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Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Category Appliances
Keeping your stainless steel sparkling and streak free can be a challenge. This guide is about cleaning stainless steel appliances.


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By 2 found this helpful
May 11, 2012

An easy way to clean and polish stainless steel appliances is with vegetable oil and a rag. Dampen the rag with some vegetable oil, wipe down the appliance and it will shine like new.

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By 13 found this helpful
September 6, 2012

Use Windex and coffee filters. The fibers in the coffee filters help get handprints and other things off stainless steel much better than a paper towel and dries clean without leaving smudges.

By Debbie G. from Tacoma, WA

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By 12 found this helpful
May 5, 2009

For 3 years I have been struggling to keep my stainless steel appliances clean. They always have drip marks and finger prints on them. Finally, I found the perfect solution and it is something almost everyone has in their home.


First clean the surface with warm soapy water and rinse. Yes, I know, you're going to see a lot of streaks. But, then spray WD-40 on a soft, lint-free cloth (I used an old t-shirt) and wipe over the stainless steel surface. Just a tiny bit will do it.

A very thin layer of WD-40 will really shine your appliances up and keep them smudge free for a long time. If finger prints or smudges do show up, just a dry soft cloth will erase them instantly. What a time saver this has been! Try it for yourself.

Source: I found this tip online after a very frustrating, and unsuccessful cleaning attempt.

By Danielle from WI

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By 2 found this helpful
June 10, 2009

After cleaning your stainless steel, smear on some baby oil with a dry cloth. The stains will be easier to remove in future.

By val burns from renfrew

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By 1 found this helpful
November 1, 2015

Mix 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 tbsp baking soda and 1/8 cup hydrogen peroxide. Add 4-6 cups hot water. Use a clean cloth. Dip cloth in solution and wring out, leaving cloth a little sloppy.


Wipe down stainless steel with cloth. Allow to sit a minute. Wipe down with a dry cloth. Then wipe with a microfiber cloth.

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By 1 found this helpful
April 21, 2009

To clean smudge marks off stainless steel appliances, make a paste of baking soda and water. Rub over the spots. Then wipe the appliance down with plain water, and dry.

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By 3 found this helpful
March 14, 2016

The best way to clean stainless steel refrigerator doors and silver jewelry is toothpaste! Any brand will do, but it has to be the white paste. Use just a little, then wipe clean with Windex.

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By 2 found this helpful
November 15, 2016

Take an empty spray bottle and fill it with half baby oil and half food-grade mineral oil. Spray on a cloth and apply in circular motion.


Take another cloth and buff. This leaves a beautiful shine and lasts a while. It is much cheaper than any store-bought brand.

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May 5, 20090 found this helpful

Use 100% pure virgin olive oil on a lint free, clean cloth, to polish stainless steel to a smudge free shine. I hardly believed it myself but tried it today on my stainless steel refrigerator and was truly amazed.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 12, 20110 found this helpful

I am wanting to find a way to clean the top and outside of my stainless steel gas stove. I have tried soapy water like the instructions say or just a wet wash cloth, but it always leaves water spots or smudges. Please help me. Thanks.


By Alecia


July 12, 20110 found this helpful

Go to your local big box store and buy a cleaning product that has been made to clean stainless steel. No one brand is any better than the other.

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July 12, 20110 found this helpful

I don't have SS but have heard two things; baby oil, but that seems like it might leave a residue and club soda, doesn't matter if it's flat.

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July 12, 20110 found this helpful


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July 12, 20110 found this helpful

Mineral oil works. Put it onto paper towels or an old t-shirt rag and wipe down your stove, preferably in the same direction as the "grain" if it is brushed steel. The metal is actually porous and will absorb some of the oil, leaving a nice sheen.


You can wipe again with a dry cloth if you feel a residue left by the oil. Water based cleaners do leave spots on stainless steel appliances. Oils are the best way to clean them. Mineral oil, baby oil, I suppose any kind of oil would work.

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July 14, 20110 found this helpful

The resturants I worked at used oil. Very little on a rag or towel will shine it up perfectly and cleans it at the same time.

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July 18, 20110 found this helpful

We have a stainless steel elevator in this building. We use baby oil on a t-shirt rag to wipe down the walls, it doesn't leave any streaks.

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By 3 found this helpful
April 8, 2011

I have a lot of buildup of stainless steel appliance cleaner. My frig doors are all smudged with build up. If I use the stainless cleaning pads I bought at the store, it looks good for a few hours, then it gets even more smudged with build up. Can anyone help me? I'm at my wits end!

By julie from Medford, NJ


April 10, 20110 found this helpful

Use a solution of warm water, vinegar, a few drops of plain dish soap. (no soap with added oils & lotions). Use a soft, lint free cloth to rinse all the grime & buildup off. Once you manage to get all the grime off I recommend one of two products. The easiest is a window cleaner called SprayAway. Simply spray on and buff off with a clean lint free cloth. I regularly use this method at my clients' houses on their stainless steel appliances & it is amazing. No residue or streaks and it leaves a great shine. The other product I would suggest is Wright's Silver Polishing Cream. A little goes a long way, but your steel will blind you when all is said and done! :)
I don't recommend using most of the SS wipes and cleaners that have become so abundant these days. Most simply create a build up like the situation you have now. Hope this helps!

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April 11, 20110 found this helpful

Use eazy off oven cleaner on stainless steel. All grease will lift off.

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November 11, 20091 found this helpful

How do I clean stainless steel appliances?

By tina from FL


Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

There are many products you could use. I use stainless steel cleaner in an aerosol can available most anywhere. Other people have used other products with good results such as pledge (06/18/2009)

By Deanj

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

You don't need any cleaner at all. Get a microfiber cloth-ring it in hot water. Wipe your appliances down. Do the same for window really works. (06/18/2009)

By Joan Dykes

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

I completely agree with those who suggested microfiber cloths - they are miraculous. With only water, you can clean stainless steel, glass, mirrors, countertops, TV and computer screens, even painted surfaces. You can buy a large package of them in the auto department of Wal Mart or at an auto supply store - much cheaper than the ones in the linen dept. (06/19/2009)

By Jean

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Just scrolled through reading all of the suggestions. My appliances her covered with water spots, fingerprints (two small children are so hard on stainless steel) and some very light surface rust (very annoying for appliances that are only a few years old.)

Until now we have always used the stainless steel cleaning spray- It hasn't worked very well.

Anyway, the only thing I had on hand was the baking soda. With a toothbrush, I scrubbed the surface of my stainless steel appliances (testing a small area first), rinsed with a warm wet rag, and then dried with a clean soft cloth. It was a laborious task but the results were amazing.

The rust, the water spots, the fingerprints, everything is gone and my appliances look like they did the day we put them in!

Well worth the time invested!


By Eddie Pugsley

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June 18, 20090 found this helpful

What is the best way to clean stainless steel appliances?

Robin from Petaluma, Ca


Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances RE: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

We bought a new house with stainless appliances and regretted it minutes after moving in. Anyone with kids knows this already - and we have 5 kids.

Finally I got it: wipe with a clean cloth and warm water. NO barkeeper's helper, that removes the protective coating on some stainless. Careful with Pledge and other waxy stuff - that'll build up. Wipe with warm water, then a small spray of WD-40. Polish the appliance with a dry paper towel, and wipe until it looks dry. Prevents fingerprints, lasts forever, and makes cleaning next time really, really easy.

Note that a lot of the expensive wipes from Endust or Pledge contain the same silica based solution...this is just way, way cheaper. (09/18/2008)

By Rick Rick

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

The woman with five children had the ultimate solution - WD40 after wiping with warm water. Bingo! That is the best solution I've tried and my appliances look wonderful - shiny and clean. Trust someone with five kids to have the answer to problem cleaning. She's my hero! (10/03/2008)

By Heather

Cleaning Water Streaks on Stainless Steel Appliances

Use Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish followed by your standard stainless steel cleaner, and water marks on your fridge will be gone. (10/05/2008)

By John S.

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

I use mineral oil and keep a not-too-oily rag around for knives, cutting boards and various stone tools. After thoroughly cleaning my stainless steel refrigerator with 90% alcohol, I gave it a good rubbing of mineral oil. Now, I can just give the refrigerator a swift wipe with said not-too-oily rag and fingerprints are gone. BTW, the coating is thin enough that it does not feel oily and does not collect dust.

I use mineral oil because it is food safe and will not go rancid like vegetable-based oils. (10/13/2008)

By Mugly W.

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September 17, 20080 found this helpful

We bought a stainless steel refrigerator with French doors about 8 months ago. It was expensive and is beautiful. I suspect I'm not cleaning it right, since I can not get all the marks off the refrigerator. Some of the marks just look like water spots or drips. What are your suggestions for cleaning a stainless steel refrigerator?

Tina S from Ashland, OR


Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Bar Keeper's is a cleaner and works AWESOME! I have a stainless steal double sink in our kitchen and use it all the time. Leaves it looking new and shiny. (07/07/2008)

By Shannon

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

The only commercial product I've found that works is, Cerama Brite Stainless Steel Cleaning Polish and Conditioner. It contains mineral oil. You rub it on, with the grain (like waxing a car), let it dry for a second, then wipe off with a dry cloth. Works great. They have another cleaner but it doesn't have mineral oil. I didn't like that one. I Couldn't find it locally so I ordered it online. Good luck. (07/08/2008)

By Wendy

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Use any of the great suggestions for getting the fridge clean, but once it is clean, use Vaseline to keep it from streaking and for an easy clean up. Once clean, rub Vaseline over all the stainless steel. Then wipe clean in the same direction. The Vaseline seals the surface. When you get a smudge or fingerprint, just wipe with a cloth and the it instantly disappears. The Vaseline seals the dirt from the stainless steel. You will have to repeat the process every 6 months or so, when you finally wipe off all the Vaseline. You will not see it, but it is protecting your fridge. It is a trick that restaurants use for their kitchen appliances to make for an easy clean up each night. (07/08/2008)

By crystal wolfe

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

I grew up in a house with a 1967 builder-grade stainless steel stove top oven and sink. My mom always used plain mineral oil & a soft cloth to clean it. We owned that house for 35 years & it still had the original Stainless appliances in it when we sold it 3 years ago & they still looked like new!

What she did was: put some mineral oil on to the soft cloth (flannel works great) then wiped it on to the stainless, then she buffed it off with a clean part of the rag afterward.

If you sometimes need to use a harsher cleanser to remove stubborn grease & grime, be sure to always end the cleaning session with mineral oil, then buff it off... This will remove any finger prints & keep your stainless looking like new! (07/08/2008)

By Cyinda

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

I use straight rubbing alcohol (any store brand) on a paper towel. It can be used to clean stainless steel sinks, faucets, and handles too. It's real quick! (07/08/2008)

By Flos in Boston,MA

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

It seems to me that someone mentioned using those Mr. Clean sponge things. They do a good job on a lot of things! Worth a shot! Good luck!

Pam (07/09/2008)

By Pam T

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Used the olive oil! Wonderful tip. I was almost sorry I bought stainless appliances. (08/06/2008)

By buckeyeup

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Use good ole Murphy's Oil Soap. The small amount of oil in it does a great job of polishing without the downside of things like olive oil which can attract dust. Best method: take a wet microfiber cloth with a quarter size amount of Murphy's in the center. Rub the Murphy's directly onto the fridge. (by the way, microfiber cloths purchased in the auto dept. are bigger and cheaper than getting them in the cleaning section of the store). Immediately after the application of Murphy's, rub dry with another cloth. Works beautifully, is smudge less, and doesn't require a "specialty" cleaner that can only be used on the stainless. I like to simplify and not have multiple products laying around my house. I already use Murphy's on my hardwood floors. (09/01/2008)

By Loving my stainless

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Use a microfiber cloth to clean your stainless steel appliances. A friend had a difficult time getting hers clean, so I gave her a microfiber dish cloth. She was very excited that it cleaned it so easily, and she didn't have to use anything but water. (09/10/2008)

By Marcia

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