With stainless steel appliances like refrigerators, stoves, and kitchenwares becoming more popular, homeowners now need to find effective ways to keep these appliances clean and shiny. However, homeowners would often find it difficult to get fingerprints off stainless steel.
If you are in this category, you could try some effective cleaning techniques to get stubborn fingerprints off your appliances and utensils.
Fortunately, most of these techniques are not that difficult. You just need to get the steps right to return your stainless steel appliance to its shiny state. The remaining parts of this article will focus on explaining how these techniques work and the steps required.
1. Use Household Cleaning Detergents and Water
It’s not surprising to see how popular this technique has become – after all, it is the easiest and quickest way to remove any stain from stainless steel.
All you need is:
- A bowl of warm water
- Household dish detergents
- A cloth
Apart from its efficacy, the items you’ll use for this method are also easy to source. Most people also prefer this method because it’s safe on the skin.
Follow these steps to clean with household detergents and water:
- Mix a considerable quantity of your detergent with a bowl of warm water.
- Dip a soft cloth into the mixture until it soaks.
- Use the soaked cloth to wipe the surface of your appliance.
- Rinse the cloth and repeat the process until you are satisfied with the result.
- Use a clean, soft towel to dry the appliance.
I recommend going with the surface grain when wiping to achieve a deeper cleaning if you are using this method. Your appliance should return to its sparkling nature after this process, but if it doesn’t, don’t worry, there are other cleaning techniques in this article that work for deeper cleaning.
2. Clean With Distilled Vinegar and a Soft Cloth
Distilled vinegar is a great cleaning agent for removing stains from stainless steel appliances and utensils. Most store-bought cleaning products have up to 6% acidity. Distilled vinegar’s acidic levels may not be too different from the 5% acidity in regular vinegar, but the 1% difference does so much in changing the cleaning power of vinegar.
With distilled vinegar, you have a cleaning product that is up to 20% more powerful. This extra boost of cleaning strength makes distilled vinegar ideal for washing off all kinds of stains from stainless steel.
Follow these steps to clean with distilled vinegar:
- Pour about 2-3 teaspoons (10-15 mL) of cleaning vinegar into one corner of a microfiber cloth.
- Wipe the stained cloth against the grain of the stainless steel to deep-clean the stain.
- Wipe excess remains of vinegar from the grain using a clean, dry part of your microfiber cloth.
This one is relatively easy and guaranteed to get your appliance shining again like the first cleaning technique.
3. Use Baking Soda
You probably know about this technique – it’s been one of the most reliable cleaning techniques for stainless appliances for decades. In addition to that, the main item needed for it is also a household item, so there’s a huge chance you have it lying around your cupboard.
It’s important to point out that baking powder can get a little messy by itself. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain complete care while using it, so it doesn’t spill and mess with your appliance.
One of the best ways to clean with baking soda is to convert it into a paste. A soda paste is a mixture of baking soda and water. Making a paste out of your baking soda would make spreading on the affected area of your appliance easier.
Follow these steps to clean with baking soda:
- Pour two or three parts of baking soda into a jar containing one part of water.
- Mix the baking soda with the water until it forms a paste.
- Spread the baking soda paste on the affected parts of your stainless steel appliance.
- Allow the paste to sit on the affected parts for 20 minutes.
- Use a clean damp cloth to wipe off the baking soda paste in the grain’s direction.
- Use a soft dry towel to remove any excess baking powder residue.
4. Create a Lemon Juice and Salt Solution
Although a less popular method, a lemon juice and salt solution is one of the easiest ways to clean stainless steel appliances. Here, all you need is:
- One or two balls of lemon
- A few tablespoons of salt
The acidic content of lemon helps it to break down particles and remove stains.
Follow these steps to clean with a lemon juice and salt solution:
- Cut your lemons in halves and squeeze the juice directly on the affected parts of your appliance.
- Sprinkle salt on the already moist surface and allow the mixture to soak for 7 to 20 minutes.
- Add more salt to the surface and use the other half of the lemon to scrub.
- Soak a clean, soft cloth in water and use it to clean off the mixture and stains thoroughly.
5. Clean With Salt and Lime Mixture
Just like lemon juice, lime also works wonders for cleaning fingerprints and other stains from stainless steel appliances and utensils. The process is pretty much similar, and the effect is just as good. Fortunately, you can get lime from any nearby grocery store alongside other food items.
Follow these steps to clean with a salt and lime mixture:
- Cut the lime in half and squeeze the lime juice directly on the affected part of your stainless steel.
- Again, sprinkle salt on the already moist area and let the mixture soak for a few minutes.
- Use the other half to scrub the appliance surface, then rinse thoroughly to restore shine.
6. Use WD-40
Do you have a leftover can of WD-40 from the repair of your squeaky window? Well, that’s some luck for you because WD-40 also works for cleaning and protecting surfaces, including stainless steel.
However, it’s important to note that WD-40 is a petroleum-based product and should be used with care in areas where you’ll be handling your food. Don’t be scared – you can handle that by thoroughly cleaning surfaces before proceeding to regular use.
Follow these steps when using WD-40:
- Spray some WD-40 directly on the affected surface of your appliance.
- Use a clean rag to wipe the surface in the direction of the grain.
- Use another part of the cloth to ensure proper drying.
An additional benefit of using WD-40 is that it provides an extra layer of protection against future stains.
7. Invest in Store-Bought Stainless Steel Cleaners
Of course, the above-listed products are excellent cleaners for stainless steel appliances. But some stains may become too tough to be handled by some cleaning products.
In that case, I recommend opting for store-bought stainless steel cleaners. These cleaners are specifically designed for cleaning and polishing stainless steel. However, they are generally expensive and may require some effort to find.
If your stainless steel appliance is badly stained or just needs a thorough cleaning, this is an excellent option worth buying. Store-bought cleaners generally have unique cleaning procedures for each product, so it’s important to read the directions in the cleaner before using it. You can also test the product in a small spot before using it in larger areas.
I know how frustrating fingerprint stains on stainless steel can be. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to remove them and keep your metal surfaces bright and shiny. Some techniques, like the baking soda or distilled vinegar methods, even let you use items you probably already have at home!
Hopefully, you’ll find one or two methods in this article that would help you get your stainless steel back to its sparkling looks.