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Get the Shine Back on Stainless Steel Appliances

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Get the Shine Back on Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances can lose their luster over time. Here’s how to clean and polish them to restore the original shine.

Understand What Causes Stainless Steel to Lose its Shine

There are a few key factors that can cause stainless steel to appear dull and fingerprinted:

  • Oils and grease – Cooking splatters and greasy fingerprints that aren’t wiped away can leave a film on stainless steel. This attracts dust and dirt.
  • Hard water spots – Minerals in tap water leave deposits when water evaporates. These mineral deposits dull the surface.
  • Chlorides – Chlorides from soft water, salts, and some cleaners can break down stainless steel’s protective layer. This leads to corrosion.
  • General wear and tear – Day-to-day use of your appliances leads to microscopic scratches that make the surface appear dull.

Clean Stainless Steel Thoroughly Before Polishing

Proper cleaning is the first step toward making stainless steel shine again. Here’s how to clean thoroughly:

Use Non-Abrasive Cleaners

  • Avoid abrasive cleaners and scrubbing pads as they can scratch the surface.
  • Mild dish soap and water or a stainless steel cleaner are good options.

Remove Grease Buildup

  • Use a degreasing cleanser made specifically for stainless steel.
  • Bar Keepers Friend works well. Apply with a damp sponge or cloth.

Remove Hard Water Stains

  • Use white vinegar and water. Dip a cloth in the solution and wring out well. Wipe down stainless steel and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
  • For stubborn stains, try a stainless steel descaling product.

Clean Along the Grain

  • Wipe back and forth along the grain lines of the stainless steel. This helps preserve the brushed finish.

Polish and Protect the Stainless Steel

Once stainless steel is free of grime, it’s time to polish it up. Here are tips:

Use a Stainless Steel Polishing Spray

  • Sprays like Weiman Stainless Steel Spray add an oxide layer to prevent fingerprints.
  • Spray a small amount on a soft, dry cloth. Rub with the grain to polish.

Try a Stainless Steel Polish and Cleaner

  • Zep Stainless Steel Polish cleans, polishes, and protects in one step.
  • Put a small amount on a cloth and wipe the surface. Buff with a clean, dry cloth.

Apply a Protective Oil

  • Food-grade mineral oil gives stainless steel a lustrous shine.
  • Put a few drops on a soft cloth. Rub into the grain with gentle pressure.

Buff With a Microfiber Cloth

  • Finish by buffing dry with a clean microfiber cloth to reveal the original brilliance.

By thoroughly cleaning and then polishing and protecting the surface, I can restore the beautiful factory shine to dull stainless steel appliances. With proper care, the gleam will last.

Prevent Stainless Steel From Losing its Shine

Regular cleaning and maintenance is key to keeping stainless steel appliances looking their best long-term. Here are my top tips:

  • Wipe up food spills and water spots as they occur. This prevents buildup.
  • Clean appliances with dish soap and water or stainless steel cleaner weekly.
  • Reapply stainless steel polish monthly for added protection.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads. Only use soft cloths.
  • Use a product made for stainless steel when cleaning. Don’t use chlorine-based cleaners.
  • Make sure to rub cleaners and polishes in the direction of the grain.
  • Consider tap water filters to reduce mineral deposits from hard water.

With proper care and regular polishing, I can keep my stainless steel appliances gleaming for years to come. A little effort goes a long way toward maintaining the shine.

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