Have you ever wondered why they call it stainless steel, since it so quickly and easily gets covered with water spots? As annoying as this easily staining surface may be, water spots and other marks on stainless steel must be dealt with constantly.


Stainless steel is everywhere in a commercial kitchen, and it’s no wonder–it’s such a durable, easy-to-clean material that comes in many different types, plus it looks great too. Sparkling stainless steel appliances are beautiful, however, the downside is a constant battle with fingerprints, smudges, and steaks. But it’s not a totally maintenance-free item, and it can start to rust if not properly cared for.

Fortunately, properly caring for your stainless steel flatware, cookware, work tables, sinks, and even stainless steel equipment is easy. Read on for the best way to clean stainless steel and keep your equipment, cookware, and flatware looking great for years to come! Use the right cleaning tools: Soft cloths, microfiber, sponges, or plastic scouring pads are best. Avoid using scrapers, wire brushes, steel wool, or anything else that might scratch the surface.

1. Use the right cleaning tools
Soft cloths, microfiber, sponges, or plastic scouring pads are best. Avoid using scrapers, wire brushes, steel wool, or anything else that might scratch the surface.

2. Stainless Steel Cleaner
Use this cleaner every day to keep your appliances with stainless steel streak, smudge and fingerprint free.
You don’t need to rinse this solution off after using: just spray, wipe, and dry.
Mix the following ingredients together in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle vigorously prior to spraying to ensure the oils are evenly distributed in the cleaning solution.
• 1 Cup Vinegar
• 1/4 Cup Mineral or Baby Oil
• 1 Cup Rubbing Alcohol
• 10 Drops Dish Washing Liquid
• 2 Cups Warm Water
Spray the cleaning solution on the stainless steel surface and wipe it off white a clean dry cleaning towel. Tough smudges should come off easily with this recipe too.
Harder smudging will come off easily if you buff with a microfiber or lint-free cleaning towel using additional pressure.

3. Clean with water and a cloth
Microfiber cloths are the best option to use when cleaning stainless steel because they absorb all of the water. It’s also a safe product to use to avoid scratching steel surfaces. You’ll want to avoid paper towels or any cloth or towel with a rough surface intended for non-stick cookware. This especially includes steel wool! When drying, dry along the grain to avoid water spots. If you clean or dry aggressively against the grain with regular scouring pads, you will leave marks on your appliance or pan, so be sure to take it easy.

4. Polishing and Hiding Scratches On Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is really durable, but the one “gotcha” is scratching and certain stains. If the stainless steel appliance was cleaned with harsh abrasive cleaners like a comet or ajax or it was scrubbed with steel wool you could have scratches that are very apparent.
There are many commercial stainless steel conditioners available that hide and polish scratch really well. Just spray the polish on the surface and wipe it off in the direction of the grain polish to get a high shine.
Scratches that are not improved with the application of a homemade or commercial polish or conditioner will need to have the surface refinished by a stainless steel professional to remove the scratches completely.

5. Glass cleaner is your friend.
Fingerprints on stainless steel are one of the biggest complaints and it’s a valid concern! No matter how careful you try to be, fingerprints will always end up on your fridge. Use spray glass cleaner on a microfiber cloth to get the job done. Wipe away the fingerprint using soft circular wipes. There are newer finishes of stainless steel that are fingerprint resistant, so if you are buying new products be sure to do your research and seek those out.

Stainless steel can be finicky, but with a little TLC, stainless steel will keep your kitchen looking sleek and stylish for years to come.