Stainless steel appliances look nice and modern, but they are a pain to keep clean. So far I've tried soap and water, diluted vinegar, and a damp cloth. None of these really seem to leave it spotless. What are some easy ways to remove fingerprints, water stains, and marks from stainless steel appliances?
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Oxalic acid, or cleaners with oxalic acid, such as Barkeepers Friend, are effective at removing stains from stainless steel. If the surface is lacquered brushed steel or brushed aluminum, though, they could damage the finish.
The cleaners themselves, though, may leave a bit of powdery abrasive residue that has to be removed.
We find the white melamine sponges (sold as Magic Eraser, but there are generic types widely available) can work really well, but they warn against using it on the front of stainless-steel appliances without trying it in an inconspicuous area first.
Wipe in the direction of the brush finish, not in swirly motions.
Isopropyl alcohol AKA isopropanol is very good at removing greasy marks from surfaces. Last time I bought it, I got it from a large pharmacists. Clean with soap and water first and when dry put a dab of neat isopropanol on a paper towel and rub the areas you want to get clean. Methylated spirits would work similarly but probably not quite as well.
Since no one has brought it up, you can rub a paste of baking soda on stainless steel appliances/pots/utensils. It removes stains and revives the shine. Also rubbing banana peel helps the shine.
I've used WD-40 to buff up my SS appliances. not only does it clean things off well, but the appliance is resistant to fingerprints for a while, afterwards.
When I sold my previous apartment I was told to use cooking oils to clean stainless steel surfaces, i.e. canola oil, olive oil, or similar.
To my surprise this turned out really nice, and the oil is usually easily accessible. Have used this trick ever since. Just add a few drops to a cloth and wipe it clean.