Stainless steel is often stained with spot, streaks and fingerprints. Ironic? Maybe, but there is a reason it is called “stainless”. Thanks to a chromium oxide layer on the steel, stainless steel won’t rust or discolor like other kinds of steel. As scientific as that may sound, it still doesn’t solve our problem: We want our appliances to look great all the time, specially that fridge with all those fingerprints.

Here are a few tips to clean stainless steel more effectively:

What product should you use?

There are many products you can buy, many of which are effective. You can also make your own. Most stainless steel cleaner contain two main elements: a cleaning agent and a polishing product. The same combination can be achieved by cleaning your appliance with a combination of water and vinegar or soft dish soap followed by polishing it with a little baby or olive oil on a microfiber cloth. Some people find that using club soda and rubbing it until it dries can also achieve a spot-free shinny finish.

As with all cleaning techniques, please test any product or process on a unnoticeable spot first. It is also very important to fully read the labels of any products you plan to use.

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  • Wipe with a cloth in the same direction, not in circles like we usually clean. It is best to wipe with the grain. If you are not sure the direction of the grain, test in a small section first.
  • Use a microfiber cloth. Terry or other kinds of clothes tend to leave streaks


  • Avoid using abrasive sponges, specially steel wool.
  • Avoid oven cleaners.
  • Don’t use chlorine-based or chloride cleaners
  • Sometimes tap water can have harsh elements, which can leave spots or stains.

Did you know?

There are multiple types of stainless steel. So it might take a few tries to find a technique that works best for your own appliance.

Did this tip help you? Do you know a better solution. Please share with our community by using the hashtag #briteideas.