Shiny stainless steel appliances look lovely in the kitchen and even after several years of use they can still look brand spankin’ new…but there is a downside: the ever-present fingerprints, water stains and smudges (especially around the water dispenser, refrigerator and oven door handles).
This has been a cause of grief for homemakers everywhere!
There’s no getting around the extra effort it takes to keep these kitchen appliances gleaming, but here’s how you can get rid of those pesky marks…
- First wet a cloth in soapy water (using a gentle liquid dish detergent), squeeze out excess liquid so cloth will be damp/wet but not leaving behind any drips.
- Focusing on the hot spots like doors and handles, do a quick wipe in a circular motion all over the appliance (once) then go back and wipe one direction with the grain.
- Next take a dry, clean, soft rag and go over the entire surface, making sure to work with the grain (again in one direction).
Once this is done you’ll likely see some discolorations still lurking about.
You can buff away each with a lint-free towel and some pressure, but try one of the solutions below to help quickly remove those marks…
- 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
- Barkeepers Friend
- Mix a paste of liquid dish soap and baking soda, apply it to the troublesome area and let it sit for a few minutes. Carefully rub it off then dry with a towel.
- WD40 first applied to a lint-free cloth (just a small amount)
- Lemon half: Rub the spots with the cut side of a lemon, then rinse with a clean damp rag. Buff with a towel. For extra cleaning power, sprinkle some baking soda on the lemon before applying to surface (rub gently to prevent scratching).
- Vinegar (great for polishing too). One method that is successful is to scrub down the appliance with a rag first soaked in household vinegar (excess squeezed out) then buff in olive oil.
- Commercial product I’ve had success with: Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes. These don’t fully remove the discoloration but they do a good job masking them so that they aren’t noticeable until several days later when it’s time to clean again.
Many of these hard-to-remove stains are actually water marks and they can be very tricky to remove…
- Apply one of the above suggested items directly to a lint-free cloth and wipe down, follow up with a dry towel to bring surface to a mark-free shine (microfiber cloths are nice to use for this but a towel works fine too).
- Avoid using cleaners, scrubbing pads or tools that are abrasive since they can mar the steel (even some soft-scrubbing creams can cause damage).
- When washing, wipe down along the grain of the surface for best results.
- Never scrub down appliances with a wet rag and leave to air dry…always buff well to dry.
- 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.
A couple suggestions from the Comments section below (thank you!):
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitizer
Taking just a few minutes each day can keep them 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.