There’s no denying that stainless steel appliances provide a sleek and modern aesthetic to any updated kitchen. And they also offer a timeless appeal that will likely carry over to your next kitchen renovation, provided more energy-efficient models aren’t in place by then.
The only real problem with stainless steel is that it’s so hard to keep clean. You’d think the word “stainless” right in the name would guarantee some sort of special repelling properties to help it stay sparkling and flawless at all times.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, as anyone who owns stainless steel appliances can attest. While they don’t exactly stain in the traditional sense, i.e. food and other staining agents won’t soak into the surface, they can certainly get messy.
And you’ll find yourself fighting an uphill battle against fingerprints, stuck-on food, and water spots, amongst other things. But there are definitely ways to clean your stainless steel appliances and have them looking like new again in no time. Here are a few tactics to try.
Before you start wiping away, there’s one thing you need to know about stainless steel surfaces: they have a grain (like wood). The reason this is important is that you’ll want to clean with the grain rather than against it.
If you look closely, you’ll see that there are minute striations on the surface of your steel. When you wipe against the grain, you’re bound to do nothing so much as mash particulates into the tiny grooves in the grain.
This won’t necessarily spell disaster, but for the deepest clean, it’s best to go with the grain. Now you just need to find the right products for your cleaning project.
There are all kinds of options to choose from. You’ll probably want to start with soft, lint-free cleaning rags that won’t scratch your stainless steel surfaces or leave all kinds of dust behind – look for 100% cotton.
Then you’ll need to consider what type of solvents to use. There are, of course, chemical products made specifically for cleaning stainless steel. And while there’s nothing wrong with using these, you might end up paying more for them than other methods.
For example, did you know that one of the best products for cleaning stainless steel is a simple mixture of mild dish soap and water? These gentle cleansers won’t harm your kitchen surfaces, they’re designed to cut grease, and they generally kill bacteria, as well. This makes them a good choice for removing smudges and food residue from your kitchen appliances.
When you’re finished cleaning and drying your surfaces, you’ll also want to polish them to renew the shine and repel future spots and smudges. This can be done by putting a few drops of baby oil on a clean, dry rag and wiping it along the steel.
Of course, you might prefer natural cleaning products, in which case you can swap out dish soap in favor of a vinegar/water mixture (equal parts of both ingredients in a spray bottle should do the trick) and trade in baby oil for olive oil. With just a couple of products found in the average kitchen, you can easily restore the shine to your appliances.
On the other hand, why complete multiple steps when there are all-in-one products that can do the same job in less time? If you’re like most busy, modern adults, you’d rather just take a swipe at the fingerprints on the fridge with a wet sponge rather than spend time cleaning and polishing with multiple products.
In this case, you might want to pick up some Stainless Steel Wipes from Tub O’Towels. With just one of these durable wipes, you can remove fingerprints, water spots, grease, and more from your stainless steel appliances.
And the ingredients in these handy towelettes not only clean your stainless steel, but they also polish and protect the surfaces in your kitchen from future smudges and spots. And this product provides the same streak-free shine you’d get with shammies and sprays.
If you love the look of the stainless steel appliances in your kitchen, but you hate the smudges and spots that seem impossible to remove, don’t fret. There are plenty of products designed to suit your cleaning needs. And when you have the right products, you won’t have to rely on elbow grease to get the job done.