mixing vinegar and water 50/50 in a spray bottle. Spray on and wipe off with a soft cloth or paper towels, just as you would a commercially prepared glass cleaner.
  • For polishing, try using a soft cloth soaked with olive oil or plain white vinegar to wipe your stainless appliances clean. Pure white vinegar can also be used to remove lime scale.
  • Club soda is also good for cleaning stainless. It works especially well on kitchen sinks. Soak a soft cloth or brush with club soda, scrub the sink and then wipe it dry to bring out the shine and avoid water spotting.
  • Stuck-on adhesives can be removed using acetone or other alcohol based solvents.
  • Baking soda can be used as a soft scrub to remove coffee stains.

Get A Dazzling Shine On Decorative Surfaces

On non-food-prep surfaces, you can use cleaners containing silicone oil to wipe out smudges and fingerprints and really bring out a sparkle. Be careful not to use this type of cleaner on food preparation surfaces or on pots and pans. It isn't safe for human consumption.

Products especially formulated for stainless are safe for your stainless appliances and surfaces, but be sure to follow directions precisely.

A good polishing paste that is especially formulated for use on stainless can convey a lot of benefits. The best ones will impart a microscopic layer of wax on the surface of your appliance. This helps protect the metal and makes cleaning easier.

Mistakes To Avoid When Cleaning Stainless Steel

  • Just say NO to steel brushes, steel wool, abrasive cleaners and harsh chemicals (e.g. bleach).
  • Don't use dirty water or a dirty cloth or sponge on stainless. Start out with a fresh, clean solution and cleaning cloth or sponge. Change your solution frequently if it becomes dirty, and rinse out your cleaning tool. Give your appliance a second wipe-down with clean water to rinse away soap. Remember to dry and polish as the final step.
  • Only use metal cleaning products that are safe and/or intended for stainless steel. Don't use silver polish or dips or products that are formulated for any other type of metal. These will damage the surfaces of your appliances.

Enjoy Timeless Elegance!

Classic, practical, great looking stainless steel adds timeless elegance to any kitchen setting. Unlike enameled surfaces that can crack and rust, stainless can stay beautiful for decades and even improve in appearance with the passage of time, as long as you take good care of it.

Remember that frequent, light cleaning is preferable to occasional heavy scrubbing.

Stainless steel is a classic in the kitchen. Stark white, basic black and a range of colors come and go, but if you have stainless steel appliances and kitchen elements (e.g. sink) your kitchen will always be in style. Follow the tips presented here to keep your stainless steel surfaces and appliances looking great for many years.

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: