How to Make Stainless Steel Appliances Look Great

You have brand new refinished counters and you have decided to get the Stainless Steel appliances you have coveted for years. If they have been installed for a few weeks or months, you might be wondering about tricks to keep them looking like new. No problem. You have options.

This first suggestion is going to sound ridiculous and it sort of is, but try to use the actual handles as much as possible. All oils from hands show up on stainless, so by using the handles, you’ll save the larger spaces from getting too smudgy. However, this isn’t very practical with kids, dogs, visitors, sleep walkers and neighbors. Nothing quite like a hand covered with potato chip residue looking for something to wash down the salt and heading towards the stainless steel refrigerator. A smudge is coming.

Martha Stewart would Windex—probably the person and the appliance. This helps enhance the natural attractiveness of the stainless steel. She recommends LOTS of paper towels to remove all streaks. However, there is something wrong with having to work extra hard to remove streaks.

Unfortunately, lots of commercially produced cleaners leave stainless with a film, streaked or otherwise duller than how they appeared on the show room floor. Which might lead you to consider natural options.

Many people want to use some of their tried and true natural alternative cleaners like lemon, vinegar and baking soda. While these might work, it is important to remember that you just want to remove smudges and not the actual stainless material. Baking soda works when diluted, but can be abrasive on the finish if too concentrated. Vinegar and lemon also remove grime, but are strong acids that have corrosive properties, and need to be used with caution. While all of these are viable cleaners, they need to be used thoughtfully to reduce harm, which often means additional cleaning will be needed to ensure they are properly removed. Unfortunately, cleaning off the natural cleaner, can leave a residue.

Olive and baby oils work too. Use whatever type you prefer. Start by wiping down your appliance with a wet cloth to remove the smudges and grime, which will get you down to a workable surface. Once there, pour about one tablespoon of oil onto a dry cloth and start rubbing. The oil buffs out many scratches and leaves a nice luster. This is an easy and affordable technique that works.