The Best Ways To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances And More

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stainless steel

I’ve gotten a lot of requests over the years to write a post about the best way to clean stainless steel appliances, and now that I’ve gotten some experience with keeping stainless steel fridges clean I thought I’d tackle this post at last. Here are three ways to get those stainless steel appliances to shine.

How To Clean Stainless Steel: 3 Easy Options

stainless steel

1. Vinegar

The first method couldn’t be simpler—just fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar and spritz it onto the appliance. Wipe gently with a microfiber cloth, moving the cloth in the direction of the grain.

This vinegar method will remove streaks and make the surface nice and shiny. It’s my go-to method for day-to-day cleaning.

stainless steel

2. Bar Keepers Friend

I love Bar Keepers Friend and use it on just about everything. For stainless steel appliances, just sprinkle some Bar Keepers Friend on a wet cloth and wipe it all over. Wipe the surface clean with a clean wet cloth afterward, and be sure not to leave it on too long, as it could lead to discoloration.

This is a great method for deep cleaning stainless steel appliances every once in a while. Since not all stainless steel finishes are created equal, certain finishes may not be ideal candidates for cleaning with Bar Keepers Friend. (Look in your appliance’s user manual for guidance, or perform a spot test in a hidden area.)

Related: 14 Things You Can Clean With Bar Keepers Friend That Will Amaze You

stainless steel

3. Steam

For those tough-to-clean areas of your appliances, such as door handles or any type of hardened mess, try using a handheld steamer to loosen the gunk. Using a steamer will help you avoid scrubbing, which will keep your stainless steel looking good for years to come!

If you don’t have a steamer, wet a kitchen towel with hot water and place it over the mess for a minute or two before cleaning. (Be sure to wear gloves so you don’t scald yourself with the hot towel!)

Steam is one of the best ways to make those grimy spots easier to clean, and you can use a handheld steamer to clean more than just stainless steel.

Why I Don’t Recommend Cleaning Stainless Steel With Oil

While some people suggest polishing your stainless steel with a bit of olive oil, I don’t recommend it. It will look nice and shiny immediately after treatment, but the oil will just end up attracting dust, smears, and smudges.

Plus, no one wants greasy hands just from opening and closing their fridge. Overall, it’s just not a great idea!

stainless steel

More Tips For Keeping Stainless Steel Clean

  • Avoid letting any food spills harden—they get harder to remove the longer they sit.
  • While stainless steel is resistant to rust, excess water and water spots should still be wiped away immediately to prevent prolonged contact. If rust does start to form, clean the area with Bar Keepers Friend.
  • Always use a gentle microfiber cloth to prevent scuffs.

Which material or surface do you find trickiest to clean?