5 Ways to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

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Have a smudge, burn, or stain on your stainless steel appliance? We know just the way to clean it.

Stainless steel is a durable surface that can often be restored to perfection no matter how grimy it gets. You may have noticed a rust spot on your oven or a stain in your sink. Many NewAir appliances are finished in stainless steel as well, such as our air fryers, wine coolers, and grills. Depending on the cleaning supplies in your kitchen, you have quite a few options for getting dirty spots off.

There are many store-brand products that are marketed just for cleaning stainless steel. If the solutions listed here don’t do the job, you can always pick up a product at your local grocery store.

The reason many people choose a more “organic” way to clean stainless steel is because there are many different chemicals in products designed to clean steel quickly. These products can be harmful to your health, either through inhalation of the toxins or if the product touches your food. Instead, a homemade solution is cheaper, safer, and you’ll almost never run out.

The only rule when using any of these cleaning options is to wipe in the direction of the grain, the same as you would while polishing wood. If you don’t do this, you may scratch or cloud the finish.

1. Warm Water

Typically, warm water and a washcloth is enough. Fingerprints and bits of food on your appliances dissolve with water. Boiling water is great for rinsing dirty areas such as your sink. Just make sure to dry the surface completely after you’re done.

Decreasing the use of chemicals in your home is a good practice. This is also the easiest solution to try. If you want to add something extra, a little bit of diluted lemon juice will give your appliances a clean smell.

2. Gentle Detergent

If warm water isn’t enough to get rid of a dirty spot, add a dime-sized drop of gentle detergent to your cloth to loosen up the grime when you scrub, then rinse the area again with warm water.

Most dish detergents have degreaser, and it doesn’t take very much to do the trick. This can also add a nice scent to the appliance so that the next time you use it, you’ll know it’s clean.

3. Windex

If you’re still noticing streaks and smudges, Windex is usually the go-to cleaning product for these surfaces. With a paper towel, a few pumps of Windex can remove most dirty spots and leave a sleek shine.

Some complain that Windex has a strange odor in a kitchen, so using a hot water solution instead may be preferable. You also don’t want Windex anywhere near your food, so be sure to move anything you might eat out of the way to avoid accidental consumption of this cleaning product.

4. Car Wax

Putting a light coat of wax on your appliances can actually reduce the appearance of fingerprints and grease spots and make them easier to clean.

For appliances that you pick up and move around often, you may get annoyed by how smudgy they appear. To counter this, buff a light coat of car wax over the steel surfaces – it should go for months without fingerprints.

5. Vinegar

Combining baking soda with vinegar makes for more than just a great science project – the combo can also help you clean your home. The most prominent use is to unclog a drain with the bubbly effect. If you pour baking soda down a drain, then flush it with vinegar and cover it, the suds will push down the clog. By adding boiling water, you can flush out the remaining grime.

For cleaning stainless steel, instead of combining the two, try them both separate and diluted with water first. Buffing a surface with either can help with grease stains, rust, and burns. Just be sure you’re not scrubbing against the grain of stainless steel, or else you’ll be left with a cloudy blotch on your appliance and will be unable to clean within the crevices of the steel.

Of course, if you don’t like the smell of vinegar, this can be a bit of a downside. Adding lemon juice to your diluted mixture will make it smell cleaner, but vinegar itself has a very acidic odor that you may not be able to mask.

Final Tips

Always use a soft cloth to clean stainless steel instead of steel wool or the rough part of a sponge. A soft-bristle toothbrush can also be gentle enough to scrub within the grains.

After you’ve cleaned your stainless steel appliance, you can also gently polish it with either baby oil, mineral oil, or olive oil to give it a shiny finish.

If you use warm water to regularly spot-clean your appliance, you shouldn’t have to do any heavy duty cleaning.

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