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How to clean stainless steel in the kitchen

Stainless steel is a very common material in homes, especially in kitchens, but it can get a little lacklustre from regular use. Read on to find out the best way to clean stainless steel and get your pots, pans, appliances, and fittings back to their shining splendour!


how to clean stainless steel in the kitchen: hob

Key Steps:

  1. Regular maintenance will keep stainless steel items looking their best.
  2. Use circular motions to scrub stainless steel so you don’t damage the brushed finish.
  3. Remember to polish your stainless steel, and don’t forget that includes cutlery, too.

Whether it be a saucepan or the kitchen sink, most of us own at least one stainless steel item in the home; the combination of practicality and an attractive brushed finish makes it perfect for everyday use. Despite the name, however, the metal can lose its sheen and become stained and dirty if not cared for properly. Read on for some handy tips on how to keep your stainless steel looking as good as new. 

If you’re stuck on what solution to use, buy a specially designed stainless steel cleaner like Cif Stainless Steel Spray to make sure your pots, pans, and appliances keep their sparkling sheen.

How to clean stainless steel 

You don’t necessarily need to use harsh chemicals to clean stainless steel. In fact, avoid solutions containing bleach or anything abrasive, as this may cause further damage. Always try to wipe or scrub with the grain – rather than in circular motions – to maintain that brushed finish. Don’t forget to wear protective clothing and keep the area where you are cleaning well-ventilated.

For light marks and daily maintenance, simply:

  1. Treat stainless steel with some hot water and a cloth or sponge.
  2. Add a little washing up liquid, if needed.
  3. Use on everything from cutlery to cooking surfaces.


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How to remove marks and spills from stainless steel

  • If you have problems with fingerprints and water spots, glass cleaner can double as a stainless steel sink cleaner; just spray onto the steel surface and wipe with a microfibre cloth. Rinse the steel after you’ve finished and buffed the surface with a dry cloth or towel.
  • Wondering how to clean a stainless steel hob? For dried-on food spills and stains, buy a cream or stainless steel cleaner and apply it directly to the appliance using a sponge. Have an old toothbrush handy for any awkward areas around things like taps and hob plates.
  • For tougher stains, try this natural stainless steel sink cleaner: simply mix a thick paste using a tablespoon of baking soda with a little water. Coat the problem area and leave for half an hour, then rub with a damp cloth, rinse, and dry.

How to polish and protect stainless steel

Wondering how to remove scratches from a stainless steel sink or pan? If you notice your stainless steel hardware is getting scratched or dull, polishing it will help to restore its appearance and build up its protective surface. Here are a few options:

  • Buy specialist stainless steel polish if you're looking for a specially formulated stainless steel scratch remover.
  • Use natural alternatives: after using your chosen stainless steel cleaner and rinsing away, apply vinegar or lemon juice directly to your cloth and wipe over the surface – or pour a concentrated solution into an empty spray bottle – and apply.
  • Use baby or olive oil: pour a small amount onto a dry cloth and rub it all over the appliance, remembering to work with the grain. Leave for a few minutes, then, wipe the oil away with a paper towel.

Regular care makes cleaning stainless steel appliances and cookware a straightforward task, and they'll keep their shine for much longer as a result. Try to prevent stains by:

  • Mopping up spillages as soon as they happen to avoid permanent marks.
  • Rinsing with water after applying chemicals.
  • Always keeping metal as dry as possible, so water spots don’t occur.

So, why is it important to clean stainless steel?

Stainless steel is a material that is used extensively in the kitchen due to its general resilience against things like heat and corrosion, along with a pretty good level of stain resistance. Usually, the chromium within stainless steel reacts to oxygen in the air and forms a protective film, preventing problems like rust and reducing the risk of permanent marks. If the steel surface is coated with grease or dirt, however, this reaction can’t happen and the steel is more vulnerable to corrosion and wear.

It’s important, therefore, to have a regular regime in place for cleaning stainless steel appliances, cookware, and homeware in order to keep the metal looking good and performing at a high standard. Just follow these steps, and your stainless steel will soon be gleaming once more!

Looking for tips on how to clean stainless steel knives, forks, and spoons? Check out our article on how to clean stainless steel cutlery!

Originally published