Stainless steel is among the most popular materials for modern household appliances. There are many reasons for this, including stainless steel's natural aesthetics, shine and durability, which appeals to a wide range of consumers. As more and more products are made using stainless steel and stainless steel components, maintaining the look and function of your products is increasingly important.
Although stainless steel appliances are extremely resistant to damage and corrosion, they must be properly cleaned and maintained in order to last for a long period of time. As any stainless steel appliance owner knows, smudges, soil, water-marks and fingerprints regularly make themselves at home on these beautiful appliances. This article will provide a guide on how to clean stainless steel to ensure that your appliances look great for the long haul.
The Basics of Cleaning Stainless Steel:
When it comes to cleaning stainless steel, you should always use a high-quality, non-abrasive cleaner that has been specifically formulated for stainless steel surfaces. A combination cleaner and polish works best because you can clean and shine the surface in one step. After applying the cleaner, wipe in the same direction of the natural metal grain to reach microscopic grooves where dust and dirt gets caught.
What to Avoid When Cleaning Stainless Steel:
It is imperative to avoid abrasive cleaners, powders, scouring pads and brushes because they have a propensity to scratch (and potentially ruin) stainless steel. You should especially avoid using glass cleaners, all purpose cleaners and harsh chemicals (like chlorine or bleach) because their chemical composition may cause streaking or discoloration to the outer protective layer of the stainless steel surface.
When cleaning your appliances, use a paper towel, microfiber cloth or any soft cloth (cloth diapers are excellent for this). For best results, use a clean, dry cloth to buff the surface after cleaning to remove any residue and to enhance shine. It is also important to completely dry the surface to prevent spotting and streaking.
What to Do With Heavily Soiled Stainless Steel:
Sometimes you have to deal with appliances or cooking accessories that are heavily soiled. The key to handling those situations is to soak the area in hot water for a few minutes, which will loosen the soil, and then clean the area with a specially formulated stainless steel cleaner and polish. This will leave a shiny, protective barrier on your stainless steel that will help repel dust, dirt, and fingerprints.
By following these cleaning tips, your stainless steel will last longer and look great!