How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

stainlesssteelappliances

Rhonda asked: I have a stainless refrigerator, and I noticed some streaks of rust. What is the best thing to use to clean this appliance? I would also like to know what the best products are to clean stainless steel appliances.

Stainless steel appliances are beautiful additions to any kitchen. They are worth the investment and the effort to maintain them. Though stainless steel is generally easy to care for, there are certain precautions that should be taken when cleaning these appliances. This proper care will keep them looking great for many years to come.

Day-to-Day Cleaning

You Will Need:

  • Sponges
  • Water
  • Buckets
  • Soft towels or cloths

Steps to Clean the Appliances:

  1. Begin by filling the bucket with warm water. If the job is small, just moisten the cloth or sponge with water from the sink.
  2. Wipe the area to remove the surface dirt and dust.
  3. Repeat as necessary until all of the dirt is removed. Rinse the cloth or sponge frequently.
  4. Wipe the area dry with a soft cloth or towel to prevent water spots from forming.

Deeper Cleanings

You Will Need:

  • Sponges
  • Mild detergent
  • Water
  • Buckets
  • Soft towels or cloths

Steps to Clean the Appliances:

  1. Begin by filling the bucket with warm water.
  2. Add a small amount of mild detergent, such as dish soap to the water.
  3. Agitate to mix the soap into the water.
  4. Moisten the cloth or sponge with the soapy water and wipe the surfaces of the appliances to remove any dirt and stains.
  5. Rinse the cloth or sponge and repeat until all of the dirt is removed.
  6. Rinse the area with clean water.
  7. Wipe the area dry with a soft cloth or towel to prevent water spots from forming.

Removing Stains and Scratches

You Will Need:

  • Stainless steel cleaner
  • Sponges
  • Water
  • Buckets
  • Soft towels or cloths

Steps to Clean the Appliances:

  1. When stains and scratches develop, a stronger cleaning method is required. There are specialized stainless steel cleaners available just for this purpose.
  2. Apply the stainless steel cleaner following the manufacturer’s directions.
  3. As the cleaner is applied it can remove minor scratches and repolish the surface.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  5. Dry with a soft towel.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • It is best to wipe in the direction of the polish lines when washing and drying stainless steel.
  • If it’s the first time you are using a stainless steel cleaner, test a small, hidden area first to ensure the results are desirable. It is not recommended to start with the front of the doors. If there are any adverse effects with the application process or polishing results, the error will be prominent and most noticeable there.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners when cleaning stainless steel. They can cause scratching on the surface that will alter the look of the metal.
  • Always rinse the area well. If dirt from the water is left to sit, it can leave a stain and/or damage the finish. Drying is equally important as some waters have minerals that leave spots and stains if left on the steel.
  • Chlorine and stainless steel do not go well together. Avoid any cleaning products that contain bleach.
  • Never use steel wool or steel brushes on the surface of stainless steel appliances. They will damage the surface and inevitably lead to rust forming.

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