How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances (Without Streaks)

Updated January 11, 2022
Luxury Steel Kitchen

When you take your first foray into stainless steel appliances, cleaning them might be intimidating. While they look pretty, one wrong move and you've scratched your finish. Rather than fret, try out a few foolproof methods for how you can clean your stainless steel appliances.

Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel Appliance - Materials List

There is a right and wrong way when it comes to cleaning stainless steel appliances. The right way is always a gentle method that doesn't harm the finish or scratch the material. To get your stainless steel sparkling, you need a few supplies.

  • Dawn dish soap (also works well for cleaning galvanized metal)
  • Baby oil/mineral oil
  • Lemon polish
  • Olive Oil
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Club soda
  • Commercial cleaner
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Spray bottle

Best Method to Clean Stainless Steel Fridge Without Streaks

Stainless steel refrigerators are a magnet for fingerprints. It doesn't seem to matter what you do. Ten seconds are you clean your fridge, fingerprints just magically appear. Well, if you need a foolproof way to keep your fridge sparkling and streak-free, grab the Dawn and a bit of baby oil/mineral oil.

  1. Find the grain of the steel on your fridge. If you have vertical grain, wipe vertically for the best results.
  2. Mix warm water and a bit of Dawn.
  3. Dip your microfiber cloth in the mixture and wring it out so it's damp, not dripping.
  4. Wipe down the whole fridge. Focus on cleaning away any gunk from the bottom or handles.
  5. Grab a clean/dry cloth and wipe with the grain.
  6. Add a small dab of baby oil or mineral oil to a cloth.
  7. Polish the fridge, following the grain of the steel.

This works great to provide an excellent streak-free polish and provides added protection against fingerprints.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Stove

Woman cleaning set-top stove

Dawn is great for cutting through most messes. Therefore, you can use the Dawn and oil method for cleaning your stove. However, if you have a bit more grime to deal with, you need to use something tougher to deal with your scum issues. For this method, break out the white vinegar and olive oil.

  1. Like with the fridge, you want to look at the grain of your stainless steel.
  2. Pour the white vinegar into a spray bottle.
  3. Spray down your stainless-steel parts.
  4. Allow it to sit for a few minutes for serious grime.
  5. Wipe it down with a microfiber cloth.
  6. Repeat if needed.
  7. Add a little dab of olive oil to your cloth.
  8. Polish using the direction of the grain as your guide.
  9. Enjoy!

This method works perfectly for stainless steel toasters and dishwashers too.

Clean a Stainless Steel Sink Effortlessly With Baking Soda

When you have a stinky, crusty stainless steel sink, you might try to reach for the Comet or Bar Keeper's Friend. Don't. Rather than scratching your sink's finish with those harsh cleaners, reach for the baking soda and white vinegar.

  1. Rinse out your sink completely, removing any food chunks or debris.
  2. Pour a liberal amount of baking soda in the sink, making sure to coat the sides well.
  3. Allow the baking soda to sit for a minute or two.
  4. Use the microfiber cloth to scrub with the grain.
  5. Spray the baking soda with white vinegar.
  6. Allow it to fizz for a minute or two.
  7. Rinse and repeat as necessary.
  8. Buff with a few drops of olive oil or mineral oil on a clean microfiber cloth.

This method can work on more than just sinks. You can try it on various stainless steel appliances.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances With Lemon Polish

Cleaning stainless steel appliances is pretty easy when you stay away from harsh chemicals. It's more of a rub and shine type deal. Another sure-fire cleaner for your stainless steel appliances, including the outside of a toaster oven, is lemon polish. And this method can't get any easier.

  1. Add a bit of lemon polish to a microfiber cloth.
  2. Apply it to your appliance.
  3. Take a clean cloth and wipe it away with the grain.
  4. Hello, shine!

You don't want to spray this stuff directly on the appliance. It could leave an uneven coat and create more of a mess than actually clean.

Using Club Soda to Shine Stainless Steel

If your stainless steel appliance is more streaky than grimy, then you might want to try something a bit different. Club soda is great for creating a streak-free shine on your stainless steel surfaces.

  1. Add the club soda to a spray bottle.
  2. Coat your stainless steel generously.
  3. Rub with a microfiber cloth going with the grain.
  4. Wipe with a damp cloth to rinse.
  5. Buff with a clean microfiber cloth.

Using a Commercial Cleaner to Clean Stainless Steel

If you aren't having any luck with a natural remedy for your kitchen, you can always reach for a commercial stainless steel cleaning solution. Several different ones are on the market and generally include the same instructions.

  1. Apply the commercial cleaner for the recommended amount of time.
  2. Wipe away with the grain.

You can also try stainless steel cleaning wipes, like Weiman's, which are good for all types of stainless steel surfaces.

What Not to Use on Stainless Steel

When it comes to cleaning stainless steel, there are things that you don't want to use on it. They are going to cause scratches and damage you can't fix. Why? Because they harm the finish of the material and leave scratches. The things you should avoid at all costs include:

  • Abrasive cleaners like Comet
  • Steel wool
  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Scouring pads

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances With Style

Cleaning stainless steel can be a little intimidating. You don't want to chance scratching it. You won't have to worry about it with the right cleaner and method. Whether you are rejuvenating your sink, cleaning your stainless pans, or cleaning your toaster, you've got a few tricks up your sleeve.

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How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances (Without Streaks)