Stainless steel is a popular material seen in kitchens and bathrooms. It’s a high-performance material that is extremely durable, does not rust or corrode, and doesn’t stain easily. It’s typically made into major appliances such as stovetops, ovens and refrigerators; cookware such as pots and pans; and other items such as kitchen sinks and shower caddies. But to keep stainless steel truly “stainless,” it needs to be cleaned and maintained.
Keeping looking its best at all times to prevent corrosion and proliferation of dirt and grime by following these tips:
1. Clean with lint-free cloth moistened with water regularly
To maintain stainless steel, always wipe it with just warm water and a lint-free cloth. Plain water is sufficient to clean the majority of situations in the kitchen, plus it’s the least risky option. For instance, after cooking in the stovetop, wipe the surface with cloth moistened with warm water. Mop up spills as soon as they happen to avoid permanent marks or stains. Also, even if you apply other cleaners and chemicals, make sure you always rinse with water afterwards.
You can find towels specially made for cleaning stainless steel surfaces, like the Nano Towels Stainless Steel Cleaner. This towel works can lift grease, dirt, fingerprints and grime like magnet, but doesn’t scratch the stainless steel surface. It’s dual-sided – the high pile side is designed to scrub stainless steel clean, while the smooth, flat side works as a polish.
2. Wipe surfaces regularly with microfiber cloth
Microfiber cleaning cloths are the best choice when cleaning polishing stainless steel. AmazonBasics Thick Microfiber Cleaning Cloths is a good general cleaning cloth especially for larger stainless steel surfaces. IF you prefer a special microfiber cloth especially made for cleaning and polishing stainless steel, choose Weiman Microfiber Cloth for Stainless Steel or Scotch-Brite Stainless Steel Cleaning Cloth. These cloths work great in removing fingerprints and smudges in stainless steel appliances. The one from Weiman is dual sided, with one side for cleaning and another for polishing and buffing.
3. Always dry stainless steel after cleaning
After cleaning using water or cleaners, always make sure to keep the stainless steel dry. This is important since minerals in water can leave marks on the stainless steel. Minerals in water can leave deposits on stainless steel, so you must dry it to prevent water spots.
4. Wipe in the direction of the grain
Like wood, stainless steel has a grain. Always wipe in the direction of the grain to prevent scratches and create a polished look on the metal. Simply rub the stainless steel vertically and horizontally with a soft cloth in an appliance or surface. If you feel a slight resistance, this means you are wiping against the grain.
5. Clean with dish soap
When cloth with water is not enough, cleaning with a little more power with the aid of a dish soap is helpful. Use the dish soap you already use, or go for Dawn Ultra Antibacterial Dishwashing Liquid, which contains t more grease cleaning power than most dish detergents. Add a few drops of dish soap to a sink or basin full of warm water, dip your cloth or soft sponge in it, and then scrub a stainless steel surface. You may simply add a small drop of dish soap to a microfiber cloth moistened with warm water. Wipe the stainless steel in the same direction as the grain, then rinse. Towel-dry the metal to prevent water spots.
6. Use mild, non-abrasive cleaners
For tougher food stains on your stainless steel pots or pans, or for heavy dirt and grime buildup on your kitchen sink, you can use more powerful non-abrasive powders like Comet Cleaner with Bleach Cleanser Lemon Fresh or Ajax Powder Cleanser. Both cleaners contain some bleach, which allows a more thorough cleansing. But don’t use pure bleach to clean stainless steel. And you must rinse it off thoroughly and right away after a bit of scrubbing to prevent damaging the stainless steel material. Dilute them with water so as not to dull the surface of the steel. These cleansers can work wonders for your stainless steel grill, panini makers or waffle irons. Use these cleaners with warm water, soft bristle brushes, dish sponges or clean cloths. Avoid using abrasive cleaners like chlorine-based cleaners and other acidic and harsh chemicals.
7. Remove grime with vinegar
A very effective and frugal cleaner for your stainless steel is just in your pantry: white vinegar. If your stovetop gets oily due to splashes of cooking oil, or if your appliances get grimy due to oily fingerprints, spray vinegar to the stainless steel surface or apply it directly to a microfiber cloth. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it clean in the direction of the grain. Then dab a clean towel to the surface to dry. This works well because the acetic acid in the vinegar can cut through the oil left in the surface.
8. Use stainless steel cleaners
The guaranteed way to keep your stainless steel clean and spotless is to use a specially designed cleaning product. If the surface had stains that are difficult to remove or has scratches on the surface, consider a stainless steel cleaner for a safe cleaning. These cleaners can also be used to polish surfaces.
Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to cleaning stainless steel. Simply spray it to stainless steel surfaces such as stovetops, grills, sinks, range hoods and appliances like refrigerators and ovens. Wipe it with a microfiber cloth (included), then buff it with a clean cloth or paper towel for a shiny finish. Therapy Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish is another well-reviewed stainless steel cleaner and polish. This one is made from a unique blend of plant-based ingredients and comes in a minimalist, stylish bottle. It also includes a microfiber cloth.
If you prefer an easier way to clean, you can simply use Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner Wipes so you can just wipe the dirty and grimy area clean.
For making your stainless steel pans and pots spotless again, use Revere Copper, Brass & Stainless Steel Cleaner. Reviewers have raved about this product, as it made their old pots look new, and made the bottom of the pans shiny again.
9. Remove fingerprints using glass cleaner
Fingerprints are one of the most troublesome marks that stays in the surface of a smooth-polished and bright-finish stainless steel like the refrigerator, microwave and oven. If this is your issue with stainless steel, fingerprints can be easily removed with a glass cleaner like Windex Glass Cleaner. Spray it into a microfiber cloth and wipe the area gently. Rinse it using another cloth moistened in water, then towel dry.
10. Add shine using baby oil or olive oil
Once your surface is clean, it’s best to keep it polished to keep it looking new all the time. Pour a small amount of baby or olive oil to a dry cloth and rub it all over the appliance. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wipe oil away with a paper towel.