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How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

Zoomed-in view of stainless steel appliance.

Stainless steel remains the most popular aesthetic for appliances in the United States, but if you’re the proud owner of stainless steel anything, you’re no doubt familiar with an unfortunate truth: Keeping stainless steel looking its best requires work. Today, we’ll look at a few basic tips to make your stainless steel appliances look their best without wearing your wrist out scrubbing, scratching up your lovely appliances, or investing in expensive products.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

To get started with cleaning most stainless steel appliances, you can try a simple mixture of warm water and mild dish detergent.

  1. Use a soft cloth to wipe down the surface with the mixture. Next, wipe the surface again with water alone, then dry it with a towel so you don’t get spots.
  2. You can use glass cleaner to get rid of smudges and fingerprints with most stainless steel appliances, though some manufacturers may use finishes that respond poorly to it, so check your user manual.
  3. For more stubborn problems, such as grease or other particles that have managed to get cooked on or really settled in for the long haul, you can try a more aggressive mixture. Baking soda and warm water, vinegar and olive oil, club soda in a spray bottle, and dish soap with baby oil are all popular homemade mixtures for more intense cleaning of stainless steel.
  4. If you use an oil, you might want to clean up after with the dish soap mixture to keep it pleasant to the touch and to avoid the risk of oil (olive oil in particular) turning funky with time.

Do’s and Don’ts

The finish on your stainless steel appliances is relatively delicate, so you want to be careful about what comes in contact with it. That means avoiding a few common cleaning tools and compounds as much as possible. As a general rule, you don’t want to clean stainless steel with:

  • Abrasives
  • Scouring powders
  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Steel wool or brushes

In addition to this standard list of items not to use, make sure you check your owner’s manual or the manufacturers’ websites to see whether they have any additional warnings; some finishes may respond poorly to other cleaning products such as glass cleaner, or even to the fumes you use to clean other parts of your kitchen.

Parting Thoughts

These tips should get the vast majority of stainless steel appliances clean and looking great without breaking the bank or requiring too much extra work. If they do fail you, it might be worth considering store-bought cleaning products; this is overkill in most cases, but if you’re limited due to stringent manufacturer requirements or particularly stubborn stains, they’re going to be your best bet.

Now that you’ve gotten the outside of your appliances looking top-notch, consider how the inside is operating. If your refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, or microwave isn’t functioning as well as you’d like, call the pros at North Town Home Services at (847) 999-4600 to arrange service.

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