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Shine Up Stainless Steel Appliances for a Fresh Spring Look

March 4, 2024

Shine Up Stainless Steel Appliances for a Fresh Spring Look

As spring arrives and I start opening up the windows to let fresh air in, I also like to give my home a good deep clean. One of the best ways to make my kitchen feel fresh for spring is to thoroughly clean and polish my stainless steel appliances. With some elbow grease and the right cleaning products, I can get my fridge, stove, and dishwasher gleaming like new.

Why Bother Polishing Stainless Steel Appliances?

There are a few key reasons why I make an effort to really shine up my stainless steel appliances in the spring:

  • Improves appearance – Over time, stainless steel can get fingerprints, water spots, and food splatters on it that make it look dull and dirty. Polishing removes these marks and restores the steel’s reflective surface.

  • Sanitizes surfaces – Wiping down stainless steel using disinfecting cleaners helps kill bacteria and germs that can accumulate over time. This is especially important for appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers.

  • Prevents corrosion – Stainless steel can corrode, stain, and rust if not cleaned properly. Regular polishing protects the steel and prevents permanent damage.

  • Easier to clean next time – A clean, polished stainless steel surface will resist new dirt and fingerprints much better. So the work I put in now pays off later.

Supplies Needed to Clean and Polish Stainless Steel

Before I get started shining up my appliances, I make sure I have the right cleaning supplies on hand. Here is an overview of what I use:

Cleaning Tools

  • Microfiber cloths – I use ultra-soft cloths designated just for stainless steel to avoid scratches. I use one for cleaning and one for polishing.

  • Soft sponge or brush – For scrubbing stubborn dirt or grease, I use a gentle scrubbing sponge or brush.

  • Glass cleaner – For an initial overall cleaning, glass cleaner like Windex works well.

Polishing Supplies

  • Stainless steel polish or cleaner – I use a specialty polish made for stainless steel. My favorite is Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish.

  • Olive oil – For extra shine, a thin coat of olive oil buffed in works beautifully.

  • Baby oil – Also great for polishing if you don’t have stainless steel polish on hand.

How to Thoroughly Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

The key to getting stainless steel appliances gleaming is to thoroughly clean them first before polishing. Here are the steps I follow:

1. Remove surface debris

First, I wipe down all the appliance surfaces with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any loose dirt or food debris.

2. Wash with glass cleaner

I spray a microfiber cloth with glass cleaner and wipe down all surfaces. This removes fingerprints, grease, and any soap scum or dirt buildup.

3. Scrub with stainless steel cleaner

If any spots remain, I apply a stainless steel cleaning spray or cream to the microfiber cloth. I let it sit for 2-3 minutes before gently scrubbing to lift stuck-on dirt and stains.

4. Rinse and dry

Finally, I rinse the appliances with a clean, damp microfiber cloth to remove any residual cleaner. I make sure to thoroughly dry the steel to avoid water spots.

How to Polish and Buff Stainless Steel to a Gleam

Once I’ve cleaned the stainless steel thoroughly, it’s ready for polishing. Here are the steps I take:

1. Apply stainless steel polish

I put a small amount of stainless steel polish or olive oil on a clean microfiber cloth and apply to the appliances. I rub gently in the direction of the grain of the steel.

2. Buff to a shine

Using a fresh microfiber cloth, I buff the stainless steel surfaces to evenly distribute the polish and shine it to a brilliant luster. I may need to reapply the polish and buff repeatedly to achieve the desired shine.

3. Remove excess

After I’m satisfied with the shine, I wipe down the appliances with a dry microfiber towel to remove any excess oil or polish residue.

4. Seal and protect

As a final step, I use a stainless steel sealant spray to protect the freshly polished surface and help repel fingerprints and water spots in the future.

Maintaining That Gleaming Stainless Steel Look

With just a few hours of concerted effort, I can get my stainless steel appliances looking like new. To maintain the brilliant shine, I follow these tips:

  • Wipe up spills and messes on appliances as soon as they happen

  • Use a stainless steel cleaner when I notice fingerprints starting to build up

  • Rinse and dry appliances after every use to prevent mineral deposits

  • Avoid using abrasive scrubbers or cleaners that could scratch the steel

  • Re-polish appliances every 1-2 months for a quick refresh

Taking good care of my stainless steel not only keeps it looking great, but also can prolong its life. A little attention goes a long way!

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