Cleaning Stainless Steel


 I mentioned before that we remodeled our kitchen a couple of years ago.  We had painted our cabinets about 15 years ago and they need to go. And we still had some of the original appliances – the oven and cooktop were 40 years old! And worked – until they quit. 🙁

They were stainless, but REAL stainless.  Cleaning them was not a problem.  Of course, they were old and I never worried about scratching them. They were already pretty broken in when we moved ing 26 years ago!

But now we had to (“got to”?) get all new appliances. I knew they would not last even half as long as what I had before.  So that was discouraging.  But the other thing that made me nervous was that I had heard the new stainless was awful to keep clean.

I did a lot of research before we picked them out, trying to find a sure-fire way to keep them clean.  After they arrived, I tried some of the products that came as samples with the appliances.  They all seemed pretty similar – but none of them great. Then I stumbled upon this technique which, I think, is pretty easy and very cost-effective!

This first thing you need are a couple of microfiber cloths. These are the ones I use:  on the left is a Scotch Brite microfiber cloth – easy to find and cheap at Target.  The other is a Quickie microfiber – great for stainless: also at Target. I use the Scotch Brite for cleaning and the Quickie to polish.





The cleaners I use are pretty cheap and readily available:    To clean the surface I use a solution of half water and half Isopropyl Alcohol and a little bit of Barkeeper’s Friend cleansing powder. This cut through the grease and dirt like a nobody’s business! Spray down a Scotch Brite cloth until fairly wet (not dripping) and sprinkle lightly with the Barkeeper’s Friend. Work the powder into the clothe well, then wipe down your appliance thoroughly.  It won’t look great at this point, but it will be clean!  Then take another Scotch Brite clothe and moisten it with more water/alcohol solution. Now you want to wipe off any powder residue left from the first pass.   (This is why I don’t use a lot of powder – you don’t need much and you have less to wipe off!) Polish dry with the Quickie stainless microfiber and… 

Nope, not done yet! Final step of this routine is mineral oil. I know – you are probably thinking, “That is gross! I am trying to clean off the grease, not add more!” But the thing is – today’s stainless is NOT REALLY STAINLESS STEEL!  it is a brushed metallic surface that just LOOKS like stainless.   Any time somebody touches it, the oils from your skin are absorbed into those minute grooves on the surface and -AGHHHHH – fingerprints!!  But, if we coat the entire surface with a VERY THIN layer of oil – there is no place for the oils on our skin to go – so NO FINGERPRINTS!!! 

To apply the oil, I use blue shop towels that I pick up at Home Depot in the cleaning products section. They are lint free and I can just toss them – there is no way to wash mineral out of a rag! I keep my mineral oil in a spray bottle and it comes out in a stream.  Protect the floor under your appliance from drips and spray the cloth or the surface and wipe down until you have a uniform sheen.  It will appear, at first, to be darker. But it will even out as it is worked into the surface.  Then go over it one more time with a dry shop towel to make sure you have the thinnest coat possible.

I know this sounds like a ton of work! But I did all my appliances – refrigerator, oven, microwave & dishwasher in an hour.  And I only do it a couple of times a year.  But I have no little ones at home, so your mileage may vary!

Do you have any tricks to keep your stainless shiny? Have you tried this method – how did you like it!  Let me know in the comments section below!

Until later…. Bye!