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How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances {My Favorite Tip}

by | May 16, 2011 | Domesticity

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How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances {My Favorite Tip}


I‘ve had stainless steel appliances for over eight years. For eight years, I have dealt with those pesky finger prints and who-knows-what smeared all over the front of the appliances. My appliance manuals always recommend special cleaners for stainless and have warnings against using other chemicals that could ruin the finish.

But I have never found those special cleaners to work as well as good ol’ Windex.

I know it was a risk to put Windex on my appliances, but we got sick and tired of how awful our stainless looked all the time! We reasoned the finish couldn’t look any worse than it did! But even after years of using Windex and paper towels to clean them, we have never had any problems with the finish at all. It works BEAUTIFULLY! We’ve had many of the major brand appliances and found Windex to work on all of them.

We have what appears to be a “stainless” sink and it is AWFUL to clean. The sink gets rusty, it is impossible to clean and I just don’t like it. Not all stainless steel is the same quality, apparently. Windex does NOT work on my sink, FYI.

So, I’m wondering if you have any of your own tips for cleaning stainless?

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances {My Favorite Tip}

I love the inside of my new dishwasher, seriously, this Electrolux is like a TANK inside and always looks clean and shiny!

If you could choose any appliance finish for a new kitchen, would you choose stainless or not? What would be your finish of choice?

And please share your stainless steel cleaning tips in the comments!

disclaimer: use products on your stainless appliances at your own risk.

Do you prefer white appliances? Check out this  post in support of white appliances!

This post is the last of a six part series on Homemaking, sponsored by Electrolux as part of Homebuzz. I received an Electrolux appliance in exchange for my participation. The opinions stated in this post are my own. My old dishwasher is being donated to a worthy cause.

The other posts in this series are here:

My New Dishwasher
, Order from Chaos,

3 Truths and a Lie, How to Organize a Kitchen

My Dishes: Lessons Learned


  1. Denise C.

    I’ve had every color appliance out there. Black was the worse. White was the second runner up. Stainless is by far my favorite. My fridge and dishwasher are both stainless (a new working microwave will be next on my list, and last a stove). I get stubborn spots on both the fridge and dishwasher from my kids. I use a magic eraser, lightly rub in a circular motion then wipe clean with a towel. Viola! Just like new!

  2. Jess

    I am with Denise – black shows a lot of smudging too! But I find Windex works best on those too! Guess the Father from My Big Fat Greek Wedding was right! :)

  3. Deanna

    I have white appliances – they get stuff on them just like everything else and we just use a wet towel or sponge on them and they come clean. Our fridge has that ‘texture’ coating on it.

  4. Erin

    My dad uses olive oil on his! He said it works great. I haven’t tried it yet, though.

  5. Julie C

    My husband did some oneline research for cleaning stainless steel appliances; the highest recommendation came for using an oil based cleaner such as Murphy’s Oil Soap. It sounded crazy to me but I was all for him trying something to help us in the kitchen. It worked GREAT! Something about that base coat of oil cleaner makes wiping off fingerprints a breeze with vinegar; I am not a huge “vinegar as a cleaning tool” fan but it works great.

    • Belita Davidson

      Do you use the Murphy’s oil with the vinager? Or do you use one or the other? If you use both do you mix them? If not which do you use first?? Thanks!

  6. Andrea

    I use baby oil on my stainless steel fridge. Works wonderful!!!! Just pour a few drops on a cloth rag and swipe it on your fridge ;)
    Easy, cheap, simple and works great! Just like everything I like!
    Let me know if it works for you.

    • Mandi

      Yep, that’s exactly how we do it too, for all of our appliances!

      Occasionally we’ll spritz ’em with Windex to get everything off and start fresh, but most of the time we just wipe them with baby oil every couple weeks, and even with four little ones, they stay looking great!

    • Amy B

      I’m totally trying this TODAY!

  7. Lisa Hankins

    For a sink I’ve found the most amazing product, Bar Keepers Friend! It’s in a can like ajax and works wonders on my stainless sink.

    • Dianne

      Bar Keepers Friend is great..have used it on my sink for years. Also baking like magic.
      I also use a little Pledge on a dry cloth to polish it when it’s dried. Looks great!

      • Weedwacker

        I also use Barkeeper’s Friend and it’s the best I’ve ever tried.

    • Chelley Black

      Bar Keeper’s Friend is awesome for cleaning stainless steel or porcelain. I use it all the time!

    • Barbara

      BarKeeper’s Friend would be my suggestion as well. I use it on my stainless steel pots and pans when necessary as well. Love it!

  8. ashley maureen

    i’ve always heard that pledge is the best for stainless!

  9. Donnamarie

    I’ve been thinking I’m not such a fan of stainless steel, even though it is a big improvement over both black and white appliances, but these are great tips! Our fridge, dishwasher and oven get so dirty with nose prints and the general mess that dogs make at the lower level. I’ve used both the stainless steel cleaners and windex, and honestly nothing works well (though windex does work better). I will definitely give these new ideas a try. Thanks!

  10. mary eguia

    Use Clorox clean up in your sink

  11. Maryann Garland

    If I could do it over again, I would not get stainless again. The smudges are one thing but if you get a ding or bad scratch, you are stuck with it. A cashier at our grocery store told me about her little brother falling head first into their brand new stainless fridge and leaving a huge dent in it (his head was ok). Can you imagine that? As far as cleaning, I tried the expensive special cleaner which by the way says not to use around food…? It is so caustic that you should use gloves and a mask. Then I tried olive oil…that was ok until you used something like windex and then there was all sorts of smudging and smears. Finally someone told me that they use Dawn dish soap on a wet sponge and come back with a damp rag and that is the best one yet. I even tried it with other brands of dish soap and it works as well. If I ever get to pick new appliances again, I would go with the new sort of enameled paint gray color or white. Everyone have a great week! :)

  12. Kaye

    The best thing I’ve found for a stainless sink is to apply a very light coating of baby oil after you’ve cleaned it.

  13. Nanci

    When I taught in a dental clinic, we had stainless steel sinks that were over 30 years old and looked brand new. We would use powder cleanser, rinse and wipe down with mineral oil (cheaper than baby oil) cut with just a small amount of rubbing alcohol and then dried to a nice shine. You can scent the oil with any essential oil you like for a bit of fragrance. Works great.

    • Anna Kintigh

      This is so interesting! We’re about to move into our first home that will have Stainless Steel. Question though…when you say that your mineral oil was cut with a small amount of rubbing alcohol, what proportions did you use? Did you just keep it in a mixed bottle or mix right before using? Thanks!

  14. Desseray

    Actually regular old Pledge works well!

  15. Renee Walsh

    I bought Kitchenaide Professionl series appliance for their smudge proof finish and I LOVE THEM. I do nothing, absolutely nothing, other than water on the handles!

  16. Leslie

    I have white kitchen cabinets, and I’ve always had white appliances and I love them. I know stainless is all the rage, but it wasn’t worth the extra money to me and I think the white goes nicely! I have a stainless steel sink I use Comet on, and (if I’m going for a really nice shine) I’ll swipe it with some oil (baby oil – or I’ve even used a dab of cooking oil in a pinch!)

  17. Lanette

    I hate stainless. Impossible to keep finger prints and scratches away. No where to hang the kids artwork… too industrial looking. Being military, we’ve lived in more houses than I care to count and I’ve had every kind of appliance there is. I’ll take ANYTHING but stainless, thank you very much!

  18. Franki Parde

    I feel your pain. We, too, have an old (40 years and counting..)stainless steel sink…which, by the way, I love. Once a week I fill it (and my stainless steel thermos) with hot water and a couple tablets of “Poli-dent.” I also use “Bon-Ami” and polish with vegetable oil. Just this week (here) on “Sarah’s Cottage” she installed “metallic grey” appliances (NO finger prints AND you can place magnets on it!)however, I can’t find the manufacturer…”stainless is not painless.” franki”

  19. Julie

    A couple of things I use on mine that I’ve found to work well are baby oil buffed out with a soft cloth & even a baby wipe for a quick clean-up. Smells great, too!

  20. Monique

    I’ve use Bon Ami cleaner on the stainless steel sink and dry with a paper towel before applying olive oil to get some shine.

    To FRANKI — about Sarah’s Cottage, I haven’t seen the show but Sarah’s site notes the range, hood and dishwasher drawers are Fisher and Paykle available at Tasco Distributors, . I found this info at the bottom of the page below —

  21. Casey

    A little olive oil and a soft rag :) HGTV gave me this awesome tip that I’ve been using for years! You only have to do it maybe once a month or so. (Or maybe a little more often if you have children :) )

  22. Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

    I’m not a fan of stainless due to the upkeep issues. Also, it’s very “cold” looking and although it’s the rage I have appliances in the bisque color. I just wipe them up with a little Dawn and water.

  23. Laura

    The best thing I have found for my stainless sink is baking soda. It works great and never scratches…..and it’s cheap! It works great on rust stains. Don’t worry about buying special cleansers, just get out the baking soda and you’ll be amazed!

  24. Pine Tree Home

    I’ve tried all the “special” cleaners, but I too agree that Windex is the easiest to use and cleans everything up nicely. Once in a while, I will use Bar Keepers and will do a good scrub down of the appliances.

  25. Amy B

    My LG fridge has a finish called “Titanium” and it looks identical to the stainless steel finish of my stove. LG said Titanium was created for the ease of cleaning (especially with 4 kids and a dog!) and it has been great. The stove is a pain to clean (I’ve been using the recommended cleaner but will be switching after reading these tips!) and the fridge is a breeze with just a damp cloth.
    I will look for the “titanium” finish for any other future appliances.

  26. Rebekah

    I use Bon Ami on my sink. It’s tough enough to scrub off all the gunk off without being over-the-top with chemicals. Baking soda and a drop of dish soap works just as well, though, really.

    I prefer white appliances. Stainless is a bit too industrial for my taste.

  27. Andrea

    Great to know! We’re moving from a house with black appliances (still a pain to keep clean) to stainless. I love my Windex, and it’s what Martha Stewart recommends for stainless too =)
    I also use Windex to polish/clean my granite countertops. I have fancy granite cleaner, but the Windex works even better.

  28. Bamakim

    WD-40 is all I use now to clean my stainless! It cleans the stainless sink too! It also is easy to wipe away new stains. (My husband’s golfing buddy told me about it.)

  29. Talysa

    Well I know I am going to sound like a cheesy infomercial here but while visiting my mom in FL last year, she turned me on to a product she found at a flea market. It is a streak free cloth. I rolled my eyes till she took me into her bathroom dampened the cloth and cleaned the mirror. I was sold. NO STREAKS!! And I didn’t have to use a chemical. Score. I went to that same flea market and bought 5 packs. The little man selling them told me that he had a restaurant owner that bought them by the boxload simply because they cleaned all of his stainless in his kitchen better than anything. So glad he told me that because no only do they clean windows perfectly, but they do clean my stainless wonderfully. :-) Here’s the website…

  30. Amy

    I’ve used Windex on my stainless for years, with no problems. I really like Pledge multi-surface cleaner, and have had issues with that either.

  31. Brigitta

    I have tried everything and found the best to use on stainless is All purpose Pledge. Makes it look like new!

  32. lisa

    Ah yes, the trauma of stainless…i too feel your pain. I do use windex on my dishwasher and my refrigerator,but i take Comet or BonAmi to my sink and use a LOT of elbow grease!

  33. Guerrina

    When I waitressed, we cleaned all of our stainless steel with a light ammonia solution (Windex works!) and then did a light coat of lemon oil!

    I’d love stainless steel. I know I don’t want black and I have white (which shows way too much)!


    Thanks for posting your inquiry. I learned a lot from all your comments. For the time being think I’ll stick to white for my appliances since I don’t do well around finger prints and smudges.

  35. Lisa

    Melissa, good topic to discuss. I love the LOOK of stainless steel, but not the upkeep. Our old house had ss appliances and it was a never-ending cycle of cleaning it only to have fingerprints and smudges magically appear again. We moved into an older house with outdated appliances and the silver lining is – no cleaning of the SS on a daily basis!!

    For cleaning ss and granite, I LOVE this homemade cleaner from Melissa at 320 Sycamore!! Melissa uses it for her countertops but I tried it on my SS and it was great. Also just vinegar if you can take the smell. (so inexpensive for daily cleaning!)

    Here’s Melissa’s recipe:

  36. Caroilyn

    Hi! I don’t have stainless appliances but do have a garage work table that is. I’ve used Windex on it for years and it hasn’t damaged the surface.

    On our former stainless kitchen sink, after cleaning, I would apply lemon furniture polish and it loiked like new again. Works great also on painted appliances to cover light scratches.

    BTW .. I love the dishtowel in the pic!

  37. Screaming Meme

    Okay, Melissa..I will try Windex…I am so tired of having to buff those appliances with those expensive cleaners!!! lol I totally trust you since you said you did it for years…:)

  38. Mindy

    I’m another fan of Bar Keeper’s Friend. I use it in my stainless sink, but it works on EVERYTHING. Anytime I bring home produce in a plastic bag and the ink from the writing leaves a mark on the counter, I just sprinkle some BKF on it, drizzle with water and walk away. Five minutes later it wipes right off. It’s also amazing on pots and pans. Did I mention it’s amazing? :o)

  39. Pam

    Okay here is an anti greasy way to clean your stainless steel appliances-Shock It Clean yes it’s one of those tv things-sorry weird but it works, and it’s wonderful on a lot of things you use it and micro fiber cloths and your set.

  40. holly

    When I bought our SS fridge at Lowe’s, the salesperson said to use Orange Pledge. That is what they wipe their down with every few months to keep all the smudges and fingerprints off. As someone else said, it has something to do with the oil in the product counterbalancing the oil in your fingerprints. I wiped down with the pledge, and now just occasionally wipe with plain microfiber cloth and it looks great!

  41. Sheila

    WD-40 here, too! After This Old House recommended it, we tried it, and it worked perfectly. :)

  42. Jill

    One word: NORWEX

    Google it and check their anti-bac micro fiber clothes out- No chemicals or smells, cleans all my stainless wonderfully!

  43. Cheryl

    I use WD 40 on my stainless steel faucets, all over the house, bathrooms and kitchen. Stray just a tad on a soft cloth and polish — fingerprints are gone, faucets are clean and shiny.

    On the stainless steel sink, I use a variety of cleaners, all of them do the job: Soft Scrub or Bar Keepers Friend, and then if I really want to be spiffy, I will clean sink first with above cleaner and then polish with WD 40 as explained above.

    happy cleaning . . . .

  44. Traci Major

    Our kitchen appliances are all the “bisque” which also goes well with our solid suface countertops. The bisque doesn’t actually show as easily as you might think…fingerprints or smudges. For general cleaning, I usually use a soft cloth with warm sudsy water and dry with a lint free towel. For more thorough cleaning, windex!
    For cleaning the sink, either soft scrub or comet. I don’t care for stainless, it is cold, industrial, and lacks the warmth I want for a kitchen. But then my toaster disagrees!

  45. deezie

    Hi there
    I dont’ like stainless appliances. I love white Appliances. We have LG brand and love them. I never have a problem cleaning them. I do have a stainless sink and never have a problem cleaning that either.
    love your blog

  46. Jena

    Another Pledge user here! I still get fingerprints, so for me it doesn’t work that great at preventing them, but it works really well removing them without streaks.

  47. Holly

    I just blogged about my love for stainless a couple weeks ago – but I left out the most important part about cleaning the stubborn suckers! We have a cleaner at home that works very well (can’t remember the name of it but will look up when I get home). I’m curious about the olive oil.

  48. Pretty Inspirational

    Another windex user! Use Bar Keepers Helper on my All Clad pots, will have to give it a try now on my dishwasher. I had stainless for 10 years and never had an issue cleaning it or keeping it clean but a fingerprint or two doesn’t bother me either. Love your blog! – Melissa

  49. robin

    what about the “gunk” in the black tray of the water dispenser? I have a filmy residue that will not come off. any suggestions?


    As for stainless steel sinks, I use 000 steel wool to buff out the dull stubborn water stains. Works great!
    Love your blog! – Kathy

  51. kate

    Here’s another Bon Ami / Barkeepers user…and when it gets really bad around the handles, I use toilet bowl cleaner and let it soak on for awhile. I have some Simple Green Stainless Steel cleaner that isn’t too bad; not great for cleaning the sink, but it works on the fridge and dishwasher and little appliances. Thanks for the Windex tip!

  52. Glenda Childers

    Thanks for the tip . . . our Chicago apartment is the first time I have had stainless appliances and they were already a bit mucked up. I will try windex.

    I have had a stainless sink and had great success with my all time favorite cleaning tool – the magic eraser. Always use it wet and gently and with the sink. . . follow the grain. Rinse well, as it leaves a little residue. Works like a charm.


  53. Joan

    On stainless steel I spray WD-40 and wipe with a paper towel.

  54. janet watkins

    I’ve been using Olive Oil on all of my stainless steel applicances. It cleans and prevents fingerprints for weeks.

    • HM

      This works the best Olive Oil is awesome and lasts for weeks in the house with 2 year old touching everything.

  55. Patty Barone

    The absolute best product to clean SS is Sheila Shine. An appliance repair guy gave me a can of it once and I was amazed. I’ve used it since. Just google it. You’ll find it. Buy it. You won’t believe it.

  56. Denise

    I am always changing products to clean my stainless steel appliances. This weekend I mixed some vinegar and water in a spray bottle and it worked great!

  57. Midwest Magnolia - Melissa Lewis

    I have stainless for the first time. I love the beauty, but with the beauty comes the pain of constant preventing smudging and cleaning smudging. Thanks for the tip.

  58. Diana

    Without a doubt the best thing I’ve found for cleaning stainless is the Mystic Maid towels you can find online. You just soak in plain old water, wring out and wipe. It’s also fabulous for windows – honestly puts windows cleaned with Windex to shame.

    One of my clients told me about Mystic Maid cloths. Bought my on About $10 each – large and reusable.

  59. Elizabeth Hoppe

    I use Holloway House Lemon Oil. It is amazing! It erases every smudge and fingerprint in seconds. I was going insane over how my new appliances looked, what with the smearing, etc., until I stumbled upon the lemon oil. I’m sure any brand would be just as good. It is probably a similar effect that the person who uses olive oil gets, but the lemon oil smells good!

  60. Jennie

    Use a damp soft microfiber cloth then polish with a dry microfiber cloth. It works! No chemicals! (I got a nice soft microfiber mitt at Crate & Barrel)

    • Cameo

      This is what I do on all my ss appliances and Jennie’s right–it works great and is cheap!

  61. Lora

    For your sink I swear by Bar Keeper’s friend. It’s a citrus based product and works great on pans too. It comes in a powered and a liquid form…the liquid is best but is a bit harder to find. Bed Bath and Beyond is a good source or I’m sure Amazon has it. Use the liquid in the shower to remove soap scum from your glass/tile – works like a charm and no sticky chemical smells!

  62. Anna

    I use Pledge. Works like a charm, and I LOVE the smell! And I use Comet in my SS sink.

    • gail p smith

      I once worked cutting paper all day on a large stainless steel table. The manufacturer recommended Pledge and that is what was used to keep it shiny and dust free. I have gotten great results on my stainless steel sink as well. I use the orange version and it smells great, too.

  63. Lily

    Lemon Oil!

  64. Sloane

    Barkeeper’s friend works miracles on stainless steel!

  65. Sallie

    I have stainless appliances, and I found an easy way to keep them clean. I use microfiber cloths. I wipe the appliance first with damp one and then use a dry one. Works great! I use microfiber dishtowels, so I just wipe everything with it after I finish with the dishes.

  66. Julianna

    We use Mrs. Meyer’s stainless steel cleaner on our stainless stuff and Mrs. Meyer’s white powder scrub stuff in our stainless sink–especially on rust and other thick, yucky residue.

  67. Karen

    Hi Melissa,
    I had used special stainless cleaner for the first 3 years. Then I heard that good ol’ Pledge works. And it does! I don’t know about the sink…we opted for porcelain. I would install stainless again but I do love some of the new white appliances by Viking.


  68. Debbie

    I also use mircrofiber cloths, dampened with water and flip to dry! I love my Kitchen Aid stainless steel appliances!

  69. Lisa

    Pledge! Pledge works on many surfaces.

  70. Vickie White

    I have found that Zud, Cameo or Bar Keepers Friend works great! First, you wet a sponge, then sprinkle the powder (of any of the above) directly on to the dry sink. (Works best if the sink is either dry or just a bit damp.) Then scrub with the wet sponge in the direction of the grain of the stainless. Your sponge will actually turn BLACK from all the tarnish in the sink. Scrub for a few minutes then rinse well and dry with a clean cloth. Super shiny and clean! I’ve been doing this for years!

  71. Vickie White

    I also use micro-fiber cloths when I’m through with the dishes. Just be sure to wring out the cloth as much as possible before using, then simply wipe out the sink. I use the micro-fiber cloths for washing my dishes, too and they work GREAT. Also use them to clean windows (no chemicals), just be sure to wring out the cloth as much as possible to avoid streaks. Even works great for dusting! Geez, sounds like I’m a salesman for micro-fiber cloths, but they truly work great on anything!! Truly!

  72. Laura

    2 words…MAGIC ERASER!!

  73. judy h.

    PAM spray and a microfiber cloth on your applinces.

    Barkeeper’s Friend on your sink, rinse, dry, PAM spray and microfiber cloth.

  74. Rosa

    Eucalyptus Oil works well on stainless! And safe when you’ve got kids around. Double bonus!!

  75. susan

    Ooo! Hv to try eucalyptus oil. But– I agree on Windex! I do not have stainless appl’s, but I use Windex on everything. It’s great for the porcelain finishes, and even my *antique* porcelain topped table, little cupboard,etc. I, do, however, have a lo-grade puny stainless sink. Ick. I gave up&used comet on a microfiber to strip all the errors&goop. Then I put Maas polish on it! Yup, the same stuff I use on silver, silverplate, copper, must I shaddap…yes I must. But it keeps it shiny for-almost-ever! So I can vinegar,rinse&pat dry. When it fades, I go for the Comet or BonAmi &polish again. And it’s usually about the time I need to Maas everything else! So,that’s my tip. :) someday I will have stainless appl’s yup. And I intend to Windex them,too. If they look a little rough, I will Maas them. But I do wanna try the euc oil per @Rosa :)

  76. susan

    PS–I *love* MagicEraser in the bathroom! It even takes off bath oil sludge, or the cream oil bodywash sludge, eeuuw. Hv horribly dry skin but ca-ca in the tub after a shower. MAGIC ERASER IS IT for the bath fixtures&leather tennies! -s-

  77. domestosgoddess

    Stainless steel polishes up fine with a drop of baby oil too, and smells lovely. But I wouldn’t choose it for a finish again, because it does mark so easily. And I’ll tell you what else I wouldn’t have again, halogen spot lights, because they blow out so quickly and with our high ceilings that means the stepladder is out all the time to replace the things. They always blow out just when we are expecting people so my husband is frequently up the ladder in the hall when guests arrive. Sigh!

  78. Bettsi

    When I moved into my new place, I made a deal with myself to use only vinegar, baking soda and dish soap. I have found that for my sink, scrubbing it with a tiny bit of the dish soap and the baking soda works beautifully. If I want that final spit and shine, I just spritz it with my vinegar/water mix and dry with a paper towel. I have to say, I’m impressed!

  79. beth

    I don’t have Stainless, and I never will, for that very reason. I don’t care if my white appliances are out of style. I will never get streaky, printy stainless steel appliances just so I can keep up with the Joneses’. I hardly ever clean the outside of my white fridge. Sorry all you ss lovers out there, I’m just not sure what the big deal is.

    • Connie

      I’m kinda on board with you on this too Beth. I’ve got bisque appliances and am quite happy knowing I don’t have fingerprints all the time. Oh for sure, they’re probably there, but their invisible :-)

      • Margaret

        thank goodness someone else doesn’t want stainless steel. I don’t like the industrial look and white goes with everything and it is easier to clean. now just windex on the white. Unfortunately, the builder put a stainless sink in without asking and I was stuck. I usually clean it with clorox spray for the kitchen or rub it with comet. Probably not so good for the environment but great for the sink.

  80. Stephanie

    BarKeepers Friend works great and it is really cheap. Its like Comet but I think there is a liquid form too. It also works great if you have a colored sink, like white or beige it gets all the scuff marks off that are left from pots and pans.

  81. Fiona's Mosaic

    I have to agree with the above comment. I like things clean, and when I clean it I want it to look clean. So white appliances and white counter top for me. I would probably consider another counter top, but we knew we might have to do more extensive remodeling in the kitchen, so opted for the white because it will be easier to match later.

    But I do like barkeepers friend, bon ami for SS, and windex for shining it up!!

  82. Ashley

    I am definitely going to be trying Windex, Sheila Shine, Mystic Maid, and Bar Keeper’s Friend! What a wonderful load of suggestions!!! Stainless is definitely not easy to keep clean!

  83. Sylvia

    I have always used Comet or any powdered cleanser on stainless steel sinks. It cleans great without scratching.

  84. Connie

    I don’t have stainless steel appliances but I do have a stainless sink. Yes, the quality of the stainless affects the “look” of it and whether or not it’ll stay clean/shiny/rust-free.

    Since we don’t have a dishwasher (yes, it IS possible not to have one..hee hee!) we do all our dishes by hand. Therefore, the sink’s constantly being “cleaned”, so to speak. Our water is good quality but occasionally we do get a rusty stain around the drain. When that happens, I like to use Bon-Ami. It’s odor-free and has a very, very non-scratching mild abrasive.

  85. Katrina

    I’ve used all of the above on my SS appliances. But, I have also used Magic Eraser and finish with a dry paper towel to get a great shine! I use steel wool (Brillo pad) on my SS sink per Flylady sink cleaning steps! My sink is so shiny when I go back and do the Flylady process on it!

  86. Bugs and Sunshine

    Lemon Pledge-Crazy, but it is FAST, smells amazing, and believe it or not the can even says it’s for stainless steel. I couldn’t believe it!

    I like a fast spray! I’ll try the Windex too!

  87. Pam Clarke

    I highly recommend the MYSTIC MAID CLEANING Cloths. We actually sell them at our school for a fund raiser for our Art Literacy Program. They are so awesome! They are a lint free streak free cloth that cleans any surface, stainless steel, windows, granite, furniture etc. I have several that I use for different jobs. (They come in various colors)Using these, saves you on using any chemicals. You just wash them without fabric softner and hang to dry. I LOVE THEM!

  88. Elen

    For my stainless sink, Melissa, I use Universal Stone (made in Germany) an eco-friendly cleaning and polishing stone. It cleans the sink beautifully. I just bought this product a little over a month ago. It cleans a variety of surfaces. I’m still experimenting. I bought it in Canada, but I believe it is available in the U.S. I love white appliances, so I don’t have a lot of stainless steel in my kitchen.

  89. Grace

    I use baking soda in my stainless sink and it works wonderfully well. Good tip about windex on the appliances.

  90. Anita

    I know there are a ton of suggestions already but I had to share what just recently worked for me. I was using olive oil to polish it up and keep the finger prints at bay. But recently I have had these long water drip marks on the bottom freezer and also the dishwasher. They weren’t coming off. I even bought some Caldera SS cleaner. So I tried Barkeepers Friend on the water marks and it worked! I then used the Caldera to shine it up. I had purchased the BF because I had some rust marks on my pool decking, the no slip kind, that CLR was not even getting off and BF worked wonders on the rust. I love it!

  91. Tammy

    Well, on the fridge I’m still using the Stainless Steel Cleaner that comes from Sears (it came with the fridge), but for the supposedly “stainless” sink I just use vinegar. My mother-in-law discovered it accidentally and I’ve been using it since. It’s cheap and I always have it under the sink. It’s also great for calcium build-up in my tea kettle (put some in the kettle, boll it and it’s all clean) or anything else like that. I’ll try some of the other suggestions, though, but I wanted to pass on vineger because it’s easy, cheap, everyone has it and it’s completely NATURAL. I’ve put olive oil on after if I want really shiny, but I usually don’t bother. Haven’t tried the vinegar on the fridge yet. I will when I run out of the cleaner. The SS cleaner does do a nice job. Thanks for all of the other tips everyone! always on the lookout!

  92. karen ho fatt

    OMG- never thought of trying Windex- will do now. Indeed it is a pain to clean and the vinegar solution I will have to try as well. The wipes don’t seem to work too well. Also steel wool may work on the sink.

  93. Sandy

    I use a Magic Eraser on my stainless steel sink, works like a charm! But not on the fridge, strange.

  94. Mrs. Jones

    The first time I sprayed Chlorox Cleanup on my “stainless” steele sink and let it sit for a while, I learned my sink was not stainless. I just do this once a month, followed by Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser for anything that got missed, and it shines beautifully. I try not to use bleach or chemicals at all, but this just works best for my sink.

    For my stainless appliances and granite countertops, I use a mixture of mostly water, a cup of vinegar and a few drops of lemon essential oil and it wipe it down and dry it with cloth or paper towel. I tried expensive specialty cleaners but they didn’t clean anything. This homemade cleaner works better and is healthy enough to drink.


  95. melissa from two little tots

    i use a damp microfiber cloth and then my dry cloth to wipe it off. it works great and all i use is water!

  96. Anna

    I also just use a damp microfiber cloth (no cleaner) and it works the best for me. In my ss sink, I use Melaleuca’s Tough and Tender in a spray bottle and scrub with a scratchy sponge- the results are beautiful!

  97. Laura

    Take a tip from a cleaning lady friend of mine: After cleaning the sink, wipe it down with lemon oil (any brand) and wipe off any residue with a paper towel. this helps keep it shiny and sparkly. I don’t do this every time I clean my sink, but I do it when we have company coming or when I just want to give it a good shine.

  98. Laura

    btw, clorox should not be used on stainless as it can ruin the finish over time.

  99. Katie

    I just heard about the Pledge tip and it does work. BUT make sure you put an old towel on the floor in front of the fridge b/c the floor gets really slippery from the over-spray. My newest dilemma is cleaning the smudges off my Ikea-type furniture that is mostly mdf and has that shiny coating. Anyone have advice?

  100. Sarah HI

    We were expectant parents when we were shopping for a new stove. I wanted stainless, but the hubs put his hand on the front of the model in the store. Big handprint. “Imagine a small child and this stove.” I cringed. We found a stove with a finish called “clean steel.” It’s not as shiny as stainless, but looks great! I use windex on it, too. :-)

    • Nydia

      Do you use the original Windex, or the Windex Vinegar?


  101. Stacey

    I have stainless steel . . .not sure if I would choose it again. It does show everything! I generally use a soapy paper towel to soap up the surface and then buff dry with another papertowel. Every few months I follow this up with an oil rub (little olive oil on cloth and buff dry). Have tried all sorts of cleaners but haven’t found anything that works better. This works best on my LG fridge. My whirlpool dishwasher is the worst to clean. Would go for the “clean steel” next time.

    • sarahbee

      Thanks for the tip, Stacey, I’m going to try the olive oil!

  102. Rachael Harrison

    Soft scrub with bleach for my stainless steel sink.Looks brand new everytime!

    • Josh

      Word of caution…stainless steel sinks are NOT the same as stainless appliances. DO NOT use soft scrub on appliances or you’ll eventually rub off that shiny finish

  103. janet sherbert

    The best way to clean stainless steel is to use Cameo cleaner. It works well.

  104. Joan Adolf

    Try WD-40 on stainless. Spray on and wipe off.

  105. jant

    A little bit of hot water on a rag and straight pinesol will make your sink shine like new, as well as make the house smell good!

  106. Pam

    any suggestions on getting lime stains off of stainless steel

    • Carol K

      You could try sprinkling the stain with baking soda then pouring white vinegar over it.

  107. Jeri

    I use lemon pledge with a soft cloth, works like a dream!

    • Susan

      Lemon pledge works for my refridge too though my husband likes the WD40

  108. Sherry

    I have the exact same dishwasher. I use a little bit of Pam and a paper towel. Cleans it so nicely and it doesn’t get fingerprints for a long time!!

  109. Jeri

    @Pam try CLR. It worked really well on our shower head.

  110. Scarlet

    The best and only thing I ever use now is plain lemon Pledge. It works better than anything I’ve ever used!

  111. Jennie

    shhhh I have the best tip ever! All of my appliances are stainless. I have 2 young children and 2 crazy dogs! Ready???? I use 2 microfiber cloths! One damp with water and the other dry/polish. That is it! Water and microfiber cloths! Works great on granite too!

    • jannette

      Is there a “like” button for this post? Great tip! i have four kiddos and had my little girl helping me wipe down the kitchen yesterday (walls and all). get the kids involved. I personally don’t mind stainless steel, it seems to last longer. I ‘m not to concerned about polished houses as I am in the lasting ware and tare on a large family.

  112. Katrina

    De-Solv-It is one of the best cleaners I have ever tried! It is a gift from God for us who are trying to sell our house and clean up much dirt and grime from 2 kids and 2 large dogs! Plus, our 15 year old shower pan looks like brand new!

  113. Tammi D

    I use a vinegar water solution for all my cleaning. It works great on my stainless appliances, and makes my sink sparkle!

  114. Aunt B

    I won’t buy stainless appliances again. White is easier to keep clean. I learned while working as a hotel janitor that the best way to scrub stubborn, sticky stuff off stainless steel is with a baking soda paste. Once the baking soda has done its job, wipe it off and rinse the stainless with a mild vinegar solution. If you’re just polishing out fingerprints or water drips, or if you’re finishing up after a baking soda scrub, the least expensive, most effective treatment is a think film of vegetable oil. Use a soft cloth to buff off any surface film so the stainless steel doesn’t feel oily. Perfect results every time.

  115. Lisa

    Orange oil cleans and protects from future prints.

  116. debsunberg

    I completely second the use of olive oil to buff out stainless steel appliances after a Windex cleaning. Works every time, and the shine lasts.

  117. Laryssa

    So funny,the Electrolux factory is in our town. I may know the people that made your dishwasher!

  118. christine

    The absolute easiest way to clean a stainless steel sink is to use the baking soda in your fridge. It’s even removed rust caused by a wet can from my sink…and very easily I might add!

  119. Camille

    I didn’t read all of the posts so I don’t know if anyone mentioned this yet. When we bought our refrigerator 14 years ago the salesman gave us the best Stainless Steel cleaner around. We went back and bought it often but one day they told us it was no longer made in that container. So I asked him what he meant. It was made by the same people that make Liquid Gold wood cleaner and it was the exact same product. So now I buy it at the grocery store. Cleans and leaves a nice fingerprint proof finish. It smells good too. I’ve tried a lot of stainless cleaners but this is streak and fingerprint proof.

  120. Jo

    If I could choose any appliance finish, it would be turquoise! On retro-style appliances ;-) For modern appliances, I’d say probably boring white. We have black now, and they show so much dust! Besides looking like big black holes.

    To clean my rusty stainless sink, I use one of those metal pot scrubbers. If your sink is pretty new, it might not work as well though. At our old house, the sink from 1978 shined up beautifully that way, but I think that’s because it had 40 years of scratches to give it an even finish. When we moved here, I noticed a few scratches on the bottom of the 1-year-old sink the first time I did it, and it didn’t look as clean. But now after three years. It’s looking better.

  121. Carol K

    I love my stainless appliances. I clean them with eucalyptus oil – I know it sounds strange but it works. I add about 12 drops to a small glass pump spray bottle then top it up with hot water. Once it’s cool, I spray it on and buff it off with a paper towel. Works a treat and stops the fingerprints coming back so bad. It’s also good removing stickiness. My dryer arrived covered in stickers and when I removed them all they left nasty sticky marks. I worked them with straight eucalyptus oil and they all disappeared.

  122. Emily

    My parents have nice stainless appliances and they have used olive oil to clean them for years and it works great!
    1) clean off any grime with a warm, moist cloth 2) put a dab of olive oil on a paper towel and work it in 3) polish it off with a soft cloth. I tried this on my not-so-expensive stainless fridge and it didn’t work so great though. I guess ya get what ya pay for! lol

  123. Jude

    I have found that Mineral oil on a paper towel works best for my SS dishwasher. I keep the same paper towel in a little plastic baggie and just add a little more Mineral oil to it each time. Granted, I don’t have little ones any more, so there’s no gunk on the paper towel, but you don’t have to do multiple steps with this, just wipe across and your done, and it’s cheap. We also bought a Titanium fridge that I would highly recommend. You can wipe that down with a damp rag( have even done that on the dishwasher sometimes). I haven’t found ANY of the commercial SS cleaners that work. Good luck.

  124. Jean

    I have been using baby oil for over 5 years and it works great.

    I had hired an all natural cleaning service and the one thing they were able to clean was the stainless steel applainces. But only use a little. Take a paper towel and dap just a little on, no streaks!

  125. Samantha

    This isn’t an appliance cleaning tip, but to clean windows, I use the UK version of Windex and then remove all smudges with newpaper pages. Works amazingly.

  126. Mary

    I would not get stainless appliances again. However, I have just redecorated what I hope will be my last kitchen, so I am stuck with them. When I watch house hunting shows on TV, I am always yelling at the TV, trying to get the young people who really must have stainless to listen. I don’t have little ones and I still have fingerprints. The best thing I have found is Pledge (regular Pledge, not Pledge for stainless steel, which for some reason does not work as well.)

  127. Barb

    For my SS sink I will clean it with dish soap or hand soap, using my hands, almost every time I wash my hands or something else and it looks great. If I’ve been away and come back to a mess I will use Barkeepers Friend, and I prefer the liquid. It gets everything, even rust, off easily.

    My problem are the SS handles on my range. The oven handle get splashed and touched with everything. The handle for the bottom drawer seems to get used as a footrest. No matter what I’ve tried, these never look clean.

  128. amy

    One summer during college, I worked in a restaurant that had stainless steel everywhere. Part of our job was cleaning the servers’ side of the stainless. We were taught to clean it using club soda and coffee filters. The stainless was always shiny and gorgeous when we were done.

    Also, I’ve read that car polish (like turtle wax) was really good for keeping stainless shiny and print free.

    I know that I usually use olive oil, and it looked great for five minutes until my dog comes in the room and licks the oil on the finish(!)

  129. Leah

    I use windex for a ton of things! Cleans the walls amazingly:) For this sink, use Comet and a scrub pad. Looks brand new after its rinsed.

  130. Lynn

    BABY OIL! This is the ONLY thing that works! Throw out all the other stuff. Apply the baby oil to a dry, clean paper towel, apply, then wipe off any oil that is leftover. Appliances stay clean for weeks on end. Thank goodness for baby oil!

  131. Mark

    Thanks, this article really saved my butt.

    My parents went out of town for a few days and left me alone at home. My mom would definitely have decapitated me if she saw the stains on the fridge this morning. But thanks to my new friend, mr. olive oil, she’ll never know.

  132. james

    I make my own “GP” cleaner half gallon clear ammonia must be clear the “lemon” scented the yellow one leave a residue behind, 1 quart isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol and about 1/2 tablespoon dish soap. I use that for basically everything, but if surface has paint test in inconspicuous spot to make sure it does not lift the paint. Works great on my flat screen monitors and laptops screens. And for polishing the SS I use a fast evaporating petroleum distillates,ie. WD40 and use it sparingly as it goes a long way, only on none food contact surfaces, nor direct water contact surfaces such as inside sink. Then wipe down with clean dry lint free towel to remove any excess that may remain.

  133. Tracy lewkowiez

    I tried to post this previously. Be careful with Windex, especially if you clean for someone else. I had a bad experience with it on a stainless oven hood. I use Windex all over the house with great results but will always test first on SS. There are many different types of coatings and some react poorly to Windex. At one house, I use only Weimans on her SS.

  134. Lisbeth

    Bon Ami all the way!!!! Cheap and does the job.

  135. paula

    I also have found that windex works well. However I have also found that no mater what you use as the cleaning agent, the type of cloth you use for wiping is essential. Dish towels work well. Thick, fast absorbing, and able to cover a large area quickly,a dish towels is key. There are so many types of towels that you will want to fine the one that works the best for you. keeping in mind the degree of cleaning needed.

  136. Suzanne

    I just used spray n wash on my stainless sink, and I like it better than Pledge or Rain-x.

    Does anyone think this could be harmful?

    Thank you.


  137. Karen

    First clean your stainless with a good non oil base cleaner, it will look awful but… Then go and buy some car wax. Apply it just like you would on a vehicle and rub it off. It may take a time or two rubbing it off but the results are amazing and it will keep those pesky fingerprints at bay. IT DOES WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  138. patty martin

    I’ve had good success using just plain ole white vinegar–cheap, non-toxic.

  139. Sherri

    Regarding cleaning Stainless Steel appliance (this works for granite, and black glass too). We use furniture polish. Go with the grain and Wah-lah! We clean out stainless steel stove top, refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave! It adds a nice shine to our countertops as well. We did have issues with our dishwasher which is not an Electrolux but a Miele. Some of the finish on the control panel is painted plastic. The finish started to wear from opening and closing so we used a scrubby sponge and removed the finish. So our Miele dishwasher now has white trim which looks real clean instead of cheap.

  140. kathleen

    Weiman products! There is a whole line of them, some available at WalMart. I also found their website and ordered some there, at a very good new customer discount. The stainless cleaner: I spray it on, wipe with the grain, etc. with a micro towel. Then in between these “polishings”, everyday, I wipe fingerprints, etc., off with my sudsy kitchen sponge, and dry. I think of the stainless cleaner as a polish that enables me to wipe quickly every day. Same method with the granite sink cleaner, which is also wonderful. I also use the smooth stove top cleaner, and the glass cleaner. Great stuff!!!!

  141. milly

    I have used soft scrub ( comes in a bottle) for years on my stainless steel sink and it gets the rust out and really makes it shine.

  142. Mary

    I’ve been searching for years for ways to get rid of the water spots on my stainless steel sink and faucets and finally found the solution! For the old kitchen sink I followed up with Bartender’s Friend for a little extra scrub.

    Here’s how you make it:

    Fill about half a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar. Add in 1/4 cup of lemon juice.
    Fill the majority of the remaining space in your spray bottle with the dish soap of your choice.

    Shake the bottle to mix together ingredients.
    Use your solution on hard water stains! Spray it on liberally and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then scrub away the grime. Rinse, dry, and marvel at the glorious results. (You may have to repeat for stubborn stains.)

    My stainless steel looks brand new!

  143. susan

    I’ve been using Windex, but still seeing some “spots” and faint water streaks that wouldn’t budge. Just tried Bonami after reading reviews (I’ve used it on stainless steel sink many times). Voila!! Those small spots I thought were permanent scratches are completely gone! It’s the best ever. Now, if I put oil on it next, will it prevent new finger prints and water streaks from adhering?

  144. Joanne

    I have found that lemon oil works the best on stainless. I too tried everything and bought almost every product out there. Lemon oil on a soft cloth rubbing all over, then take another clean microfiber cloth and buff. Beautiful results. Cleans and shines, your appliances, sink, cabinets, etc. I use Old English .

  145. Heise

    Walker Wax or an all purpose wax — seriously! You apply the wax, then buff, and all you have to do for the next year or so is wipe with a microfiber cloth. This works on all my stainless and chrome, and our 30-year-old white porcelain sink that hubs thinks is just fine and won’t replace!

  146. Mirinda Whitaker

    Baking soda and orange oil/olive oil paste, scrub with a sponge till rust and other stains are gone!

  147. Mary Lou

    In my opinion the best thing to clean stainless steel sinks is spray and leave scrubbing bubbles bath room cleaner for at least 10 min. Longer for coffee or tea stains then wet magic eraser and wipe out applying some pressure to tough areas. Rinse and be done. Been cleaning houses for 10 years and this is still my fav.

  148. Diane

    But what about water spots? I have NO trouble getting my SS kitchen sink clean and shiny, but in order to keep it that way I have to dry it after EVERY time I turn on the water. I have used most of the oils listed in previous comments. They all give it a beautiful shine, but so far nothing keeps it that way. Hard water spots are the bane of my existence. ? haha. Anyone out there know how to keep spot free without having to dry it with a microfiber towel after each and every turn of the faucet?


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