Stainless steel is one of the most popular choices for appliances in American homes, and for good reason. The material creates a striking effect in a room, particularly in the kitchen, where it is most often used. However, one big drawback of stainless steel is the effort required to keep it clean. Stainless steel attracts fingerprints and homeowners have devised several ways to clean steel surfaces while also avoiding the creation of unsightly streaks. Here are some tips to help you get your own stainless steel appliances sparkling clean.
Much of cleaning stainless steel properly involves taking the right approach and using the right cleaning implements. While you could use paper towels, it is much better to use a microfiber cloth as it is easier to avoid streaking and won’t scratch the surface of the steel. Never use abrasive cleaning implements such as steel wool or scrub pads. When wiping down your appliances, always wipe in one direction and go with the grain. This may require some testing on small areas of the appliance to determine which direction the grain goes.
If you go to your local supermarket or even log onto Amazon, you’re sure to find several cleaning products that are advertised to work best with stainless steel. If you want to use a store-bought product, check reviews online first – some of them are more prone to creating streaks than others and you may end up doing more wiping than you bargained for! Also, check the label for the words “fingerprint resistant” – using these products will, in fact, help build up a resistance to fingerprints when used over time.
Often, though, homemade cleaning solutions work just as well as store-bought for a fraction of the price. There are three formulas, in particular, that homeowners have sworn by.
- Vinegar and Olive Oil: spray your appliance with some white vinegar and wipe clean. Then, dip a small amount of olive oil on the cloth and wipe in the direction of the grain to add a deep, lustrous shine to the steel and remove any lingering marks.
- Dish Soap and Baby Oil: you can also use a simple, mild dish soap to clean your appliance and polish with a small amount of baby oil.
- Club Soda: spray your appliance with some club soda and wipe clean in the direction of the grain.
Keeping your stainless steel appliances clean does require a little more effort than appliances made of other materials – however, the lustrous shine and striking aesthetic of steel in your kitchen more than makes up for this extra work!
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