The EASIEST way to clean stainless steel

May 25, 2017

I'm back today with a tip that kind of blew my mind a bit. I learned it years back from a woman I know who cleans houses. I tried it and couldn't even believe how well it worked. 

I think the number one comment I get when I share our kitchen is about how clean our fridge is. It cracks me up that that's what gets the most questions of anything I've done in here -- I get asked all the time how I keep our fridge so clean: 
Chalkboard wall in kitchen

Well first of all, photos are very forgiving. So what looks clean in a lot of pics really doesn't look that great up close. But usually it's clean because of this simple tip. Whenever I tell my cleaning secret, people are always surprised.

I've tried home remedies (olive oil or oils of any kind are such a mess), expensive cleaners -- just about everything. But this is the one thing that works every time, with no mess, and it's FREE. 

Our fridge wasn't too bad to share this before and after, but there were some smudges: 
EASY way to clean stainless steel

Most of our messes on the fridge are around the handle: 
How to clean stainless steel the easy way

Here's what I use...get ready for it...


I get a rag or towel wet and wipe down the messy areas: 
Simplest way to clean stainless steel

Make sure you go with the direction of the "grain" in the stainless.

And then you just dry/buff it well. Make sure it's completely dry and you're done: 
Easiest way to clean stainless steel

Works every single time. No goo. No costly cleaners. Takes a couple minutes and you're done. 

Mind blown, right? I know. Me too. It works: 
Large chalkboard in kitchen

I use this method on our dishwasher and oven as well. Make sure to use a soft cloth! I always use a dish towel or microfiber cloth. And as I mentioned, get all of the water off. So simple though! 

Have you tried this method to clean your stainless steel? It works better than anything I've tried. 

More posts about this room you might like: 
To see more about our huge chalkboard in the kitchen, go here

To see how I build the surround for the fridge, go here

To see the before and after of this kitchen renovation, go here

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  1. Shuuuuut up.....okay going to try this asap!

  2. Oh my goodness Sarah--mind blowing haha! I've fought with cleaners and messy olive oil for the last couple of years and neither have really worked. I'm SO trying this tonight :)

  3. Any tips to n how to get scratches out of stainless steel? My stove top got so scratched when someone visiting helped clean and ace rubbed it hard!!

  4. Big NOPE for my Kenmore Elite!! I just tried it and the water trick left nothing but streaks. I wiped with the grain using the softest kitchen towel I have. I don't dry kitchen towels with dryer sheets, either, so...

    I will continue to rely on Weiman wipes and spray to keep my SS clean and streak-free.

    1. Totally agree! Weiman wipes are the best stainless steel appliance cleaner around, imho. Just wipe with the Weiman and then buff with a soft cloth. I was so ready to get rid of my first stainless appliance until I found those wipes!

    2. I ordered some microfiber washcloths from Amazon, and the microfiber really does make a big difference (as opposed to cotton or cotton/poly blend). I have some that are the Vibrawipe brand and some that are the Buff brand. Both work well. I like the fabric in the Vibrawipe ones a little better, but they are a couple inches bigger and end up touching my garbage disposer when I rinse them, so I use the smaller Buff ones more often).

  5. Lemon pledge works great too :)

  6. When I did cleaning as a second job, the company owner showed me what she used to clean mirrors. You guessed it, (hot) water! She just ran it in the sink until hot, took her gloved hand, and flicked some water onto the mirror, then wiped off with a cleaning cloth or paper towels. For "goo" (like dried toothpaste), one has to work a bit harder, but so much easier than lugging around a bottle of whatever. Vinegar and hot water works, too (but vinegar's not free).

  7. The only thing stainless in our kitchen is our dish washer and toaster. I just use some water and soft cloth, they stay pretty nice. Our stove and frig are white, yeah not as fancy or nice but it works for us. Got dish washer 2 yrs. ago, Lowes didn't have white dish washer available and we needed one quick so took what was there. Really happy with it. Lot better than no dish washer. A person gets spoiled quick with one, lol.
    Thanks for tip, always appreciated. Enjoy your weekend. Glad to hear you're feeling better.

  8. I've just resorted to water as well. It usually works quite well fo a quick wipe down. For some reason all our guys can only open the fridge doors with crusty hands. Go figure. One thing I would add to the water method is to never use fabric softener on your cleaning cloths. That will definitely cause streaking.

  9. The guy at the appliance store told me to use a little Dawn on a wet cloth and then buff dry it has a dry cloth. I also will use a steamer and buff dry. Both ways work well for me.

  10. What about what looks like water drips or spots that don't seem to come off with a towel? Is there a way to get those marks off?

    1. I have those on mine too. Sometimes I can make them fade by rubbing really hard with my microfiber cloth, but it doesn't always work, and they seem to come back. I am not sure what they are. They were there on ours when the fridge was delivered, so I wonder if it is something that happens during manufacturing, or maybe an imperfection in the metal?

  11. Ha! I'm so glad you said, "water," because when I started reading your post, I began getting myself mentally prepared to post a comment saying, "all it really takes is warm water and a microfiber cloth." :) So glad the "secret" is out!

    1. That's exactly what I do -- only warm water and a microfiber cloth!

      Before I got my stainless steel appliances, I did a lot of research. I read that it's the buildup of cleansers that leads to streaking so it you never use them, only use water, your appliances will look great!


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