How To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

Create a shiny surface without streaks! This is how to clean stainless steel appliances correctly the first time – and keep them clean.


Stainless steel appliances can make your kitchen look uniform and classy – but not when there are spots and streaks all over them. Thankfully, cleaning them is easy once you learn a few tricks.


how to clean stainless steel appliances

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How To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances


There are a few different methods people use to clean their stainless steel appliances, and I’m going to share the most popular ones. 


They all work!


Choose whichever option is easiest for you.


Method 1: Clean Your Stainless With My DIY Glass Cleaner


This recipe is super easy and non – toxic. My DIY glass cleaner is great for windows, mirrors, glass stovetops, and stainless steel appliances! Use a paper towel or microfiber cloth along with the cleaner. 


diy glass cleaner


Method 2: Clean Appliances With Dish Soap


This is one of the most popular methods because you probably already have what you need in your kitchen. If you follow these steps, you will have clean, streak-free appliances in just a few minutes.


Here’s what you need:


  • A few drops of concentrated dish soap
  • Sponge


Just follow these steps to wash your appliances with dish soap.


1. Add soap to the sponge – Apply a few drops of dish soap to a soft sponge. Add enough water to make it damp and squeeze the sponge to disperse the soap.


2. Wipe with the grain – Use the sponge to follow the grain of the steel and wipe it down. If the grain is vertical, start at the top and begin working your way down, wiping in a vertical fashion.


3. Rise off the soap – Dampen a clean washcloth or paper towel and rinse off any soap residue left behind by the sponge. Continue to wipe with the grain.


4. Dry the appliance – Use a dry paper towel to wipe down and remove any lingering moisture. Spots happen when minerals from the water are left behind on the appliances. If you remove all the water, your appliance should be completely streak-free.


Method 3: Clean Appliances With Baking Soda


Using baking soda is best if you have something that is stuck-on or a stubborn mess that won’t come clean any other way. It’s a messier way to clean your appliances, so many people avoid this option. It’s harmless and will make your appliances really shine!


1. Here’s how to clean your stainless steel appliances with baking soda.


2. Make a paste – In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of baking soda with water, a few tablespoons at a time, until you make a thick paste.


3. Apply baking soda to the appliances – Using your fingers or a basting brush, begin spreading the baking soda paste all over your stainless steel appliances. Follow the grain as you add this paste.


4. Let it sit – After you add the baking soda to the stubborn spots, let it sit for about 20 minutes.


5. Rinse it off – Dampen a clean towel and wipe off the baking soda paste. Rinse and wipe it down until all the residue is removed.


6. Dry the appliance – Use a dry paper towel to completely dry the appliance.


Method 4: Polish Your Stainless Steel With Olive Oil


If you are just dealing with smudges, then dab a cleaning cloth or paper towel in some olive oil and buff it into your stainless steel appliance. This is the easiest way to keep your appliances streak-free. 


how to clean stainless steel


Method 5: Use A Stainless Steel Cleaner


This last method involves purchasing stainless steel cleaner from the store. Once you buy it, this is probably the easiest way to wipe them down. There are different kinds of cleaners out there – from spray foams to normal spray bottles.


When you clean them off with a stainless steel cleaner, use a microfiber cloth to wipe away the cleaner and the dirt. Follow the steel’s grains as you wipe it down and go from top to bottom.




Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances


Cleaning your appliances is easier than you might think!


As you start washing and cleaning your kitchen, here are some questions people ask about cleaning their stainless steel appliances.


Read through them- you might have some of the same questions.


Why does stainless steel stain?


The term stainless is a tad misleading. Contrary to the name, stainless steel can – and does – actually stain. The most common stains are minerals that are left behind from splashes of water that wasn’t dried correctly. This is why it is so important to dry your appliances completely when you wash them.


Stainless steel can also rust. It isn’t common since steel is resistant to corrosion, but it can still happen. The best way to remove rust is by using the baking soda paste method.


Thankfully, if you take proper care of your appliances, they will indeed last longer without stains. Completely dry off your appliances if they get water on them (even from you cleaning it) and you will prevent the most common cause of stains.


How often should I clean my appliances?


This depends on how busy your kitchen is. If you have lots of small children that smudge up your stainless steel appliances, you might want to wipe them down every few days. If your kitchen is quieter than that, you can probably go once a week or more. 


The most important thing to remember with cleaning your appliances is just to wipe them down when they start looking like they need it. This time frame is different for each house.


Can I use Windex on stainless steel appliances?


Windex contains ammonia and ammonia can actually harm the surface of your appliances.


Do not use Windex on your stainless steel appliances. You should also avoid using abrasive sponges like steel wool. They will scratch your appliances, damaging them beyond repair.


Does vinegar damage stainless steel?


Vinegar itself won’t damage your stainless steel, but it depends on how long you leave it on the surface. If you spray vinegar on it and wipe it off immediately, it is a very effective cleaner. It will remove smudges and dirt without leaving streaks behind.


Be careful not to leave the vinegar on your appliances for too long. If you try to let the surface of your appliance “soak” in the vinegar, it can actually damage the finish.


Final Thoughts


Stainless steel appliances are very simple to clean and maintain. You already have everything you need to clean them right in your kitchen. The most important thing to remember is not to leave water or other residues on the surface since these will leave more stains and spots!


More Cleaning Tips and Tricks:



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1 Comment

  1. Jackie

    April 18, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I feel like my stainless steel is always left with streaks after I clean it. I am doing some spring cleaning this week so I will totally be using these tips! I am also going to have my carpets professionally cleaned which I can’t wait for. Thanks again!

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