Stainless steel is one of the most popular materials for kitchen appliances in the world, and it isn’t hard to see why. Stainless steel kitchen equipment is known for its durability and high resistance to everyday damage, and it can last a long time and yield quality results. These appliances are also sleek and visually appealing, allowing you to add some sparkling charm to any type of kitchen design.
However, these machines do come with one major flaw: their susceptibility to oils and fingerprints. While beautiful when clean, you can quickly soil stainless steel with a single touch. Fortunately, knowing how to clean and maintain stainless steel kitchen appliances can go a long way in keeping your own pristine for weeks at a time.
What You’ll Need
Before you can learn to make your stainless steel appliances look brand new again, it’s important to have an idea of what you’ll need for the project. You can utilize several different methods to clean these pieces of equipment, but some definitely work better than others when it comes to maintaining the long-term appearance of the metal. Here are a few essential tools and resources to keep on hand to ensure you’re always prepared to address problem spots and smudges.
Easy to buy and incredibly soft to the touch, microfiber cloths are a great tool to use in any part of the home. From wiping down windows to dusting fragile surfaces, their soft fibers are perfect for eliminating dust or grease spots while preventing streaks. Because of this, microfiber cloths are also preferred for cleaning your stainless steel appliances. With this tool to help you wipe away cleaning agents, you’re thoroughly removing debris and leaving a sparkling, clean surface.
Vinegar and Olive Oil
If you’re looking for a cost-effective home cleaner for your stainless steel appliances, you can find one just inside your pantry. Vinegar and olive oil are a great combination for removing persistent smudges and getting that shine you want from an appliance. The vinegar works to tackle grime, while the oil coats and polishes the metal to achieve a perfect finish. However, it’s crucial that you dilute the vinegar before using it on your appliances since it can be a bit too abrasive in higher concentrations.
The most recommended tool to have on hand for cleaning stainless steel is a specialized cleaner for these appliances. These soft cleaners are carefully formulated to dissolve problem grease while being gentle on the metal itself. As such, they’re the ideal way to get the clean you want and keep your stainless steel surfaces in the best shape.
What To Avoid
As you go about cleaning your appliances, it’s also crucial that you know what to avoid in the process. Though stainless steel is incredibly durable, it can sustain damage from harsh chemicals and materials if you aren’t careful. You should steer clear of these few common mistakes as you clean.
Abrasive Powders and Scrubbers
If you’re struggling with a particularly stubborn stain or grease spot, you might feel tempted to break out the bleach and steel wool. Unfortunately, doing so can have a permanent effect on the condition of your appliances. Both abrasive materials can scratch the surface of the metal and destroy the durable outer layer. This makes these surfaces more susceptible to damage in the future and ruins their overall appearance.
Wiping Against the Metal Grain
You also want to make sure you don’t wipe against the grain when washing these appliances. Much like wood, stainless steel has a directional grain that gives it its texture. Wiping the solution with the grain can promote evenly spreading the cleaner and preventing streaks from forming, whereas moving against the grain can cause you to miss key areas.
Air Drying Your Appliances
Additionally, don’t allow your appliances to air dry following the cleaning process. This can leave you with persistent spotting to remove later. Instead, wipe the surface down with a clean microfiber cloth. Doing so can help eliminate streaks and ensure you get the results you want.
The Stainless Steel Cleaning Process
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of how to clean and maintain stainless steel kitchen appliances. Though the steps can vary a bit depending on your materials of choice, the bulk of the process is similar. These are the key steps to keep in mind.
Prepare Your Cleaning Materials
Start off by choosing your preferred cleaning method. As discussed previously, this could be a specially formulated stainless steel cleaner product or a couple of common household staples. Regardless of which cleaning product you choose, it’s important to make sure that the ingredients aren’t too abrasive and that the product won’t cause any damage to the metal.
Coat Your Stainless Steel Appliance
Once you pick your formula, spray down your stainless steel appliance. For cleansing products, the process is as simple as turning on the sprayer head and coating the machine evenly with cleaning fluid. This formula will work to break up the grime and dirt on the metal so that you can remove it more easily. Then, scrub gently with a microfiber cloth to remove any persistent scuffs or grease stains.
Wipe Down With a Microfiber Cloth
After wiping down your appliance, repeat the process with a clean microfiber cloth. Work with the grain to buff out any residual problem spots and reduce the appearance of streaks. You should also use an additional protectant if you want to help prevent fingerprints in the future. While dedicated cleaning products already form a protective barrier, household materials like vinegar and a coat of olive oil can increase the shine and prevent grease from sticking in the future.
At Northe Kitchen & Bath, we want every homeowner to love the look and performance of their kitchen. In selling exclusively ZLINE kitchen appliances made with stainless steel, we’re committed to quality and providing you with that touch of luxury you deserve. We supply a wide range of appliance options, such as gas range tops, wall ovens, and microwaves, so that you always have options. Contact us today to learn more about our premium products and how to keep them looking their best.