Stainless steel appliances are gorgeous — until they’re streaked, smudged and full of fingerprints. Want to keep them looking like they did in the showroom? Here’s how.
Warm water with a little dish soap is a great first step. Using a microfiber rag, wipe back and forth with the grain of the brushed stainless. Afterward, rinse with straight water. Hand dry with a clean microfiber cloth. If hard water streaks are a problem, wipe with a vinegar-dampened rag and watch those streaks disappear. Afterward, try wiping down your appliance with mineral, lemon or baby oil to make the surface gleam.
What about tough, baked-on food residue on stainless steel stove tops or barbeque grills? After making sure the surface is completely cool, cover the stain with a rag soaked in hot water and degreasing dish soap. Press gently for a few seconds then allow it to soak for 20 minutes. Re-wet the rag with hot soapy water and gently scrub the cooked-on stain until clean. For super stubborn stains, gently use a nylon dish scrubber.
Steer clear of abrasives on stainless steel. Caustic cleaners such as bleach, ammonia and oven cleaners are a big no-no — as are so-called soft-scrubbing powdered cleaners or mild abrasives. Never use a brush or steel wool.