How to Clean Stainless Steel Surfaces

Posted by Jenna Frederick on August 06, 2015 0 Comments

Below are some of the best ways to handle fingerprints on all those shiny surfaces, as well as how to care for and clean one of the hardest-working surfaces in the house. 

 

Safety first. For safe care and cleaning, start with the right tools. The European Stainless Steel Development Association, or ESDA, suggests using soft sponges and microfiber cloths as the first line of defense.

Don’t clean with steel scouring pads, which can scratch. Instead choose plastic scrubbing pads for tough jobs.

 

 

Go with the grain. On stainless steel surfaces with brushed or polished finishes, always wipe and scrub in the same direction as the “grain” lines in the metal.

 

 

 

Better with age. The ESDA says in addition to the availability of an increasing number of fingerprint-proof finishes, regular stainless steel shows fewer fingerprints over time. Patience is a virtue.

 

 

 

Stainless solutions. When it comes to choosing cleaning products, Mindi DiNunno, owner of Polished 2 Perfection, says whatever you decide, the key to cleaning is sticking to it. “Stay consistent,” she says. “Most cleansers don’t blend together well, and it makes it much harder to keep perfect. For appliances, we use CLR[Stainless Steel Cleaner]. It will clean off any hard-water stains from the water and ice dispenser and any drips or food.”

Since products containing chloride can be harmful to the protective finish on stainless steel, the ESDA advises using the following:

  • Diluted vinegar (for cleaning limescale)
  • Baking soda (to remove coffee deposits)
  • Alcoholic solvents, such as acetone (for removing adhesives)
  • Chloride-free glass sprays (especially efficient for polished, mirror-like surfaces)
  • Commercially manufactured pastes and sprays that specify use on stainless steel

 

 

Naturally clean. For a DIY approach to cleaning using pantry items, the sustainable-living team atEartheasy advises dampening a cloth with undiluted white vinegar or olive oil and wiping in the direction of the grain.

To clean a stainless sink, it suggests pouring club soda on an absorbent cloth to scrub, then wiping dry.

 

 

 

Shine on. Spray cleansers made specifically for cleaning decorative stainless steel surfaces usually contain silicone oil, and although they will remove fingerprints and smudges, they will not prevent them. The ESDA says the silicone oil can be completely removed by washing with mild soap and water.

Using a polishing paste is another way to keep stainless sparkling. Commercially sold pastes, such as 3M Marine Metal Restorer and Polish, will create a microscopic wax layer on the surface that will make it easy to clean. Since the pastes are resistant to detergents, treatment with a polishing paste may last several months. It can be removed using alcohol on a soft cloth.

It’s important to note that pastes and sprays meant for cleaning decorative stainless steel elements — refrigerator doors, kitchen backsplashes — should not be used on pots, pans or surfaces where food is prepared.

Do not use silver dip polishes, like the ones used for cleaning jewelry, because they are corrosive to stainless steel.

 

 

Be sure to check out http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/51225359/list/how-to-clean-stainless-steel-appliances-and-surfaces for more information! 

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