Cleaning stainless steel appliances can be difficult. On the one hand, you want to achieve the best, most spotless clean possible. On the other hand, you also don't want to damage your appliances in the process.
Chemicals can be unwieldy and difficult to use, and you may not want to risk the frustration and expense of choosing one that doesn't work. Yet you may also be wary of homemade remedies or worry that the old wives' tales will end up being too good to be true, leaving your stainless steel appliances spotted and dirty after an afternoon of hard work.
Tips for Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances
Rest assured, cleaning stainless steel appliances need not be the frustrating chore that you assume it to be. In fact, it can be relatively simple and cost-effective. If you're irritated by the spotted dinginess of your stainless steel appliances, try out some time-tested cleaning suggestions.
Don't Skip the Obvious
There may be no need to reach for industrial cleaners or sanders to remove stains from stainless steel. In fact, the odds are in your favor that some warm, soapy water applied over time will do the trick. Don't be impatient. Do the work in short shifts, allowing the mucky buildup plenty of time to become soft. Scrub the surfaces with soft cloths and plenty of soap, using as much elbow grease as you can muster.
After a time, you'll likely notice dirt beginning to disappear. Multiple applications and a little bit of patience might be required, but the additional effort will be worth the money and time you'll save.
Go the Natural Route
Many tough spots and stains can be removed with natural methods relatively easily, with no chemicals or additives necessary. Olive oil and plain vinegar are two of the greatest foes stains have to face. Even the streaks that won't come off after a liberal application of Windex can be removed entirely with a light spray of olive oil on your stainless steel refrigerator, stove top, or convection oven. Vinegar will take care of the tough stuff. Milk, cheese, water, and sauce splashes that end up splattering your stainless steel appliances are no match for a bit of common vinegar and a little bit of elbow grease. Rub these ingredients into stains with a light, soft cloth. Don't scrub too hard. As the stains and hardened substances that have accumulated over the months, or years, begin to soften and break down, your stainless steel appliance will begin looking brand new.
Try the Cleaners
Although working without heavy duty cleaners can be better for the environment, sometimes using a commercial cleaner is a necessity. If you've hit a wall cleaning stainless steel appliances, go for a stainless steel polish or cleaner as soon as possible. Massage your chosen cleaner into your appliance with a very soft cloth, moving in the direction of the grain imparted to the surface. Do it slowly and carefully, making sure that you check the surface every few minutes for improvement.
If stains and splatters do not come up, use a non-scratching scouring pad made of plastic or rubber. Even a caustic solution will clean up stains without damage if you're careful. The operative word here is precision. Everything that you do must be done with care and attention to detail. Stainless steel cleaners, the "big guns," are made for tough jobs just like yours-just don't expect the cleaner itself to do all the work for you.
Whatever method you use, be extra careful. Stainless steel is beautiful and can remain so for decades. It can endure abuse, scratching, splattering, splashing, denting, and nearly anything else, if it is well-cared for. It is incumbent upon you to upkeep and maintain such surfaces for longevity. Don't wait too long to clean stainless steel surfaces. Prevention, in this case, is worth a pound of cure.