The Love Hate Relationship with Stainless Steel Appliances




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Stainless steel appliances have had their ups and downs. People seem to love stainless steel, but also maybe they hate that they love it.

When stainless steel is clean, it is beautiful. However, between fingerprints, smudges, dust, and everything else it comes in contact with, it doesn’t take long for your beautiful appliances to look dirty. You love your kids, but sometimes you wish their little fingers weren’t all over everything all the time.

At TLC Cleaning in Fargo, we always make sure your stainless steel appliances are wiped down and shining every time we visit for a cleaning. If you want information on a regular cleaning appointment, or want a deep clean, give us a call today.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

Clean Stainless Steel

When it comes to stainless steel, the biggest hassle is keeping them looking clean and fresh. If you have kids or dogs, that task is infinitely more difficult. Between fingerprints, paw prints, dust, and grime, there always seems to be something on your fridge, dishwasher, or oven. Plus, the daily use adds a lot of build-up. Attempting to clean stove drip pans is panic-inducing for some people.

Before you start scrubbing, look closely at your stainless steel. They are not always easy to spot, but the steel has striations. Just like wood, stainless steel has a grain. You will want to be aware of the direction of the grain for the most effective cleaning.

Polishing your appliances against the grain will not ruin them, but it will allow more residue to get into the crevices. You might also notice the stainless steel looks dull and dingy when you clean against the grain. Go with the flow to get a higher shine.

You will also want to invest in some sturdy and high-quality microfiber cloths. These things are optimal for most cleaning. They will not leave dust or particles behind, and your appliances, counters, and everything in between will look fantastic at the end.

Once you have your rags and know the direction of the grain, you can start cleaning. Here are some helpful hints for how to clean stainless steel appliances.

Dish Soap

One of the simplest ways to clean stainless steel requires microfiber rags, dish soap, and water. Dish soap is excellent for cleaning steel because it removes grime and makes polishing easier. Place a little soap on your cloth and add enough water to dampen the rag. Wipe with the grain. For stubborn spots, you might have to clean a few times. Rub over everything with a dry cloth to remove any streaks.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is the crunchy mom’s best friend. To use vinegar, you can either pour the liquid directly onto the cloth or spray from a spray bottle onto the stainless steel. If you spray, let it sit for about 20 seconds. Wipe with the grain. You might have to reapply more times to obliterate the grime.

Club Soda

Put some club soda into a spray bottle and spray onto any stainless steel surfaces you have. Wipe with a microfiber cloth with the grain. Club soda will remove fingerprints and smudges. It will make the surface shiny, as well. If you have any soda left when you finish cleaning, add gin so you can celebrate a job well done!


A unique way to clean stainless steel is with WD-40. (Note, use extreme caution with WD-40 in an area where you prep food because it is petroleum-based.) Spray WD-40 onto your stainless steel, or a microfiber cloth, and clean with the grain. The result is a fresh and gleaming surface. WD-40 also adds a layer of protection from future fingerprints. Now, while it’s out, take care of any squeaky doors that have been on your list for the last seven months.

Lemon Oil Furniture Polish

If you have any lemon oil furniture polish lying around your house, put some on a clean cloth and scrub your appliances. In this case, do not apply the cleaning solution directly to the surface as it might create more work.

Glass Cleaner

Most people have a bottle of Windex, or another brand of glass cleaner, under their sink. Glass cleaners work amazingly well to remove pesky fingerprints. Spray the cleaner onto a microfiber cloth and clean with circular motions. Windex really does fix everything, just as My Big Fat Greek Wedding promised us.

Commercial Stainless Steel Cleaners

These work great, but they are rather expensive. Personally, we like to save our money for the gin. See above.

Olive Oil, Mineral Oil, or Baby Oil

If your appliances somehow manage to stay fingerprint free long enough for you to finish cleaning, you can polish them with any number of things. Olive oil, mineral oil, and baby oil all work fantastic to make your appliances sparkle.

You only need a couple of drops on a clean microfiber cloth. Wipe with the grain of the steel and your appliances will look spectacular. This step is best completed minutes before the in-laws arrive.

Clean Stove Drip Pans

Clean Stove Drip Pans

If your drip pans are black, resembling scorched earth, or if merely using the stovetop sets off the smoke alarm, it is probably time to clean the drip pans. This ungodly chore is a source of dread for many. But it doesn’t have to be.

If you don’t want to scrub the pans, give them a good baking soda soak. Leave one drip pan in place so you can boil a large pot of water with about ⅓ cup of baking soda. Place the other drip pans in the pot and let them soak for 30 minutes. Carefully pour the contents into the sink and rinse with cold water. A simple scrub should remove any remaining buildup. Repeat with the remaining burner. A hot soak can cure just about anything.

If you don’t feel like scrubbing and boiling, there is an even simpler solution to give you clean stove drip pans. Find your car keys, grab your wallet, and drive to the closest hardware store. For about $15 you can have brand new ones. Or, even better, log into Amazon and they will be at your doorstep in two days.

Call TLC Cleaning

If you want an extra hand cleaning your house, and keeping it that way, give us a call at TLC Cleaning. Whatever you need help with and however often, we have you covered.

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