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There's a good chance you've got multiple stainless steel items in your home. This highly durable and corrosion-resistant material is used to make different types of housewares from cookware and appliances to sinks, lighting, faucets, and fixtures.
The "stainless" in stainless steel means the material won't rust, corrode, or tarnish due to its protective oxide layer. It's easier to take care of than other metals, but it still needs regular cleaning to maintain a shiny and streak-free appearance.
If you're ready to get cleaning, here are the best stainless steel cleaners for achieving a smudge-free sheen.
Best Overall: Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Trigger Spray
If you want to clean and polish your stainless steel appliances, cookware, silverware, and fixtures, your best bet is Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish. The spray solution effectively removes dust, dirt, grime, and stuck-on food, but it doesn't stop there. It polishes your surfaces and leaves behind a protective finish that resists watermarks, grease, and fingerprints.
Weiman can be used on virtually any stainless steel product or surface, effortlessly penetrating residue and delivering a shinier, brighter, streak-free appearance. Spray it on, wipe in the direction of the brushed grain, and buff with a clean cloth.
Best Budget: Affresh Stainless Steel Cleaning Spray
If you're on a budget, Affresh is a highly effective solution that will only run you a few bucks. The formula gently removes smudges, fingerprints, and sticky residues from stainless steel. You'll be left with a satisfyingly clean surface and a streak-free, perfectly polished sheen.
Affresh is ideal for deep cleaning and quick touch-ups around the home. The aerosol can sprays on evenly, covering your stainless steel surfaces in a fine mist. It's formulated to stay put after applying it, so you won't have to worry about drips and run-off.
Best for Cookware: Bar Keeper's Friend Superior Cookware Cleanser & Polish
Stainless steel cookware is relatively low-maintenance, but it's crucial to have a proper cleaning solution on hand. Specially formulated to penetrate stuck-on food, stubborn grease, burn marks, and other cooking stains, Bar Keeper's Friend is up for the task.
This stainless steel cleaner and polish efficiently eliminates hard water spots, streaks, and dullness better than a dishwasher can. The result is bright, shiny, reflectively clean cookware that looks new again. You can use it on pots, pans, trays, cooking utensils, and any other stainless steel items inside and outside your home.
Best for Appliances: Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish
The best solution for appliances is Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish. Made of filtered water, coconut oil, lavender essential oil, and natural emulsifiers, the plant-based formula simultaneously cleanses and protects your surfaces.
Therapy will effortlessly eliminate fingerprints, smudge marks, and streaks on your refrigerator, oven, cooktop, microwave, dishwasher, and countertop appliances. It comes with a reusable microfiber cloth, so you can spray it on and wipe it off with a gentle material that won't scratch the steel. The result is clean, polished, and protected.
Best for Cooktops: CLR Spotless Stainless Steel Streak-Free Cleaner
To achieve a super-clean and beautiful sheen on your cooktop, reach for CLR Spotless Stainless Steel. Short for "calcium, lime, and rust," CLR is most well known for its heavy-duty bathroom cleaners and multi-purpose solutions. This aerosol spray is part of the brand's line of routine cleaning products. It's just as impressive as the original formula.
CLR Streak-Free Cleaner is easy to apply to stovetops and ventilation hoods. Spray it on and coat the surface in an even layer. Wipe away splatters, food residue, and cooking grease. You can also apply a light coat for day-to-day polishing. This stainless steel cleaner delivers a streak-free shine and leaves a protective barrier that resists fingerprints and smudges.
Best for Sinks: Hope's Perfect Sink
If you've got a stainless steel sink in your kitchen or bathroom, we recommend Hope's Perfect Sink. This cleaner and polish combo is ideal for removing residues, hard water spots, and grime from sinks without scratching the metal.
Hope's Perfect Sink effectively cleans stainless steel basins and polishes, shines, and protects the material. This product leaves an invisible water-repellent barrier, making the stainless steel more resistant to streaks and spots. It makes ongoing cleaning much easier, leaving your sink with a brilliant, like-new shine.
Best for Faucets: Zep Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish
Zep Cleaner & Polish is ideal for stainless steel faucets. Whether you're dealing with water spots, calcium buildup, smudges, limescale, mold, mildew, or any other water-related grime, this cleaning solution can get the job done.
The aerosol container makes it easy to apply in an even layer and minimizes drips. Spray it onto your faucets and gently wipe it away with a clean cloth. You'll be left with a gleaming, streak-free finish and a protective polish that resists future stains and buildup.
Best Eco-Friendly: Method Stainless Steel Cleaner + Polish
For a green cleaning product, Method Stainless Steel Cleaner + Polish is a plant-based, biodegradable formula that doesn't contain any formaldehyde or phthalates. It comes in a 100 percent recycled and recyclable bottle.
Method can be used to clean and polish all stainless steel surfaces and products, including appliances, countertops, sinks, faucets, cookware, and silverware. Spray it on, gently rub it in, and wipe away to reveal a shiny, environmentally friendly finish.
Best Polish: Cerama Bryte Stainless Steel Polish
Cerama Bryte Stainless Steel Polish is formulated with mineral oil, orange oil, and surfactants. The solution cleans, buffs, polishes, protects, and shines virtually any metal surface throughout the home.
It's easy to use by saturating a clean cloth with Cerama Bryte. Apply it in long, even strokes in the direction of the brushed steel grain and polish with a dry cloth.
The best overall stainless steel cleaner is Weiman's Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish (view at Walmart). We appreciate how easily it removes dust, residue, grime, and food remnants from various surfaces. Plus, it leaves a protective fingerprint-resistant barrier. If you're specifically looking for a product that can clean grease and stuck-on food from your cookware, Bar Keeper's Friend (view at Amazon) is the way to go.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland researched and wrote this roundup. She is a professional writer, homeowner, and cleaning enthusiast with substantial experience covering home maintenance products.