Stainless steel is known for its ability to resist corrosion and rust and is thus a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms. Dirt, dust, and grime, however, do put stainless steel at risk for corrosion and rust. Luckily, it responds well to cleaning, as long as you follow certain rules. In general, start with basic cleaning, and work your way up as needed.
Does Water Clean Stainless Steel?
Warm water and a cloth will accomplish routine cleaning.
This is the least risky option for stainless steel, and really, just plain water works to clean in most situations. Dry with a towel or cloth to prevent water spots. This is really important since minerals in water can leave marks on stainless steel. Wipe in the directions of the polish lines for best results. Microfiber cleaning cloths can be a great option to use when cleaning stainless steel because they do absorb all the water and won't scratch the surface.
Does Dish Soap Clean Stainless Steel?
For cleaning that needs more power, mild dish soap and warm water can do a great job without damaging your stainless steel. A drop of mild dish detergent and warm water is often all you need to get the tougher dirt off. You can start with a small sink of warm water and add a few drops of dish soap. You can also put a small drop of dish soap on a cloth. Add warm water to the cloth and rub the dish soap to suds up your cleaning cloth.
Wipe down the dirty area. After you've finished washing away the dirt, rinse the surface thoroughly to prevent staining and spotting. Don't forget to towel dry to prevent water spots which can be caused by minerals.
Glass Cleaner for Fingerprints on Stainless Steel
Fingerprints are one of the biggest complaints about stainless steel, but you can take care of them by using glass cleaner or household ammonia.
Spray whichever cleaner you're using a microfiber cloth. You can spray directly on the stainless steel, but you may end up with drips or waste a lot of cleaners that wasn't needed. Wipe the stainless steel area gently in a circular motion to remove the fingerprint. Repeat as needed. Rinse thoroughly and towel dry. There are some newer types of finishes for stainless steel that resist fingerprints which might be a consideration if your pint-sized helpers tend to leave their mark everywhere.
Stainless Steel Cleaner
If you have stains that are difficult to remove, scratches on the surface, or need to polish your stainless steel, a stainless steel cleaner may be a good option. Some of these cleaners and polishes can help minimize scratching and remove stains. They also can polish surfaces. Read the directions and test in an inconspicuous spot. Be sure to rinse the area thoroughly and towel dry.
The key to keeping stainless steel stainless is proper care and maintenance. With just a little effort, your appliance will shine on!