The best stainless-steel cleaners for appliances and kitchenware you can buy
- More and more people are choosing stainless-steel home appliances because the metal is durable and adds a sleek and modern appearance.
- Unfortunately, a stainless-steel finish is susceptible to fingerprints, streaks, and smudges.
- TriNova Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish can get rid of those blemishes and leave your appliances gleaming.
After spending years drooling over the burnished, industrial look of commercial kitchens, I finally had the chance to bring stainless steel into my home kitchen. I envisioned the gleam of my cooktop, oven, sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator next to stone countertops. What I did not get was the kitchen staff to help keep the stainless steel shining.
Stainless steel has plenty of great qualities. It is extremely durable and resistant to water damage and rust. But it can show every fingerprint and smudge left by hands and every water spot that is not properly wiped away. As I shopped for new appliances, I discovered that stainless steel is offered in three finishes: mirror, brushed, and matte. As you can guess, a mirror finish is very shiny and reflective, a brushed finish appears more textured and is offered in a range in brightness, and a matte finish is very flat without any appearance of shine.
I chose a brushed finish because when it comes to maintenance difficulty, it is right in the middle. I did not want to see every problem immediately on a mirror finish, and the matte finish seemed to suck all the light from my kitchen. A brushed finish conceals many of the fingerprints but still brings some brightness to the room.As you learn about each cleaner we tested, you'll also read about wiping the metal following the grain. As with wood grain, it is important to clean and buff stainless steel by following the grain, to get a shiny finish. Stainless steel is a combination of several metals and during production, a grain is developed. Some appliance manufacturers apply the metal sheets with a horizontal grain, some a vertical. Take a few minutes to look your appliances over and then follow that grain (slight streaks of color variation) when cleaning and polishing.
Before we reveal the best in stainless-steel cleaners, I must share a list of what not to use to clean stainless steel:
- Harsh scouring powders and abrasive sponges
- Steel wool
- Chlorine bleach
- Oven cleaner
If you use the wrong type of cleaner, there is no way to reverse the damage and nothing will restore the finish. If you live in an area with extremely hard water, cleaning is going to be difficult because of the minerals in the water that will leave spots.
Since equipping my kitchen with stainless steel a few years ago, I have been testing various cleaning products and care tips. Frequent cleaning with less elbow grease appeals to me. I'm always looking for the most effective, the easiest to use, and the best value in products for myself and others.
One tip I swear by is using a microfiber cloth when I clean stainless steel. Often, I can skip any type of cleaner by simply wiping down the appliances daily with just a dry microfiber cloth. Tough stains need a cleaner and I do thoroughly clean the appliances weekly and finish with a wipe-down with a dry microfiber cloth to polish away any streaks.
Here are the best stainless-steel cleaners you can buy:
- Best overall: TriNova Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish
- Best wipes: Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes
- Best aerosol cleaner: CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner
- Best natural cleaner: Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish
- Best homemade solution: Heinz Cleaning Vinegar and Pompeian Pure Olive Oil
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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.