How To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances are both beautiful and durable, making them the perfect addition to your kitchen. However, streaks, fingerprint smudges, grease splatters, and water drips all happen, even to the most durable of kitchen materials and cookware. Here’s how Dawn® can help you keep those food splatters and hand smudges off the stainless steel appliances in your home, and what to avoid making sure they don’t lose their shiny luster.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

Clean stainless steel stove top

Stainless steel appliances are a great look in any home. However, fingerprint smudges and kitchen spills can make even stainless steel look not so stainless. Follow these easy steps to help your stainless steel appliances continue to shine, no matter what gets thrown at them!

Clean stainless steel appliances

1. Gather Supplies.

Before you get to cleaning, make sure you have everything you need on-hand:

2. Lather Up.

For best results, use a concentrated dish liquid like Dawn® Platinum. Apply a few drops onto the soft side of a damp sponge. Scrunch it a few times to disperse the soap throughout the sponge and to create suds.

3. Go with the Grain.

Believe it or not, stainless steel has a grain. You should be able to see lines in the stainless steel and feel the grain with your fingers. Start at the top of your appliance and wash in the direction of the grain. If the grain is horizontal, start at the top and work your way toward the floor. Cleaning against the grain can lead to an incomplete clean and even scratching.

Determine direction of stainless steel grain

4. More Minerals = More Spots.

Rinse excess residue and towel dry the surface immediately with a clean paper towel or reusable cloth to prevent etching, water spots, and staining. Water spots are formed when minerals in the water are left behind after evaporation.

Wipe stainless steel dry to prevent water spots

The steel is now stainless again!

Why Stainless Steel Appliances Get Greasy

Ever notice that when you’re cooking with grease or foods that splatter, like bacon, the mess tends to go all over your kitchen? That’s because when fats and oils are heated, they create small grease particles that flow with the natural air current of your kitchen—eventually settling on countertops, backsplashes, and stainless steel appliances.

These grease particles begin to form a thick, sticky layer—a paste that is unforgiving to stainless steel. Thankfully, Dawn® Platinum makes the grease cleanup So Dawn Easy—bacon splatters don’t stand a chance!

Benefits of Stainless Steel Appliances and Cookware

Stainless steel is known for its modern aesthetic—the shine it brings can really transform any kitchen. Plus, it’s one of the most durable materials around, something that all kitchen appliances and cookware can benefit from.

Here’s why we love stainless steel appliances:

  • Cleaning: Stainless steel surfaces are often smooth, a surface that leaves no possible nooks or crannies for food particles or bacteria to take root in. Plus, the smooth texture allows for easier wiping. To easily clean off grease and food splatters from your stainless steel appliances, use a mixture of Dawn® Platinum and water, then rinse off and wipe dry.

  • Durability: Stainless steel is known for being more rust resistant than other materials, and so it can outlast most other metals. Due to this, stainless steel appliances won’t need to be replaced as often.

  • Non-reactivity: Foods with a high acid content can actually cause damage to some cookware metals. Stainless steel is impervious to this issue, so cooking with the material is perfect for everything from roasts to tomato sauces—no staining or flavor tainting! With all the benefits of stainless steel, it’s no wonder that so many kitchen appliances are made from it!

Types of Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel is ideal for pots, pans, cookware, large and small appliances. Typical stainless steel kitchen appliances you may find at home include:

  • Refrigerators

  • Stoves and Stove tops

  • Microwaves

  • Dishwashers

  • Mixing Bowls

  • Range Hoods

  • Blenders

  • Food Processers

  • Sinks

Stainless steel appliances continue to be a popular aesthetic in most kitchens, especially now with the addition of titanium and black stainless steel color options. However, stainless steel can still smudge, streak, and pack on the dirt when not cleaned regularly or properly.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel is known for its durability, but it’s not immune to damage. Most stainless steel appliances come with a shiny finish, something that is susceptible to scratches and dullness. Here’s what not to do when cleaning your stainless steel appliances:

  • Abrasive cleaners: Don’t use steel wool cleaning pads and brushes as these can easily scratch off the finish of your stainless steel appliances, leaving them more susceptible to stains and rust. Use a microfiber or soft cloth when wiping down your appliances. Avoid cleaners that can damage steel and finishes. Instead, clean your stainless steel appliances with a dish soap like Dawn® Platinum. Its unique formula is tough enough to break up grease and grime while staying gentle on stainless steel surfaces.

  • Air-drying: Always wipe away dirty or soiled water and any leftover cleaning solution with a reusable cloth. Allowing water and cleaning solution to air-dry will create streaks and possibly even permanent damage to your stainless steel.

  • Tap water: Be mindful of the type of tap water running from your kitchen faucet. Most tap waters are harsh and can leave stains and spots on your stainless steel appliances. To better clean stainless steel, try using distilled or filtered water instead.

If you’re ever unsure on how best to clean your stainless steel appliances, read the appliance manual and instructions from the manufacturer—you’ll be surprised just how helpful these can be! And, you can rest easy knowing that you can easily tackle greasy smudges and messes with Dawn®. Bring on family cooking night (and that includes chefs of all ages)!

The steel is now stainless again. Now, let’s try to keep it this way.