Stainless steel is a great feature on dozens of home appliances. Everything from the refrigerator to the toaster looks good in stainless steel. It has a sharp, clean look that works in a variety of home designs and nearly every color. Unlike with wood, you can buy a stainless steel dishwasher years after your bought a stainless steel range and they’ll match in the same hue, giving your kitchen a succinct and stylish look.
As steel manufacturer Brown McFarlane explained on its blog, it’s the anti-corrosive properties of steel that have made it so popular for the last century in everything from kitchen design to operating rooms. Although there’s a variety of types of stainless steel, all of which are similar in qualities, its not the anti-corrosive properties or the high levels or carbon that make homeowners flock to these appliances – it’s their clean, sleek look.
Of course any homeowner knows that stainless steel doesn’t always have that clean look. After use it may not stain, but it certainly can smudge. These oily marks left behind by finger tips and palms can be frustrating for anyone trying to keep the kitchen looking good. Luckily there are a variety of tips, tricks and products that homeowners can use to tackle these smudges and keep their beautiful silver appliances looking stainless.
Regular household vinegar may be able to help you get your stainless steel surfaces clean, according to HowStuffWorks. You may want to light a scented candle first, because there will be a strong smell when you use vinegar as a cleaner. But it’s that acidic smell that does the work you’re looking for. The acid cuts through the oil left behind from finger tips.
All you need to do is put a little undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle, apply to the surface and wipe with a dry cloth.
If you reach into your baking cabinet looking for vinegar, but come up empty handed, fear not. Regular flour can do the job too. As alternative and environmentally conscious website Mother Nature Network explained, dry flour can help buff out smudges. Just rub on the flour with a dry rag, then rinse it off and dry the appliance. Although the appliance may come out clean and sparkling, beware of the messiness using flour can bring to surrounding surfaces.
Unlike vinegar, which cuts through the oil, baby oil works the same way as other products to create a shine, according to Woman’s Day magazine. This cost-effective alternative to cleaning products is easy to use. Apply with a dampened cloth and wipe with the grain to create a clean and sleek look.
Stainless steel doesn’t necessarily need food or personal products to get clean, you can use plain old cleaning products, such as Windex, Martha Stewart’s website advised. Use just as you would on a window or glass. Just spray on and wipe down with paper towels until there are no streaks. If you have previously used polishes on this appliance before, it may take a few times to wipe down because it will clear off the filmy top layer.
Better known to many as rubbing alcohol, all you need is a little bit to cut through the grease and oily smudges on your fridge or dishwasher. Apply to a clean cloth and rub on. It’s not only inexpensive, but it should be streak-free and very easy.
Stainless steel cleaners
In addition to all of these home remedies, there are also cleaners and polishes specifically designed to clean, buff or protect stainless steel appliances. They may be slightly more expensive than these household alternatives, but they’re specifically made for the purpose.
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SIDENOTE. This post was last modified on October 12, 2021. However, we regularly update our content as we test more products and new models are released. We also listen to the feedback of our customers and make changes to our product recommendations based on their experiences. So don’t be surprised if you see some old comments below! Since reader comments contribute to the topic, we have decided not to delete them.