Updated: Apr 10
Stainless steel appliances remain staples in many homes across Canada, especially amongst dishwashers, ranges and refrigerators. Between their streamlined appearance and long-lasting quality, they’re also surprisingly easy to clean and maintain. While they can show fingerprints, smudges, water spots and streaks, especially if your kitchen experiences a lot of traffic and if you have young children, there are a number of simple cleaning tactics you can employ to keep your stainless steel appliances looking (almost) brand new.
The Cleaning Basics There are some key rules of thumb when it comes to cleaning and caring for your stainless steel appliances. First and foremost, avoid using harsh abrasives, scouring powders, bleach, ammonia and steel wool. Any of these materials and substances can damage the finish of stainless steel, and leave your appliances looking shabby and worn.
Additionally, it’s good practice to consult the owner’s manual of any of your stainless steel appliances before embarking on your cleaning endeavors. Some manufacturers may suggest certain cleaning tools over others, and these may vary from appliance to appliance, and manufacturer to manufacturer. Ensure you do your due diligence when it comes to figuring out the best cleaning methods, especially if you’re dealing with high-end appliances.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Stainless steel remains one of the easiest appliance surfaces to clean, as you can easily wipe away any smudges or streaks. While specialty stainless steel cleaners exist, there are many home remedies that will also do the trick.
Dish Soap If you choose to use dish soap to clean your stainless steel appliances, mix one teaspoon of dish detergent with one quart of hot tap water. With a microfibre cloth, gently apply and rub the solution into the affected spots, ensuring you’re going with the grain. Once done, rinse with hot water and dry immediately.
Mineral Oil Mineral oil can be a great alternative to standard stainless steel cleaners, or great to use in a pinch if you’ve recently run out. Ensure you stay away from food-based oils, including olive and vegetable oils. Apply a light coat of mineral oil on top of any dirt and buff it in going with the grain.
Window Cleaner Window cleaners, such as Windex, are another great way to keep your stainless steel appliances looking new. Simply spray a dry cloth with the cleaner and wipe it into the surface. Ensure, however, that the cleaner you use is ammonia and vinegar-free.
Whether you opt to use a standard stainless steel cleaner or an at-home solution, always remember to wipe down the surface of your appliance in the direction of the metal’s grain. Going against the grain, or wiping in a circular motion, can create streaks. For added shine, buff your appliances with a microfibre cloth following their cleaning.
A Step-by-Step Cleaning Guide Regardless of what kind of cleaning solution you choose, follow this step-by-step guide to ensure your stainless steel appliances remain clean.
Step 1: Dip a soft cloth in your cleaner of choice, and wipe down your appliance’s surface, rinse the cloth, and repeat as necessary.
Step 2: If, after your initial clean, you still see fingerprints or streaks, take a glass or window cleaner (like Windex), spray onto a soft cloth, and wipe away.
Step 3: To combat any baked-on food and grease, mix baking soda and warm water into a paste that can be applied to the affected spots. Rub this paste onto the spots with a soft cloth or sponge, wipe clean with a damp cloth and towel dry. A dedicated stainless steel cleaner is recommended for scratches and stains.
Whether you’re looking to clean your luxury kitchen appliances, or washer and dryer, there are no shortage of options for stainless steel. If, however, the prospect of cleaning stainless steel doesn’t seem appealing, rest assured that there are still a number of other appliance finishes currently on the market.