How To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances: Tips

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Gleaming stainless steel appliances look lovely in the kitchen, but the downside is the ever-present fingerprint marks and smudges (especially around refrigerator and oven door handles). There’s no getting around the extra effort it takes to keep them shining, but here’s how you can get rid of those pesky smudges easily.

ShinyFirst do a quick wipe (focusing on the hot spots like doors and handles) with a gentle liquid dish detergent & water mix, dry with a towel. After washing you’ll likely see the smudges and marks still hanging in there. You can buff out each with a lint-free towel and some pressure, but try one of these items instead to bring back the shine and quickly remove those pesky fingerprints and smudges:

  • Olive Oil (just a dab will do)
  • Mineral Oil (Baby Oil)–Just a dab will do
  • Club Soda (especially good for removing streaks and heat stains)
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Vinegar (great for polishing too)

Directions For Use:

  • Apply directly to a lint-free cloth and wipe down, follow up with a dry cloth to bring surface to a mark-free shine (microfiber cloths are nice to use for this but a towel works fine too).

More Suggestions:

  • Avoid using cleaners or tools that are abrasive since they can mar the surface (even some soft-scrubbing creams can cause damage).
  • When washing, wipe down along the grain of the surface for best results.
  • Don’t use bleach (diluted or otherwise), this can damage the finish.
  • Don’t forget to open the refrigerator or oven door, you’ll likely see a mess of smudges along the edge of the door.

Taking just a few minutes each day can keep them gleaming and looking brand new, and it’s just as easy to keep the inside of your refrigerator sparkling too! Check out this quick tip for 10 Minute Chunks A Day.

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Published: September 15, 2009

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6 Comments to “How To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances: Tips”
  1. Hanneke Nelson says:

    I swear by baby wipes! Inexpensive and very efficient.

  2. alfie says:

    Thanks, this article really saved my butt.

    My parents went out of town for a few days and left me alone at home. My mom would definitely have decapitated me if she saw the stains on the fridge this morning. But thanks to my new friend, mr. olive oil, she’ll never know.

  3. Mary Hampton says:

    Try hand sanitizer and soft cloth-works like a charm in a pinch!

  4. Todd says:

    Great article, the olive oil worked like a champ!!!

  5. Donna says:

    I had a friend polish my whole fridge with olive oil because she thought this way also but I decided that that was not the answer. S.S. is a pain – how do these Marketing People convince us to buy such a time consuming product and then to “rebuy” again like I just did.

    I do not recommend olive oil and with respect to vinegar – I keep a spray bottle with water, vinegar and lysol by the stove/fridge and for 5 years I’ve been using it, however with the new fridge delivered yesterday the care instructions read do not use vinegar.

  6. fran says:

    vinegar just leaves smudges. The only thing I have ever found that works is a product from bed bath & beyond. Is in a silver spray bottle and takes a special cloth.


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