How to Care for Your Stainless Steel Appliances

How to Care for Your Stainless Steel Appliances. Stainless-steel refrigerators and stoves are sleek and handsome, but they show fingerprints and grease like nobody's business. The good news is they're easy to clean. Soapy water takes off everyday smudges; glass cleaner works on fingerprints. You don't have to go any farther than your pantry: Olive oil and vinegar also work well for cleaning stainless-steel appliances.

Step 1

To get rid of everyday smudges, apply warm water with a soft sponge and wipe dry with a lint-free cloth. (If you don't wipe the surface dry, you'll get water spots.) If you need a little more "oomph," use water mixed with a small amount of soap (dishwashing detergent is fine), follow up with plain water and then dry it off. Follow the grain of the stainless steel during washing and drying.

Step 2

If you still have fingerprints, use another solution to get them off. Options include glass cleaner, ammonia and rubbing alcohol. Raid your pantry and apply vinegar or olive oil on a soft cloth (apply sparingly). Some people even swear by club soda to clean stainless steel--it's especially effective in getting rid of heat stains. Whatever you use, be sure to apply plain water afterward and wipe dry.

Step 3

When you're done cleaning, polish your appliance with a stainless-steel cleaner. These cleaners also help reduce stains and scratches. Follow the manufacturer's suggestions for using the cleaner, and rinse and dry your appliance at the end. (For tips on treating tough scratches, see Resources.)


  • Don't use abrasive items on stainless steel. Stay away from steel wool, chlorine bleach and scouring powders that can scratch the surface.