April 1st, 2013

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

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Groovy Green Livin Stainless Steel

Stainless steel appliances can give any kitchen a contemporary and fresh look. With three tween boys our stainless steel doesn’t stand a chance. Fingerprints, smudges and food end up covering most stainless steel surfaces in our kitchen.

Here are a few tips for keeping your stainless steel surfaces clean.

DON’T wipe with a damp cloth and let it dry au natural. This will cause big streaks and possibly rust. Been there.

DON’T use anything abrasive including steel wool.  This will scratch and ruin your stainless steel.

If you need something a bit stronger try one of these non-toxic techniques:


Use a damp cloth (not wet) to wipe down your appliances. Make sure to thoroughly dry after wiping down to prevent water streaks and stains. This will work for most smudges and fingerprints.


Apply a small amount of olive oil to a soft cloth. Make sure you don’t over do it! Buff out the area on your refrigerator or stove top that has stubborn finger prints or smudges.

Flip over the cloth and re-buff the area with the clean side of the cloth.

That’s all there is to it!


Use dry flour and a clean, soft cloth to buff out your stainless steel.  With a little muscle power your stainless will look sparkly and shinny. This might be a bit challenging on upright appliances, but will work wonders in your sink and on smaller appliances. Use this technique on your stainless steel pots and pans. Place the leftover flour in your compost bin!


One of my all-time favorite cleaners, vinegar, makes yet another appearance in helping to clean stainless steel. A simple white vinegar and water solution works wonders on stainless. Mix 3/4 cup white vinegar and 1/4 cup water in a spray bottle and you’re ready to go. Not a fan of the vinegar scent? I happen to love the smell of vinegar, but feel free to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the mixture.

If you want info on how to clean your stainless steel pots and pans check out my tutorial HERE.

How do you keep your stainless steel clean?


photo credit: jhiner via photopin

13 Responses to “How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances”

  1. Cleaning stainless appliances has been a pet peeve. I’m so glad you addressed this.
    I used the olive oil method. I basically felt like I was waxing a car 🙂
    My dishwasher looks SO much better!
    I have tried vinegar in the past- the olive oil seems to do a much better job.
    Oodles of thanks!

  2. Love the olive oil tip!

  3. Wow, I had no idea that I could just use olive oil to clean our stainless steel! It is a real pain in the neck to keep streaks and fingerprints off. Looking forward to trying this method–thanks, Lori!

  4. This is great. I’ve been using a Pledge type product- probably not too green but where do you come down on that? Thx for the tip.

  5. I totally going to use the flour method on my sink!
    Jen @ Go Green recently posted..Stripping Your Clothes Without ChemicalsMy Profile

  6. Let me know if it works Jen! I tried it too and it worked.

  7. I would try olive oil if you can. I’m guessing the Pledge-type product has ingredients that you don’t want to be inhaling.

  8. […] 2. Use flour to clean your stainless steel appliances. […]

  9. I use Norwex on my stainless steel and have had the best results with just water and the cloth it’s amazing!

  10. Good to know Melissa!

  11. I always use vinegar to clean, even use in washing my clothes. My towels come out so soft and no softener with formalihyde! And sometimes Dawn dish soap. I have so many allergies ! So only use a damp cloth to dust with . If I use furniture polish I’m for sure visiting the dr. Before getting it under control again love your site!

  12. Thanks Shirley! I’m glad you’ve found a few products that are safe and work well for you.

  13. […] by some to be one of the healthiest oils. It has so many interesting uses ranging from cooking to cleaning stainless steel appliances. Olive oil has a fairly high cooking temperature and adds great flavor to many dishes.We always […]

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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