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How to Clean Stainless Steel 101

Now I know everyone does their home cleaning a bit differently, but here are some little tips and tricks to make sure that your stainless steel appliances not only look shiny and smudge free, but are actually clean of bacteria and last as long as possible! Not everyone wants to spring for smudge resistant stainless steel appliances. So, for the most of us who deal with what we have, knowing that stainless steel doesn't just look classy, but they are like moths to a flame when it comes to greasy fingerprints and germs. Let's fix that!

Things to know before you start

1. Check the manual

If you are unsure of what you are aloud to clean your stainless steel appliances with, always check the owner’s manual first. This will give you the peace of mind that you indeed aren't going to damage anything.

2. use the right cloth

When cleaning stainless steel, always use a clean soft cloth. Microfiber is a top choice due to the fact that it won’t leave behind lint. Never use steel wool, scouring pads, or anything that has a grit to it on stainless steel, as this can scratch the appliance.

3. wipe in the direction of the grain

Stainless steel has similar lines like wood does, and this is called the grain. To prevent any scratching always clean in the direction of the grain. This will also help with making sure that your appliances are as shiny as possible.

4. Polish vs clean

Most commercial products are polishers and not cleaners. Although they may be beneficial for shining purposes, these products don't necessarily remove buildup or effectively clean stainless steel. Windex is a perfect example of this. You will have shine, but you wont have clean.

On the other-side of the spectrum as in au naturel, we have vinegar. For many items in the home, this is a gem! However, stainless steel is not a fan. You should never use anything acidic on stainless steel. This can not only strip away the layer of shine, but can actually make your appliances prone to more outer damage due to it not being as protected. This however isn't always the case when it comes to limescale or build up, but we can save that for another time.

Now that we have these tips in mind, let's begin the process.

Wipe clean

1. There are plenty of different options when it come to cleaning your stainless steel appliances. Stainless steel cleaner, a milder cleaner like Dr. Bronner's pure-castile liquid soap, or you can create your own by mixing warm water and a few drops of dish soap into a small spray bottle.

2. Make sure that after you decide on your cleaning solutions, that you use something like a microfiber towels to not leave scratch marks.

3. Mist your appliance with a light coating of the cleaner.

4. Using a soft microfiber cloth again, wipe off the soap mixture in the direction of the grain. This should remove any initial debris from your appliance and start to shine it up a bit.


1. Dip a microfiber towel with some olive oil, coconut oil or mineral oil. You don't need a-lot, a little goes along way.

2. With your oiled-up cloth, wipe in the direction of the grain across the entire surface. You should start to see any remaining marks disappear to reveal shiny new stainless steel.

3. If you have any excess oil, use the dry part of the towel to wipe that off.

4. Repeat this process weekly, or as needed.


Thats all thats needed to have clean and shiny appliances. At the end of the day, we don't need anything fancy to clean our stainless steel appliances with, however we do need to know the proper technique. This not only will help with shine, but also with the outer appliances longevity.

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