Cleaning Do's and Don'ts: Cleaning Stainless Steel
Best known for its ability to resist rust and corrosion, stainless steel is a popular choice for modern day bathroom and kitchen appliances. However, it seems like every time you turn around fingerprints, watermarks, and streaks decorate the surfaces of ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, and even sinks. To top it off, dirt, dust, and grime can cause premature rusting of your appliances. Expensive stainless steel cleaning products promise to return surfaces to their showroom beauty, but most often fail to live up to their promises. Restore your dull and dirty stainless steel appliances with these tips and tricks!
DIY Stainless Steel Cleaner
What You Need:
Diluted White Vinegar in a Spray Bottle (1:2 ratio)
Start by determining the direction (horizontal or vertical) of the grain on any stainless steel surface.
Begin by spraying and wiping down the surface with diluted vinegar. ** Remember to wipe the vinegar off in the same direction that the grain is going**
Dip your microfiber cloth into a small amount of oil and polish your appliance wiping again, in the same direction that the grain is going.
How to Clean your Stainless Steel Sink:
Using the same vinegar solution mentioned above, spray and wipe down your sink.
Scrub away any stubborn spots using baking soda. To do this, simply mix a little baking soda and water together to form a paste. Let the paste sit for 10-20 minutes depending on severity, then simply wipe away.
Rinse out your sink and towel dry. (If you do not towel dry your sink after cleaning, water marks could be left behind.)
Other Stainless Steel Cleaning Tips:
Always wipe with the grain when cleaning stainless steel.
Don’t use oven cleaner, chlorine, abrasive cleaners, or bleach to clean your stainless steel.
Remember that each stainless steel appliance is different so your cleaning routine may vary with each surface. Review the manufacturers guide that came with your appliances for specific cleaning directions.
Using Abrasive Cleaners: Stainless Steel is easily scratched and for this reason you should avoid using abrasive cleaners. While these cleaners may be effective for removing dirt, they are more likely to damage your stainless steel in the process.
Not Wiping in the Direction of the Grain: Whenever you clean stainless steel you should wipe in the direction of the grain. This allows you to clean the microscopic grooves where dirt and grime are easily trapped.
Leaving Items in a Stainless Steel Sink: You were in a hurry and you left your pots, pans, and a sink full of dirty dishwasher in your stainless steel sink. We’ve all been there, but this costly mistake could leave stains and streaks in the sink that are difficult to remove (See how to clean your stainless steel sink above). The longer the mess sits in the sink the worse it gets.
Using Bleach: While bleach can be great for cleaning some things, it is not made for stainless steel surfaces and will take the finish off over time.
Using Steel Wool or Abrasive Cleaning Pads: Never use steel wool on your stainless steel appliances as the abrasive agents will scratch the grain of the steel and make your appliances appear dull.
Letting Grime Sit: Wiping up spills when they happen instead of letting them sit on surfaces will help keep your appliances looking new. Grease, dirt and grime can stick to stainless steel appliances if they are left to dry. Avoid scrubbing if at all possible as it can lead to scratches on your appliances.
Stainless steel appliances are very common and can look great in your kitchen or bathroom. However, keeping them clean can be, at times, rather tricky. The key to keeping stainless steel surfaces looking beautiful is to incorporate proper maintenance and care to your weekly cleaning routine.
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