Many homeowners, as well as home decorators and designers, love the look of stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. Although many design and decorating trends tend to come and go, stainless steel appliances seem to be here to stay, according to interior designer Elizabeth Pash.
Fortunately, this metal remains one of the easier types of material to clean. This is important, especially if the place your kids happen to love to touch the most is the front of your stainless steel fridge or if your stainless steel faucet is showing signs of hard water stains. So, how can you keep the stainless steel in home looking new and shiny?
Believe it or not, the concoction you put on your favorite salad isn’t that much different than the solution we’ll propose here. That’s right. We’re talking about the vinegar and oil treatment.
First, you’ll clean the stainless steel object in question with a liberal supply of vinegar. Then, you’ll treat it with the oil to finish the job.
Here’s what you need:
- White vinegar in a spray bottle (You can find a cheap bottle at the dollar store.)
- Paper towels
- Mineral oil or olive oil
- A soft cloth with microfibers (Cloths used to clean cars will work.)
Once you have all the cleaning supplies you need, take a look at the stainless steel. If you look closely, you’ll see that it has a grain. Once you start wiping, you’ll want to wipe in the direction of the grain.
Next, spray the appliance with the vinegar, making sure that you apply a good amount of it. Once you’ve wet it down with the vinegar, then start wiping it with the paper towels. The purpose of this first step is to get rid of the grime and debris that is stuck to the stainless steel.
After that, pour a bit of the oil onto your soft cloth and wipe the stainless steel down with it, again going in the direction of the grain. This step should remove fingerprints and other marks from the appliance.
Dish Soap and Baking Soda
Consumer Reports recommends a slightly different approach to cleaning your stainless steel.
- Soft cloths
- Mild dish soap
- Glass cleaner
- Baking soda
- A sponge
Initially, you need to mix some warm water with the mildest dish soap you have. Wipe the appliance down with the soapy water and the soft cloth. Once you’ve done that, rinse out the cloth and give the appliance the once-over again. Dry it with a soft cloth to finish.
Sometimes, even after this treatment, you’ll still see fingerprints. Spray the appliance with the glass cleaner and wipe it down to remove those.
Finally, a paste made from warm water and a bit of baking soda will remove thick grease and baked-on food particles. Rub a bit of the mixture onto the sponge and then rub the grimy spots down. Rinse with water and wipe dry with a soft towel when you’re done.
It’s important to treat your appliances with a wax finish after you clean them so that they remain fingerprint-free for longer. An article on The Independent recommends Zep Stainless Steel Polish, though there are other brands. Just be sure that the brand you choose is made for stainless steel.
Lightly spray the appliance with the wax, being careful to not get too much of the spray onto the appliance. Give it a few minutes to set, then wipe it down with a soft microfiber cloth. Again, make sure that you wipe with the grain of the steel.
This treatment helps you keep smudges, fingerprints, and other “sins” at bay between treatments.
Lastly, you’ll want to be careful about using harsh chemicals and abrasives on your stainless steel. These products ruin the surface of your appliances.