We all love the look and durability of stainless steel – shelves, benchtops, sinks, refrigerator doors or any of our other stainless steel kitchen gear; the challenge is, how do you keep it ‘stainless’? When it’s shiny and clean, you can’t beat it, but when it’s covered in streaks, marks and little fingerprints…uurghh! It becomes an eyesore in the kitchen…
Of course, the supermarket shelves contain a number of harsh, chemical-based products that are designed to clean stainless steel. However, many of us these days like to keep our homes as chemical-free as possible, especially when there are little children in the picture. Also, if the surface of the appliance is going to be in contact with food, it’s important to make sure that no chemical residue is left behind.
Before we launch into discussing cleaning methods, it’s really important to note that stainless steel, like wood, has a definite grain. A close look at the surface of the appliance will reveal tiny grooves, like fibers, that all follow the same direction. If you have a stainless steel kitchen benchtop, to achieve maximum results clean with the grain, i.e. in the same direction as the grain.
1. Dish-washing liquid and baby oil
Cheap, harmless and extremely effective. This commonly used cleaning pair works stunning results on stainless appliances & surfaces!
Simply dampen your cloth with a modest amount of warm water and squeeze on a few drops of dish-washing liquid. Working with the grain, wipe over the stainless steel appliance, rubbing a little harder if needed to remove stubborn marks. When clean, dry the surface with a fresh towel.
Now for the polishing: take a soft, clean cloth and apply a few drops of baby oil (other mineral oils can also be used) and use this to rub over the stainless steel surface or appliance.
2. Water and a microfiber cloth
As a quick, during-the-day touch-up for your stainless steel surfaces or appliances (not your proper ‘cleaning day blitz’!) you’ll be pleasantly surprised to note how much you can achieve with a microfiber cloth and warm water.
By simply rubbing the stainless steel surface with a damp cloth then polishing with a dry, microfiber one, you can remove a lot of greasy little marks and stains.
3. Vinegar and oil
White vinegar is a powerful and effective household cleaner (and one that most of us have in our pantry all the time). Using a spray bottle, apply vinegar directly onto the stainless steel surface of the appliance and, following the grain, rub it clean with a soft, clean cloth. Apply a small amount of olive oil to a second cloth and polish the surface.
4. Glass cleaner
Mild glass cleaner is an excellent, quick clean-and-shine-in-one option. Simply spray directly onto the stainless steel appliance and rub off with a dry, clean cloth. Remember, if the stainless surface is to be in direct contact with food, this may not be your best option.
5. Baking soda
This is an effective cleaner, however, because you are dealing with a powder, care must be taken to ensure that you don’t scratch the surface.
Spray the stainless steel surface liberally with vinegar then sprinkle it with baking soda. Using a sponge or cloth dampened with vinegar, gently rub the surface to remove any marks, then rinse or wipe clean with warm water. Dry and polish the surface with a soft, clean cloth.
It’s not hard to keep your stainless steel surfaces and appliances in tip-top condition. When they’re clean, they add undeniable class and style to your kitchen. For more expert advice on stainless steel cleaning tips, call the team at Wonderful Kitchens on 02 9772 2988.