How to Clean Stainless Steel Cutlery, Pans, Appliances, & Sinks
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.
With any cleaning product, whether homemade or store-bought, you should always test your method on a small, unnoticeable area of your stainless steel first to check its efficacy and to avoid potential damage to your belongings. Read the label on any commercial products to ensure the best, safest results.
For light marks and daily maintenance, simply:
- Treat stainless steel with some hot water and a cloth or sponge.
- Add a little good quality dishwashing liquid or use a bar of soap, if preferred – we like the SUNLIGHT range.
- Use on everything from cutlery to cooking surfaces.
How to Clean Stainless Steel with Marks & Stains
If you have problems with fingerprints and water spots, glass cleaner can double as a stainless steel cleaner; just spray onto the steel surface and wipe with a microfibre cloth. Rinse the steel after you’ve finished and buff the surface with a dry cloth or towel.
For dried-on food spills and stains, buy a cleaning product that can be used on stainless steel (just check the label for advice) or a specialised stainless steel cleaner and apply it directly to the appliance using a sponge and following the instructions on the label. Have an old toothbrush handy for any awkward areas around things like taps and hob plates.
For tougher stains, use baking soda; simply mix a thick paste using a tablespoon of 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
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.
- 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 a straightforward task, and your fittings and appliances will 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 keep metal as dry as possible, so water spots don’t occur.
Just follow these steps and your stainless steel will soon be gleaming once more!