How To Keep Stainless Steel Appliances And Cookware Fingerprint, Streak And Grime-Free

Plus, a cheap DIY way to make your own stainless steel cleaner.

How to clean stainless steel: stainless steel pots and pans

Keep stainless steel pots and pans looking like new! Photo, iStock.

Stainless steel appliances and cookware look amazing, but they have a downside: they can be challenging to keep clean. Between hard-water marks and fingerprints, your stainless steel could end up looking more like a kid’s art project than a sleek piece of interior design. If your stainless steel appliances, pots and pans, are looking a little dull, here are the best methods to liven them up.

How to clean stainless steel pots and pans

To clean your cookware, make sure it’s completely cooled first — soaking a hot pan in water can cause warping. Stick to sponges and dish soap for easy clean up, anything too abrasive (like steel wool or bleach) can damage your pans. Thoroughly dry them to avoid any water stains.

Cleaning those tough problem areas on your stainless steel cookware

Fill your pot or pan with soapy water until the spots are covered and bring to a boil — this will loosen up all those bits and allow you to get back in there with a sponge and clean it up. For more stubborn spots, fill with water, add a cup of white vinegar and boil. Remove the pan from the heat once boiled and add two tablespoons of baking soda (warning: this may void your warranty). Drain the pan and scrub with a sponge until clean. If there are still dirty spots, make a baking soda and water paste and apply it to the tough areas for a couple of minutes, then wipe off with a warm, damp cloth.

How to clean stainless steel appliances

Understand the direction of the grain

Just like wood, steel has a grain and wiping across it can scratch the surface or create streaks. Prevent this by wiping with the direction of the grain. Keep in mind that if you’re cleaning appliances, each section may have a different direction, so don’t assume it’s all the same.

Use warm water for routine cleaning

For regular weekly cleaning that doesn’t involve tough stains, warm water with a microfibre cloth will work. It’s also one of the safest methods to avoid tarnishing your surface. To minimize the risk of water marks, use a lightly damp cloth without soap.

Can you use dish soap on stainless steel?

Mild dish soap (like Dawn) with warm water is the perfect method for a clean that needs more power behind it. It’ll do the job and leave your stainless steel damage-free. All you need is a drop of soap on a warm, damp cloth. Scrub your tough spots with your cloth, rinse with warm water and dry with a microfibre cloth

How to make a DIY stainless steel cleaner for optimal shine

Some of the best ingredients for cleaning your stainless steel are likely already in your pantry. You can make a great DIY cleaner with only two ingredients: vinegar and olive oil. To clean your stainless steel with this method, first spray it lightly with white vinegar and wipe clean with a microfibre cloth. Once clean, dip your cloth into a small amount of olive oil and wipe your stainless steel in the direction of the grain. The oil works to add shine and remove remaining streaks.

Use glass cleaner for those pesky fingerprints

Fingerprints are one of the biggest drawbacks of stainless steel. Dishwashers and fridges are the worst for this. But a simple glass cleaner can easily wipe them away: spray your cleaner on a microfibre cloth and gently wipe in a circular motion on the fingerprints. Rinse with warm water, and remember to go with the grain.

Dry to avoid water marks

After cleaning, make sure that you dry your appliance to avoid water marks or stains. This is the last step in cleaning, so it’s the most noticeable. And again, be sure to dry with the grain to avoid leaving streaks.

Make lasagna in a stainless steel pan!

Home Decor

How to Clean Stainless Steel

In the mood for spring cleaning? Make the stainless steel appliances in your kitchen sparkle with these tips for cleaning and eliminating smudges and fingerprints.