Stainless steel appliances have become a symbol of modernity, sophistication, and elegance in contemporary kitchens. These high-quality appliances offer not only a visually appealing aesthetic but also unparalleled durability, corrosion resistance, and low maintenance. Homeowners and interior designers alike have embraced stainless steel as the go-to material for kitchen appliances, as it seamlessly integrates into a wide range of design styles, from industrial and minimalist to traditional and farmhouse.

However, as striking as these appliances may be, keeping them pristine, smudge-free, and gleaming can be a challenge. Fingerprints, water spots, and daily wear and tear can easily mar the surface, detracting from their overall appeal. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the proper cleaning techniques and best practices to maintain the luster and shine of your stainless steel appliances, preserving their beauty for years to come.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of stainless steel appliances and share expert advice on how to keep them looking as good as new. We will explore various cleaning methods, address common questions and concerns, and debunk any myths related to stainless steel care. By the end of this article, you will have gained the knowledge and confidence needed to tackle the task of cleaning your stainless steel appliances, ensuring that your kitchen remains the envy of your friends and neighbours.

What is the best thing to use to clean stainless steel appliances?

The key to keeping your stainless steel appliances clean and shiny is using the right products and cleaning techniques. While there are many specialized stainless steel cleaners on the market, some household items can be just as effective, if not more. A simple solution of warm water and mild dish soap is an excellent starting point for regular cleaning.

For stubborn stains or fingerprints, you can use a mix of white vinegar and water. The acetic acid in vinegar helps break down grime and leaves a streak-free shine. Another option is using a paste made from baking soda and water, which is a gentle yet effective abrasive.

Always use a soft, lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth when cleaning stainless steel surfaces to avoid scratching the appliance. When wiping, follow the grain of the stainless steel to maintain the appliance’s polished appearance.

What should you not use on stainless steel?

When cleaning stainless steel appliances, avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals, which can damage the surface. Here’s a list of things to avoid:

  • Steel wool or scouring pads: These can scratch the stainless steel surface and cause irreparable damage.
  • Chlorine bleach or cleaners containing chloride: These chemicals can corrode the stainless steel and cause discolouration.
  • Abrasive cleaners: Powders or gritty cleaners can scratch and dull the surface of stainless steel appliances.

How do you clean stainless steel appliances without streaks?

To achieve a streak-free shine on your stainless steel appliances, follow these steps:

  1. Mix a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the solution onto the stainless steel surface.
  3. Using a soft, lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth, wipe the surface in the direction of the grain.
  4. Buff the surface with a dry cloth to remove any remaining streaks and achieve a shiny finish.
  5. How do you clean the outside of a stainless steel refrigerator?

Cleaning the exterior of a stainless steel refrigerator is simple and can be accomplished using the same techniques mentioned earlier. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Begin by removing any magnets or decorations from the refrigerator’s surface.
  2. For regular cleaning, use a solution of warm water and mild dish soap. Dip a soft cloth in the solution and wring out the excess water.
  3. Wipe down the refrigerator’s surface, following the grain of the stainless steel.
  4. Rinse the cloth in clean water and wipe away any soap residue from the refrigerator.
  5. For a streak-free shine, use a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the surface and wipe with a clean cloth, following the grain of the stainless steel.
  6. Buff the surface with a dry cloth to achieve a shiny, streak-free finish.


Can you use Dawn and vinegar on stainless steel?

Yes, you can use Dawn (or any other mild dish soap) and vinegar to clean stainless steel appliances. Mix a few drops of Dawn with equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the stainless steel surface and use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe it down, following the grain of the stainless steel. Rinse the cloth in clean water, and wipe the surface again to remove any residue. Finally, buff the surface with a dry cloth to achieve a shiny, streak-free finish. This method is not only effective but also cost-efficient and eco-friendly, as it uses natural, non-toxic ingredients.

Is it OK to use Windex on stainless steel?

Windex, or any ammonia-based glass cleaner, can be used on stainless steel appliances. However, it’s essential to choose a glass cleaner that doesn’t contain chlorine, as it can damage the stainless steel surface. Follow these steps when using Windex on your stainless steel appliances:

  1. Spray a small amount of Windex onto a soft, lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth. Avoid spraying the cleaner directly onto the appliance, as it can cause spotting.
  2. Wipe the surface in the direction of the grain to prevent streaks and smudging.
  3. Buff the surface with a dry cloth to achieve a shiny, streak-free finish.

Keep in mind that while Windex is suitable for occasional use on stainless steel, it’s better to use a mild soap solution or vinegar for regular cleaning, as they are gentler on the surface.

Tips for maintaining the shine and preventing damage to stainless steel appliances

To keep your stainless steel appliances looking their best, it’s essential to incorporate some preventative measures and maintenance tips into your cleaning routine. By doing so, you can minimize the need for deep cleaning and ensure that your appliances remain in top condition.

  1. Clean spills and splatters promptly: To prevent stains and discoloration, clean up any spills or splatters on your stainless steel appliances as soon as possible. This is particularly important for acidic or salty substances, which can cause corrosion if left unattended.
  2. Use coasters and trivets: To protect your stainless steel countertops and other surfaces from scratches and heat damage, always use coasters for glasses and trivets for hot pots and pans.
  3. Avoid using magnets: Although it might be tempting to use your stainless steel refrigerator as a magnetic board, doing so can cause scratches and damage to the surface. Instead, consider using a separate magnetic board or other non-damaging methods for displaying notes and reminders.
  4. Polish your appliances occasionally: To maintain the shine of your stainless steel appliances, consider polishing them every few months with a stainless steel polish. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and always polish in the direction of the grain for best results.
  5. Protect the surface from scratches: When moving or storing items on your stainless steel appliances, take care to avoid dragging or sliding them across the surface, as this can cause scratches. Always lift and place items gently to minimize the risk of damage.
  6. Regular maintenance: Establish a regular cleaning schedule for your stainless steel appliances. This not only keeps them looking their best but also helps to prevent the buildup of dirt, grime, and fingerprints, making future cleaning tasks easier.

By implementing these tips and practices in your cleaning routine, you can maintain the lustrous appearance of your stainless steel appliances and protect them from damage. This not only ensures that your kitchen remains a beautiful and functional space but also helps to preserve the value of your investment in these high-quality appliances.


In conclusion, the journey to maintaining immaculate stainless steel appliances is one that requires knowledge, consistency, and attention to detail. By adhering to the proper cleaning techniques and using appropriate products, you can easily transform your stainless steel appliances from smudged and streaky to gleaming and spotless. As we have demonstrated throughout this comprehensive guide, a wide range of options is available to cater to individual preferences and needs, from simple household items such as dish soap and vinegar to specialized stainless steel cleaners.

The importance of avoiding abrasive materials, harsh chemicals, and cleaning in the direction of the stainless steel grain cannot be overstated, as these factors significantly impact the longevity and appearance of your appliances. By adopting a regular cleaning routine, you not only maintain the aesthetic appeal of your stainless steel appliances but also protect your investment, ensuring their durability and functionality for years to come.

Ultimately, the key to achieving and maintaining a beautiful, modern kitchen lies in understanding the unique characteristics of stainless steel appliances and committing to their care. By doing so, you will be well-equipped to tackle any cleaning challenge that comes your way and can take pride in knowing that your kitchen will continue to be a shining example of contemporary design and exceptional taste. For full professional appliance repair services in Kelowna and surrounding areas. Schedule our qualified technicians to troubleshoot and repair your home appliances.

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