Stainless steel appliances are now in every modern kitchen. These shiny surfaces make your home more elegant but also need some effort in order to keep them looking pristine! Stainless steel can be the most resistant material to rust and the normal wear and tear. If you take proper care when cleaning stainless steel surfaces, it will keep its shine for many years.
With that in mind, we thought we’d share some handy tips about how to clean your stainless steel surfaces without damaging them:
1. Do not use cleaning products, which aren’t suitable for stainless steel.
Sounds simple right? An easy solution is to always read the labels when you choose your cleaning product for stainless steel. Some of them can scratch or damage stainless steel surfaces, so it’s best to avoid them:
- Abrasive cleaners – they contain tiny particles of product which will harm stainless steel surfaces;
- Bleach – it is a product often used around the house but not everyone knows that it can damage stainless steel surfaces;
- Products, containing chloride – they harm the protective finish of shiny surfaces;
- Oven cleaners – these products are very harsh, because they are produced to clean really stubborn stains;
- Grimey tap water – if your tap water is gritty or with a high content of calcium, it can leave white or brownish stains after rinsing and drying.
You can use special stainless steel cleaners. As a precaution though, read the instructions before cleaning. Try the cleaner on a small test surface to see how it performs. Another option is to make a natural cleaner with white vinegar and water. For stains, apply some baking soda and wipe it gently. If you need to remove some fingerprints, it is safe to spray with glass cleaner.
2. Do not use brushes, that will scratch the stainless steel surfaces.
Scratching your stainless steel surface won’t juts damage it but also make is susceptible to staining. Make sure you don’t use these materials on stainless steel:
- steel wool;
- steel brushes;
- wire brushes;
- steel scouring pads,
- highly abrasive scrubbing pads.
Materials that are safe when cleaning stainless steel surfaces may be a synthetic scouring pad, soft sponge or microfiber cloth. You can also use an old toothbrush for stains or some tiny spaces that need gently brushing.
3. Do not forget to polish and dry after cleaning.
If you want to maintain that shiny new look of your stainless steel surfaces, you need to polish them with cleaning products designed for stainless steel. It’s always useful to wipe the stainless with a soft cloth in the same direction as the “grain lines” to give it a nice even finish. You can polish these surfaces with silicone-based products or polishing pastes that are specially made for this use. You can also use some common oils that you have in your household such as olive oil, lemon oil or baby oil. Finish with a paper towel to dry the surface. Be aware that polishing is made mainly on decorative stainless steel elements, which excludes materials where food is prepared.
Stainless steel is one of the hardest surfaces to clean, because it requires very specific treatment. If you do it right, the sparkling results are worth it!