Stainless remains popular, despite the extra work required to keep it looking good
Stainless steel appliances remain popular in American kitchens. Stainless appliances even deliver white and black kitchen appliances, with dishwashers, ranges and refrigerators that showcase the stainless steel look in a grand way. (An exception is the freezer category – most sold are white.)
“Stainless appliances have grown in popularity over the past six years,” said Jill Notini, spokeswoman for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.
But some stainless steel devices have a disadvantage: they are magnets for fingerprints, stains, water stains and stripes. That means a lot of cleaning time to make your devices look shiny. I know how much work it does firsthand: I have to clean my stainless steel range regularly with an all-in-one stainless steel cleaner, although I draw the line to spend more time cleaning the range than cooking with it.
The Basics on Cleaners for Stainless Steel
Avoid the use of aggressive abrasives, abrasive powders, steel wool, bleach and ammonia, all of which can damage the finish.
Always check the owner’s manuals and the manufacturer’s websites for other cleaners to avoid. Some manufacturers do not recommend using a stainless steel glass cleaner, for example. And Samsung even recommends that you do not use a grout cleaner with hydrochloric acid on the tile floor in your kitchen because the fumes from the grout cleaner can damage the finish of stainless steel appliances.
Here is more advice about cleaning stainless steel appliances from Nancy Bock of the American Cleaning Institute.
Stainless Steel Cleaning Tips
Step 1: Immerse a soft cloth in warm water mixed with a mild detergent. Wipe the surface clean, rinse and wipe the cloth, and then dry with a towel to prevent water stains.
Step 2: If you still see fingerprints, spray a glass cleaner on a soft cloth and wipe off fingerprints.
Step 3: To remove fried food and fat, make a paste of baking soda and warm water. Gently rub the surface with a soft cloth or sponge. Wipe with a clean, wet cloth and dry the towel. For scratches and stains, use a stainless steel cleaner and apply it to the area as directed. Rinse with a clean, damp cloth and then dry.
Streaking of stainless?
If cleaning stainless steel is not attractive, check out other finishing options, such as the classic, white.