How To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances And Remove Scratches

stainless-steel-appliancesStainless steel is all the rage these days when it comes to kitchen appliances.

However, as slick and shiny as stainless steel appliances are, keeping them that way isn’t always easy.

In no time, they seem to collect sticky fingerprints and smears. Unfortunately, you’re left with a visible record of every time the refrigerator door has been opened.

Stainless steel requires careful cleaning in order to maintain its luster. Abrasive cleaners or those containing chlorine can cause permanent damage and discoloration to the surface of your stainless steel appliances.

Here’s how to clean stainless steel and remove scratches from your stainless steel appliances…

 

Stainless Steel Cleaners

Cleaning with a cloth and warm water is your safest approach for everyday fingerprints and food stains. For tougher stains, try adding a mild detergent to the water.

A few other DIY stainless steel cleaners include:

 

There are also a number of stainless steel cleaners on the market, and most do a pretty good job:

  • ProtectaClear is a coating that can be applied to both indoor and outdoor stainless steel appliances in order to protect them from staining and discoloration.
  • Citrushine is a spray polish for stainless steel that’s formulated for outdoor use, but can be used indoors as well.
  • Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner is popular and it comes in many forms: a spray cleaner, wipes, and polish/cleaner combo). The Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner/Polish is the one that rates most highly according to Consumer Reports:

The 7 cleaners we tested work well, so choose based on price and type. The Method Stainless Steel Cleaner, Pledge Multi-Surface Wipes, and Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes are one-step cleaners. With the other 4 [OrangeGlo Stainless Cleaner, Stainless Steel Magic, Cerama Brite Stainless Steel Polish, and Weiman Stainless Steel Polish], you have to clean and then buff the surface.

 

Removing Scratches From Stainless Steel

Unfortunately, it can be rather difficult to remove scratches from stainless steel appliances. There are a few things you can do, but most methods have only limited success — especially if the scratch is deep.

Generally speaking, there are 2 ways to remove scratches from stainless steel appliances:

(1) A lightly abrasive cleanser (like a whitening toothpaste) can remove light scratches from stainless steel.

(2) A piece of fine grit sandpaper and a little muscle power can lead to satisfactory results on deeper scratches.

Just be sure to always rub the scratch with the grain of the metal. Otherwise, you’ll only make the scratch worse and much more obvious!

 

These tips are from TLC, a leader in home repair and remodeling:

  • For fine scratches, cleaners such as Comet and Revere Stainless Steel and Copper Cleaner are non-abrasive cleansers that will gently buff stainless steel. They come in a dry powder that needs to be combined with water or as cream-based cleaners that go on the metal a bit smoother. Appliance manufacturers often make their own cleaners that are easy to find at home improvement stores.
  • For deeper scratchessanding with wet sandpaper is recommended. Sandpaper comes in various grits, so check first with your appliance manufacturer about which kind of sandpaper will work best for your stainless steel.
  • If you have a lot of scratches, there are a few DIY scratch removal kits, such as Scratch-B-Gone or the Siege 63001 Stainless Steel Sink and Cookware Scratch Remover pack, that will take you step by step through the scratch removal process. These kits feature products similar to the two described above in one kit and will cost you a little more out of pocket.

 

See how the stainless steel Scratch-B-Gone system works:

 

Finally, the following video is long and slow, but it’s filled with very helpful info throughout. Listen closely to pick up the hidden gems that could save your scratched stainless steel appliances:

 

Did You Know?…
If a magnet sticks to it, the stainless steel is of a lower grade (400 series) and not as durable or corrosion resistant as higher-grade (300 series) stainless steel. Source

 

stainless-steel-kitchen

 

More About Scratch Removal & Stainless Steel Cleaners

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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Fun From Around the Web

  • http://www.skweekykleen.co.uk/ Zac Hussain

    Fantastic list of tips Lynette! I’m always happy to discover these unusal, quirky cleaning tips to try out myself. Did you experiment/stumble on any of these yourself or pick them up from somewhere else?

    • http://thefuntimesguide.com/ FunTimesGuide

      Zac – both. Some I’ve tried. Others I’ve researched – and the links provide greater detail. I’m currently using the Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner and I love it – works great.

  • R H

    Your comment on grade is incorrect, but the source you site is correct- it was just transcribed improperly. A magnet will not stick 300 series stainless and it is of a higher quality than 400 series stainless, to which a magnet will stick. The lower the number, the higher the grade (quality).

    • http://thefuntimesguide.com/ FunTimesGuide

      Thanks, R H. I’ve corrected the text above.