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Tips for Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Buzzle Staff
Appliances made of stainless steel are well-known for their ability to resist corrosion and rust, but the bright shiny surface is susceptible to accumulation of dirt, grime and scratch marks. Here are some appliance cleaning tips and advice to ensure your appliances stay sparkling for a long time.
Stainless steel is best known for its ability to resist corrosion. Stainless steel finds wide applications in the form of appliances for various household works and need to be cleaned regularly as they face the brunt of heat, oil or even water.
Stainless steel is an alloy made up of 90% iron and 10% chromium. Chromium combines with the oxygen from the atmosphere to form a hard oxide coating on the surface, which prevents steel from rust or corrosion. 
Though stainless steel is known for its ability to resist corrosion, the presence of dirt, dust, grime and most importantly fingerprints can hamper its look. However, stainless steel responds well to cleaning, when proper care is taken and the instructions in the user's manual are followed.
1. Clean the appliance with warm water, using a damp cloth.

2. Rub the inner and outer surfaces with a soft cloth by applying vinegar or alcohol to it.
3. Apply some stainless steel cleanser to the appliance and rub it in the direction of the polish lines on it.

4. Scrub off hard and greasy stains with a soft nylon pad with the help of hot caustic soda solution. Be careful to first read the instructions on the user's manual.
5. Clean the appliance completely with a damp cloth again.

6. Pat a drop of baby oil on a paper towel and rub it on the stainless steel appliance for the final cleaning.

Cleaning Methods

Organic Solvents

Organic solvents such as acetone can be used to remove oil or grease marks. After applying, clean with a cloth soaked in soap water, then dry. Follow the polish lines when drying.

Nitric Acid Solution

Add nine parts of warm water to one part of nitric acid, which is a good mixture to remove rust stains corrosion. Leave it for about half hour, then wash it off with plenty of water, soaked in a sponge or a soft cloth. Be careful while using the nitric acid solution. Use gloves to mix it in a glass container.

Soaked Nylon Pads

Scratches on satin finished stainless steel can be removed by using detergent-soaked nylon pads. Do not use steel wool scrubbers, as they could cause more harm. Follow the polish lines while rubbing and rinsing.


  • If the stain is hard to remove, use a mild detergent soaked in warm water and rub the surface with sponge or a fiber brush (soft nylon or old toothbrush). But make sure to clean it thoroughly with water immediately and rub it dry with a towel to avoid water spots.
  • Fingerprints is an issue with stainless steel appliance. Use ammonia or glass cleaners to rub them off. Then clean the appliance well with water and towel dry.
  • Clean the stainless steel appliances immediately after use.
  • Do not clean the appliances until they are completely cooled after use.
  • Do not use any solvents that contain chloride.
  • Use caustic cleaners and solvents if the room is well ventilated.
  • Do not use steel wool or brush to remove stains as they may cause scratches on the appliances, which will lead to rusting and corrosion.
  • Do not mix the napkins and towels that you use to clean appliances, for any other purpose.
  • Be careful not to wet the wire or socket of the appliance anytime. It may invite trouble when you use the appliance again after cleaning.
Stainless steel requires regular cleaning to maintain its aesthetics and to preserve it from corroding due to contamination of dirt while in extensive use, especially in the kitchen.
Hence, cleaning your appliances routinely can preserve the integrity of the surface and its appearance. Grain/pattern orientation, surface, and designs that provide wide opening to the appliances that allows maximum cleaning, should be considered when you set out to clean stainless steel products.