How to Clean Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is frequently used in kitchens and bathrooms.  It is known for it’s luster, sheen and ability to be a clean surface that resists rust and corrosion. Popular among appliances, most kitchens have plenty of stainless steel to care for. Using the correct method and product on your range hood or appliance is essential. In general, you want to start with the basics and work your way up from there as needed.

* One critical key to cleaning your stainless steel is to observe the grain.  Make sure you are cleaning in the same direction of the brushed finish, not against it, to decrease the chance of scratching your vent hood or appliance. Just remember, regardless of the product you are using, always, always, always wipe in the direction of the grain.

* Use a cloth or material that is non abrasive while cleaning, such as a microfiber cloth, which will be soft and leaves the least amount of fibrous material behind. These can be found in most grocery stores. Finish with a clean paper towel to increase the shine.

First Choice:

We recommend using a simple glass cleaner to clean stainless steel. It is safe, easy and most of us have a bottle hanging around. Pesky fingerprints or water based spots are the most common complaint and are easily cleaned with glass cleaner. Just spray it on, wipe it off in the direction of the grain using a cloth or paper towel and you’re set!

You can also use the old standby; vinegar and water. This is a natural product and as long as you can handle the smell and don’t mind mixing it yourself, then it’s a great choice as well. Use equal parts of vinegar and water put into a labeled spray bottle.

Second Choice:

If glass cleaner isn’t doing the job and you have a harder stain, such as one that is oil based or adhesive marks that you can’t seem to get rid of, try Acetone. (Most common Fingernail Polish Remover is a form of Acetone and is good for cleaning Stainless Steel). Just pour a little onto a soft cloth or a clean paper towel and gently wipe with the grain until it is gone.

Both these methods should remove almost any spots or stains on your indoor Stainless Steel Range Hood or appliances. However, your grease covered outdoor stainless steel barbecue grill that has been building up for some time, could pose a larger problem. This may require our last choice.

Last Choice:

As an absolute last resort, and ONLY as a last resort, try using something like Soft Scrub that is non abrasive, without any grit. Any kind of product with grit or a cloth that is rough will scratch your stainless steel, so be extremely careful. We suggest using a White Scotchbrite pad which can be found in your local hardware store.

First step: Test this on a small, inconspicuous area first. Pour a little Softscrub onto the White Scotchbrite pad and use gentle, long, even and complete strokes wiping in the direction of the grain.  Do not scrub and remember to stay in the grain. Then wipe it off with a clean paper towel.

Second step: Go back over it with glass cleaner and a soft cloth to remove any remaining residue.

** When you want to restore the luster or shine of your indoor stainless steel appliances follow this simple trick. Once the Range hood or appliance is cleaned, try rubbing it with a soft cloth dampened with a touch of Olive Oil or baby oil, then buff with a dry cloth. Not recommended for a grill or any other area where you have a flame. A reminder, oil is flammable!!

Following these simple methods will keep your stainless steel looking great for years.  I hope these tips were helpful. Have fun!!

In case you are a visual learner like we are, here is a video on how to clean stainless steel: