Home Remedies for Stainless Steel Appliances

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From the spiffy toaster decorating the countertop to the Frigidaire filled with food, stainless steel adds a nice look to kitchen appliances. With a durable coating and eye-catching shine, appliances made with this material help create a classy, elegant look. One of the only setbacks is dealing with a dull finish and fingerprints – but home remedies for stainless steel appliances can help.

What is Stainless Steel?

Containing more than 10% of chromium, stainless steel is an alloy of iron. With its attractive shine and sophisticated color, it is a popular material used in appliances. Although stainless resists stains, it can easily become riddled with oily fingerprints. The surface of the steel is comprised of a bit of the chromium in the alloy that produces a hard oxide coating. If excessive wear and corrosion takes place, the stainless steel will rust just like regular steel.

Common Issues with Stainless Steel Appliances

Some people dread cleaning stainless steel appliances because they are considered a pain to maintain. Stainless steel is prone to marks, scratches, grease buildup, food stains, smears, dust and worst of all – fingerprints. Some corrosive agents found in food (such as certain acids) can harm the surface of stainless steel appliances. There are also different finishes that your appliances may display, including matte, satin, mirror, bead blast, brushed or reflective. Some finishes will not respond well to all cleaners.

Stainless Steel Appliance Home Remedies

Since most high-end stainless steel appliances, such as microwaves, ranges, dishwashers and refrigerators, can cost hundreds of dollars, it is important to follow proper care and maintenance. The following home remedies for stainless steel appliances can help you save time, money and energy:

a) Pledge:

A dusting spray, such as Pledge, can effectively clean stainless steel appliances, as well as leave behind a nice scent.

b) Soap and Water:

A plain liquid soap and water mix can remove prints left behind by dirty hands. Follow up with a dusting spray, like Pledge.

c) Club Soda:

Use club soda to remove the streaks or heat stains that can appear on stainless steel appliances, such as on your trusty toaster.

d) Baby Oil [1]:

Rubbing a few drops of baby oil into the stainless steel features of your kitchen appliances is a great way to remove stains and create a sparkling shine. Use a soft, clean cloth to rub down the steel.

e) Vinegar:

Add undiluted white vinegar to a spray bottle and apply a light misting to your stainless steel appliances. With the help of a soft cloth, you can buff to bring out a shiny finish. Vinegar also helps remove dirt from your appliances.

f) Steel Wool:

To remove small rust stains from a stainless steel appliance, it’s OK to turn to the help of a fine steel wool pad. After finding the direction of the grain, scrub the rust stains, which helps lessen the damage that scratches can leave behind. You can use this method to treat rust before using a second remedy.

g) Vinegar and Steel Wool:

Treat light rust spots on stainless steel appliances by applying white vinegar using a paper towel or sponge. Leave on the vinegar for 30 minutes to one hour. The acetic acid found in the vinegar helps break down the rust. You may follow up by gently scrubbing with a fine steel wool – working in the direction of the grain to cut down on scratching. Use a damp sponge to wipe clean the appliance.

h) Toothbrush:

To address small crevices when cleaning a stainless steel appliance, use a clean toothbrush to remove caked on food, accumulated dust and other grime. Rinse with warm water after cleaning.

i) Glass Cleaner:

To effectively remove fingerprints from your appliances, consider spraying on a glass cleaner (such as Windex) and wiping clean with a paper towel.

j) Rubbing Alcohol:

Add a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol to a microfiber pad, and run it along the rain of your appliance.

Resources

[1] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 58.

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