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Shine On: Tips for Cleaning Stainless Steel

Posted on September 9, 2013 by Miller and Smith Blog Team

A sign of a truly modern and sophisticated kitchen almost always includes the silvery shiny statement that stainless steel appliances make in any home. However, without the proper instructions for making your dishwasher, oven and refrigerator shine like new, you run the risk of turning fab into drab. 

One Loudoun in Ashburn, VA by Miller & Smith
A bright and modern Miller & Smith kitchen seen here in the Downtown Collection model at One Loudoun in Ashburn, VA.

We all know that everyday life can make its mark on these appliances that laud themselves for being spotless. Puppy dog noses and baby fingerprints, cake batter and tomato sauce splatters can all mar the pristine luster of these kitchen essentials. Here are a few tips and tricks that will quickly restore your appliances to looking like new again.

Cleaning Cloths:

Since stainless steel can scratch easily, it’s important to choose a cleaning cloth that is especially soft. Start with a microfiber cloth along with your chosen cleaning agent and then follow-up with a good paper towel wipe down. This will ensure the appliance shines without scratches or leaving behind a layer of cloth fibers.

 Cleaning With The Grain:

Before you begin cleaning your appliances, be sure to note which direction the grain is going. To prevent scratching, make sure when you are wiping or buffing the appliances to go with and not against the grain. Surprisingly, even a soft microfiber cloth can cause visible scratching if used against the grain of the stainless steel.

 Cleaning Agents:

Oil: You may be surprised to learn that many suitable stainless steel cleaning agents come right from your toiletry closet or kitchen pantry.  Any vegetable oil, including olive oil, and even baby oil will keep your appliances clean and shiny. Of course, there also are many commercial, oil-based stainless cleaners out there as well for your choosing.

  •  Clean. First use dish soap and water to clean up any dried on food or other messes that have collected on the appliances.
  • Rinse/Dry.  You must make sure that you allow the appliances to dry properly before moving on to the next step.
  • Add Oil and Buff. Add a few teaspoons of oil to your microfiber cloth and buff, buff, buff (for at least a minute or two). The more buffing, the better your result. Turn your microfiber towel over to the clean side and give the appliance one last go over.

 Window Cleaner: Another trick for cleaning marks from stainless steel is using a glass and window cleaner, like Windex. Simply spray directly on the appliance and wipe clean with your soft microfiber cloth or paper towel.

 Vinegar & Water: A good old-fashioned cleaning tincture can be used for cleaning your modern stainless steel appliances, too. Simply mix three parts white vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture directly onto the appliance and wipe clean with a paper towel. 

Poplar Run in Silver Spring, MD by Miller & Smith
Shiny Stainless Steel appliances add to the charm of this kitchen at Poplar Run in Silver Spring, MD.