Stainless steel is one of the most popular choices for kitchenware today, with excellent resistance to corrosion, rust, and general wear and tear. The best part, is that even if it picks up any blemishes, it responds well to cleaning.
Follow the techniques below, and you’ll learn exactly how to make stainless steel look new again.
The best chemical cleaner for stainless steel
There are a few different chemical options you can use for cleaning stainless steel. Some of the most commonly used agents are:
- Acetone, isopropyl alcohol, and methylated spirit: These effectively remove stains from stainless steel caused by grease and oil marks.
- Detergent or diluted ammonia: If your stainless steel picks up stains from burns, use a detergent or diluted ammonia and remove the stains using a brush. Afterward, rinse well using water.
- Sodium bicarbonate solution (baking soda): You can use a sodium bicarbonate solution to soak your stainless steel for coffee stains.
- Oxalic acid solution: When it comes to rust stains, use a cloth soaked in oxalic acid solution.
How to clean your stainless steel naturally
If you want to avoid using potentially harmful chemicals, and instead stick with natural cleaning methods, your stainless steel will respond great to cleaning agents like vinegar and baking soda.
Check out the best natural remedies below:
How to clean stainless steel with baking soda and vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are excellent for cleaning your stainless steel pans and pots, just follow these simple steps:
- Add two cups each of vinegar and water to the pot or pan along with two tablespoons of baking soda.
- Put on a lid and bring the mixture to a boil
- Let it boil for 3-5 minutes.
- Next, allow it to cool off for 15 minutes.
- After cooling it, pour out the mixture from the pan (it’s safe to do so in your sink don’t worry).
- Rinse the pan using a soft wiping cloth.
And that’s it, your pan should be ready to go.
How to clean stainless steel with white vinegar and olive oil
A vinegar and olive oil mixture can effectively clean your stainless steel appliances. Here’s how you can go about it:
- Get some white vinegar and add it to a spray bottle
- Spray your stainless steel appliance thoroughly and wipe it clean using a microfiber cloth
- Dip the cloth into some olive oil
- Now rub the cloth over the surface of the appliance along the direction of the grain
- This makes your appliance shine while removing all the stains
Does Vinegar Damage Stainless Steel?
Vinegar is safe to clean your stainless steel pots, pans, and appliances. Vinegar is effectively a mild acid and does not react with stainless steel.
How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans
While stainless steel is very durable, any well-used pan will take on marks, discolorations, and burns when subjected to high temperatures, so it’s essential to know the tricks to get rid of these marks:
For basic cleaning
You can use a non-abrasive sponge soaked in lukewarm soapy water for the basic clean-up of your stainless steel pan, such as water spots.
If food bits are stuck on your pan, fill up the pan about halfway with some soapy water and bring it to a boil. After boiling for a minute or two, scrape the pan using a wooden spoon or a spatula, and the food will come out quickly. After the pan cools off, you can wash it off as usual.
For tougher stains
You need baking soda for more severe blemishes on your stainless steel pans, such as burnt food or oil.
Put a few spoons of baking soda into the pan and add enough water to fully cover the burnt areas. Bring it to a boil and let the water evaporate completely. Once it cools off, scrub the messy areas using a non-abrasive sponge and rinse off using hot water.
How to clean stainless steel cutlery
To clean your stainless steel cutlery, use the following steps:
- Clean the cutlery using hot water and your usual washing detergent.
- Dry the cutlery using a non-abrasive clean cloth and remove the water altogether.
- Now use natural solutions like cider, vinegar, lemon, olive oil, or soda water.
If using cider or vinegar, gently apply it to your cutlery with a piece of cloth soaked in cider or white vinegar instead of applying it directly to the metal.
If you’re using lemon juice or olive oil, you can use a soft cloth to clean the stains.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances
Stainless steel appliances are prone to picking up stains like fingerprints, smudges, etc. But there are plenty of hacks to keep them clean from time to time. Here are a few ways to do that:
How to Get Streaks and Water Spots off Stainless Steel Appliances
White vinegar is highly effective at removing streaks off of stainless steel appliances. For better results, mix olive oil with white vinegar and apply the mixture to the appliance using a microfiber cloth.
Pour some lemon oil onto a cloth and spread it on the stainless steel appliance. Rub it along the grain of the appliance to prevent any marks.
How to Clean Rust off Stainless Steel Appliances
Baking soda is a reliable solution to remove rust from stainless steel.
Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with 2 cups of water to make a paste. Next, apply the paste to the appliance using a soft cloth, making sure to stay in the direction of the grain. Lastly, rinse the appliance using a wet paper towel to get rid of rust.
Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaning Don’ts
Here are some crucial points to avoid while cleaning your stainless steel applications:
- Avoid air drying your appliances after cleaning. Instead, wipe them using a clean microfiber cloth to keep streaks at bay. This also keeps the shine alive.
- Don’t use scrubbers, steel wool, or ammonia, to prevent damage to the appliance’s finish.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Sinks
How to Clean a Dull Stainless Steel Sink
Stainless steel sink is a constantly used surface exposed to picking up marks and rust. Ideally, it would help if you cleaned it after every use with the sponge and soapy water. Rinse it with water and buff dry it to keep moisture away. This step should keep your sink clean. Besides, you can use the following tips to maintain the sink as good as new.
What Tools Do I Need to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink?
Here’s the list of materials you need to clean a stainless steel sink thoroughly:
- A few sponges
- Clean towels
- Scouring pad
- Liquid detergent
- Liquid abrasive cleaning agent
- 1,000-grit sandpaper
- 600-grit sandpaper
- A small bucket
- Rubber sanding block
For fine scratches
If your stainless steel sink picks up minor scratches, you can follow these steps and get it cleaned:
- Rinse your stainless steel sink using warm water. Now put the stopper in the drain. Mix warm water and liquid detergent and pour this mixture into the sink. Using a sponge, rinse the sink stressing in regions most prone to scratches.
- Let the water drain. Rinse with water and wipe the sink again using a clean sponge. Locate the remaining scratches.
- Add a liquid abrasive cleaning agent on a scouring pad. Make sure the cleaning agent is safe for use on stainless steel.
- Scrub over the scratches thoroughly along the grain of the sink. Check if the scratches still exist. If they do, apply the cleaning agent multiple times until the scratches vanish.
- Wash the sink well using warm water and a clean sponge. Finally, dry it using a clean towel.
For deep scratches
If you find deeper scratches on your sink, apply the steps used for cleaning minor scratches. After that, follow these steps:
- Fix the 1000-grit sandpaper on a rubber sanding block. Take some clean warm water in a small bucket and immerse the sanding block, letting the sandpaper soak. Now wet sand the area with scratches, back and forth in the direction of the grain. Keep checking if the scratch is fading away.
- Now attach the 600-grit sandpaper to the block if there are no improvements, and repeat the wet sanding process till the scratch disappears.
How Often To Clean a Stainless Steel Sink
If you want to keep your stainless steel sink looking new and good, the best practice is to do a basic daily clean-up using a liquid detergent and a sponge. Further, do a round of weekly clean-up using soft abrasive cleaner, and your sink will stay as good as new.