September 21, 2017

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

Oct8

When I first announced that I was getting stainless steel appliances, I had a lot of people thrilled for me because they knew what a beautiful addition to my kitchen they would be, but warned me about the hassle that comes with five children and fingerprints on the stainless steel surfaces. Once they were installed, I purchased the recommended stainless steel appliance cleaner because I am definitely about taking care of investments, and if it meant a more expensive cleaner, so be it.

But honestly, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how easy they are to maintain. Maybe the new models have made improvements? Anyhow, as my stainless steel cleaner bottle has come to the end, this frugal lifestyle blogger feels there must be a more economical way to clean my appliances.

So I did what any educated person in this era does, I googled,

“How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances.” ๐Ÿ™‚

Wow, I never knew that people had so many opinions aboutย  simple cleaning options. Besides tips like using microfiber cloths (which I haven’t tried yet), the recommendation to wipe the steel with the grain using a soft cloth was mentioned as well as numerous stainless steel cleaners. I finally found the frugal alternative I was looking for in a string of comments recommending a product that I grew up with …. Pledge.

pledge

My job as a young girl was to do the dusting, and so I remember that classic Yellow Pledge bottle well. I wish I could say I carried on that skill into adult hood, but it’s not my strongest trait. I believe that is why the Lord gave me a daughter who loves to clean. I encouraged responsibility as a young age, but I had nothing to do with her Type A tendencies, which I LOVE!

As soon as we received the complementary Pledge, she couldn’t wait to try it. It was quite funny. I actually typed the following convo as she cleaned.

“Mom, this stuff works really good.”
“Works really well, honey,”ย  the grammarian in me replies.
“Yea, well, it works really well then. You don’t even have to scrub all that really dirty stuff off. It disappears.”

As I sit here typing this, my daughter is going to town every surface that she can.

I encourage, “Go for it, honey. Make sure it works just like it says.”
“Oh, it does, mom.”

(Insert giddy mom chuckle knowing she’s getting all these chores done and I don’t even have to ask.)

I just would never have thought to use it on stainless steel, but sure enough, it cleans wood furniture (which I remember oh to well), granite, marble and even car dashboards. Seriously? Can I tell you how many cleaners we have just for the car alone? Here’s the official verbiage about what its uses are:

The Pledgeยฎ aerosol family of formulas can be used to dust, clean, shine and give limited protection to the following surfaces: sealed wood and wood laminates, synthetic wood surfaces (IKEA), stainless steel, leather, sealed marble, sealed granite, vinyl and chrome. ย This would include car dashboards (vinyl) and car seats (leather or vinyl).

This was a great revelation and I am excited to bring Pledge back into our family. ๐Ÿ™‚ It actually brings back lots of fond memories with my mom.

I’d love to hear what other stainless steel owners have to say. Do you have any tips of the trade that I need to learn?

How do you clean your stainless steel appliances?

P.S. We have some great suggestions in the comments such as olive oil and other options, but I do want to add to please check your manual for any specific cleaning instructions. I would hate to lead anyone astray, but my “what works for me” recommendation. ๐Ÿ™‚


Comments

  1. I don’t have any stainless steel tips, but I do have a Pleadge tip ๐Ÿ™‚

    DO NOT Pledge your wood floor. I know this from experience ๐Ÿ™‚ It becomes slicker than an ice skating rink and although the floor looks pretty-it’s a trap for disaster LOL

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    Jens Reply:

    Oh my goodness, AMBER!! That is SO funny that you said that. I should have added that to my post. My daughter was spraying so much that some got on the floor, and ours isnt wood, it’s just vinyl. It’s SO slippery. Well, they loved it and so my son came and purposely sprayed some on the floor so that they could “ice skate.” Needless to say, I was not happy when I practically broke my neck. We got out our steamer to take it off.

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  2. Missy_in_WV says:

    Thanks for this tip, I’m going to pass it along to my mother (she just got her first stainless steel appliance last month).

    I grew up in a Pledge house too. I LOVE the smell. It brings back more memories than a pie in the oven does haha

    Note to self…..find Pledge on sale and purchase ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. Jenni King says:

    That’s really good to know! I bought the Pledge Multi Surface cleaner to use on my stainless steel fridge, but it didn’t work! It got the grime off, but it left a lot of streaks and didn’t look good. I’ll break out my regular pledge and give it a try! I haven’t found a really good stainless steel cleaner yet and I’ve had stainless steel fridge for 3 years!

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    Jens Reply:

    Definitely let me know. I wonder if the different fridges have different surfaces? I’ll have to find that out.

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  4. Have had stainless for a year and use nothing but the old standard “yellow” can of Pledge. It works wonderful, doesn’t leave streaks and smells great!

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    Jens Reply:

    Yea – that is so great to know. We just started using it, so I was hoping. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. The best thing I’ve found has been windex. Brand name only, might I add. But with two toddlers, I have a gallery of beautiful, smudge-y handprints on my fridge, stove and dishwasher minutes after I wipe it down. (I sincerely mean the beautiful part because tell me what’s cuter than an 18-month old hand that went to the fride to retrieve a sippy of milk AND remembered to close the door afterward?) Does the Pledge ward off smudges or just clean it?

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    Jens Reply:

    Oh, so true…cherish those smudgy handprints..they won’t last long. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I just started using the Pledge so I can’t speak to warding off the smudges. My dd has been wiping our fridge doors every day…lol. ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe someone else will know the answer?

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  6. Soap and water on a flylady purple cloth then dry with a soft dry cloth. Wipe with the grain. Congrats on your nice appliances!

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  7. Okay, I am not a pledge girl, but your daughter may have sold me. I, too, did the dusting and understand why you don’t enjoy it. I have a lot of stainless and generally use Weiman (the kind in the silver can). I cannot stand how it gets on the floor and you feel like you have to mop all over again.

    Then, if you opt for the liquid, it’s equally messy and doesn’t work as well. I do not think that vinegar works well enough and I am leery of putting certain products on my appliances.

    We shall see. Thanks for posting this Jen.

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  8. I’ve tried the floor thing back in my early married days — would’ve been funny if it hadn’t turned out to be so hazardous.

    I found out later why it’s so slippery, though. It contains silicone, and I have read warnings not to use it on any valuable wood furniture, because the silicone will damage the wood.

    I just got a new s/s range, and I’ll have to try the pledge thing. Does it smell like it’s burning/evaporating when you’re heating the stove? My family has a pet parrot, and have to be careful of fumes… my name would be totally mud around here if I killed the little guy.

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    Jens Reply:

    I used it on the front of the range, but definitely wouldn’t use it on the top where you cook. The front of my stove does not get hot when I heat it so I don’t smell anything burning.

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  9. My appliance guy said to just use a microfiber cloth and water. Sure enough he was right!! It looks better as it dries so be patient but this is the most economical way to clean these appliances.
    Laura

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    Jens Reply:

    I need to head out and get some of those microfiber cloths because I have read a lot of people love them.

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    jeanna Reply:

    Just a quick note, the microfiber cloths were on clearance at tjmaxx for $3 for a set of three ! I bought some for stocking stuffers(the adults all put something in each others).

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  10. I use Pledge on my leather chairs, and it works great! Also, I’ve used Windex on stainless steel before.

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  11. I am SOOOOO glad you posted this!! I thought I was the only one having so much trouble with these SS appliances. With 3-year-old twins, my fridge is constantly smudged. I am scared to try basic products like Pledge on it b/c I thought I could ruin the finish. I have bought the can stuff, Method stuff, and even that cream stuff. WAY too much work and it never comes out good. I’m getting the Pledge ASAP.

    LOVE this 30-days series. It is so great! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    [Reply]

    Jens Reply:

    Since I am not an appliance specialist, please check first with the Pledge. I would hate to give any advice that would ruin your finish (maybe check the manual), but it’s worked great so far.

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    Katie Reply:

    @Jens,
    Tried it and it worked like a charm! Thanks so much. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  12. We have a ss oven door, & I usually use Windex to clean it. Should I be using Pledge instead???

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  13. I use windex on my stainless steel appliances. Works well for me. Wish it worked permanently.

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  14. Olive oil…I wipe it on every few weeks and it keeps the stainless steel looking great!

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    Shawn Reply:

    I agree with Kim…I just tried Olive oil and my stainless steel appliances and they look
    wonderful!!

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    Jen Reply:

    Great. Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  15. I use Windex too. It works really well.

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  16. I don’t own stainless appliances yet, but did just last week hear this tip for getting them clean. Use W-D 40.
    But then I heard it makes more fingerprints so who knows.

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  17. Jenni’s comment was interesting to me because the ONLY thing that I have used that cleans my stainless steel (streak-free!) are the Pledge Multi
    Surface wipes. Love them for my appliances, countertops and windows.
    I’m curious now, though, about the much more economical method of water and a microfiber cloth…I’m trying that next!

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  18. I cleaned my fridge last month too! I should probably do it again soon. Those kids of mine mess up all my hard work.

    http://frugalmomx3.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-i-clean-my-fridge-giveaway.html

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  19. Water and vinegar mix. I use it on all surfaces and it leaves absolutely no streaks on anything. The vinegar takes off everything and then evaporates and leaves no traces. I use it on mirrors, stove tops, black or stainless appliances and windows. All other “cleaners” I found leave streaks from different angles. I also use microfiber cloths so they don’t leave any fibers behind. Perfect combo. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    kristen Reply:

    @Jennifer,

    agree–vinegar and water clean just about anything. add some essential oils to make it smell a little better if you don’t like the vinegar smell, personally, it smells clean to me!

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  20. Baby oil on a soft cloth works, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  21. I love the Pledge idea! I seriously was hating the SS fridge but with your suggestion I am gonna try it.
    By the way my dear daughter used to help me clean the house too. Now she lives 1800 miles away and has a house of her own to clean now. Boy……do I miss her ๐Ÿ™

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  22. You are too much. I swear, sometimes your words just speak to my soul. I LOVED dusting as a kid. My mother would also give me my bottle of pledge as we had a ton of cherry wood in our home and I would go to town. I spent many a Saturday morning with that lemony fresh scent in my nose. Still love it. Great post and wonderful job getting your children to participate. So important. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  23. Pledge works in any type of surface (avid Pledge user here). However, in case you ran out of Pledge, a microfiber cloth can easily clean the fingerprints off the fridge. Cleaning has been easy if you use Pledge in your tables and chairs. Do we get something from Pledge as we are somewhat promoting them? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Amy Penson
    Washer Dryers

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  24. I haven’t read all the replies, but wanted to tell you that white vinegar and water (3/4 vinegar and 1/4 water) in a spray bottle with a microfiber cloth (less lint than my flour sack cloths) is all I use!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Kristi

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  25. ps- that is what the restaraunts use in their commercial kitchens ๐Ÿ™‚

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  26. Tami Ashworth says:

    Thank you for your information about Pledge. I was concerned about having to order expensive cleaners for my stainless. I will be getting some Pledge today. Have a great day. Tami Ashworth

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  27. I just tried the pledge and it works thanks so much for the info. now how do i make my clothes whiter I have tried bleach, soda , bluing. what else can I do.

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  28. When I was young, I worked in a Big Box store and we always used Pledge or furniture polish for stainless steel and plastic. During the “wipe down” at night we had a can and cloth and it worked wonders. And if you are wondering, yes there were tons of fingerprints and lets say lots of other interesting things.

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  29. I too was looking for a safe stainless steel cleaning when I came across your website. I read what you had to say about it and then I read all of your reviews which were very helpful. I read comments where they used olive oil or baby oil. Having neither, I opted for vegetable oil and a microfiber cloth, it worked great!

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  30. Tonnae Bardell says:

    I have been cleaning homes for the past 5 years, and have found that cleaning the ss appliances has been my biggest challenge. For starters the finish on the ss appliances differ from brand to brand. What works on one may not work on another. I’ve even had the same appliance respond differently to the same cleaning process, two weeks later!!?? As most of my clients only had a ss dishwasher, I would use Vim Cream Cleanser. I would apply it onto a damp sponge, rub it onto the appliance and rinse off well with a wet micro fiber cloth, usually 2 times to make sure all residue of the cleaner was gone, then immediately dry with a clean mf cloth. In the past 6 months several of my clients have purchased ss fridges and stoves to go with their dishwashers and I was finding it way too time consuming to use the Vim. I decided to try Windex Multi Purpose Cleaner and am very happy with the results. I spray it onto my wet mf cloth, wipe down a section, if it’s a lrg appliance, then buff dry. I continue till I’m done. I split a fridge into 4 sections. If you try to do the whole thing at once, the first part will start to dry before you get to it, and them you have to wet it again. Trust me on that. :-/
    I have read through a lot of the comments on here and want to try the vinegar and water suggestion, with lavender essential oil added to it, and the olive oil suggestion. I would try the pledge if I was only cleaning my own appliances. I suspect that I would go through it too quickly.
    I will be back in about two weeks to let you know how I made out. ๐Ÿ™‚

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Oh yes, I would love for you to share what you found out and then I can update the post. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  31. I went on the internet to find out how to remove finger prints from my stainless steel appliances. After trying the many suggestions I used plain warm water on a microfiber cloth wiped small areas in a circular motion and immediately dried in same circular motion with a silky mocrofiber dry cloth. Wow great! From the cleaniing queen nothing has ever stomped me.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    So glad to hear that this worked for you. The comments give a wealth of great suggestions.

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  32. I use ST3 to on all my Stainless Steel appliances, large and small, plus on chrome, toilets, showers, windows, & mirrors. It’s a coating you put on after cleaning, which keeps the appliances and such clean for some 6 months. If you get any spots or fingerprints in the meantime, you just wipe with water and a soft cloth. You can only order this online…. for $19.99, but it’s large enough to do all these things and it’s lasts for 6 months before needing to spray again. Just think of all the cleaning supplies you won’t have to buy. Try it! It’s super! My fridge shines so much I can see my neighbors house across the street. And it takes ages before a fingerprint will even show up! Much less cleaning and more time for relaxation!

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  33. Hi, I found a small blob of washing up liquid on a wet cloth cleans grease off the cooker hood, while still damp use microcloth to bring up shine. I do the same over the rest of my ss range cooker. It doesn’t get rid of water streaks down the sides and I use ss cleaner from time to time buffing again with microcloth. I’m experimenting with baking powder and white vinegar and washing up liquid inside oven and whilst a bit messy if oven is very dirty it works well. Make up a spray so its done more regularly! Popping the racks in the top of the dishwasher works too. Cling film counter, spray both sides of racks and leave covered with cling film. As I put my dishwasher on at night I remove racks from cling film and put into dishwasher. Sparkling in the morning, no scrubbing!

    Pledge was wonderful as an all purpose surface cleaner on a boat we used to have.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Thanks for the great suggestions. I LOVE cleaning with baking soda and vinegar, so I loved hearing your experience.

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  34. I just tried plain water and a microfiber cloth. It came out very streaky. I also tried what the manufature recommended which was good old fashioned soap and water and that also came out very streaky. Still afraid to use chemicals since I just moved into my newly purchased home a month ago but I did just try olive oil and it worked perfectly. I still want to try the vinegar and water. I’ve used that on glass before and it leaves the glass perfect and streak free.

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    Jen Reply:

    WIth the microfiber cloth, dont’ use water. Try just using the microfiber cloth and see how that works.

    [Reply]

  35. The only thing about Pledge is, you are going to have to be cleaning the S.S. appliances constantly. Olive Oil is a no no….. it gets really bad looking again, quicker than anything. What I have found that works for 6 months is Self-cleen ST3. You spray it on any appliances, stainless of not, and it will keep it coated for 6 months, and I’m not exaggerating. It also works on faucets, sinks, showers, toilets, mirrors, and windows. It’s exactly what they are putting on the NEW stainless out there now. So, for $19.99 at Amazon, do try it! I’m a 72 yr. old woman with a 5 yr. old gr-grandson, and I was about ready to throw out my new appliances about 3 months after I got them. His fingerprints were everywhere, including mine. Now I’m happy as a lark! In case you’re wondering, I have no part in the company or product, and I do not lie when I say it’s the best thing going! Why keep buying all these other products to try, when it’s so easy to use ST3? It just sprays on, very little used every 6 months. In between, all you do is wipe it with a soft cloth and water and that’s only occasionally. It will save you a ton on money, I can assure you, and the $19.99 size will do numerous jobs.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Thanks so much for sharing. I love tried and true tips. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  36. Pledge on granite? Does it just shine it or does it disinfect countertops in the bathrooms? I wouldn’t use it on kitchen granite since it’s not food safe. Thanks for the tips!

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  37. Judy novak says:

    I don’t recommend Pledge because it smears on the stainless steel and then shows ALL fingerprints and smudge marks. Just buy a can of stainless cleaner & polish and you will be MUCH HAPPIER! And its less expensive to boot!

    [Reply]

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