How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

This is a great DIY method for how to clean stainless steel appliances like the refrigerator, stove, microwave, or dishwasher. Uses simple cleaners to knock out smudges and prevent fingerprints!

cleaning 101; how to clean stainless steel graphic

Let's go on and put it out there: while beautiful, stainless steel is kind of a pain in the rear to keep clean.

smudges and scratches on a stainless steel dishwasher

handprint on stainless steel refrigerator

smudge on stainless steel refrigerator

If you have any kind of stainless steel appliance in your home, you understand. As soon as you touch it, there will be smudges and handprints. While I secretly kind of love those little handprints, they just have to go sometimes.

Luckily, there's a really easy way to not only clean stainless steel but to keep it smudge-free!

(Affiliate links used in this post. Read more about my link usage here.)

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

There are two incredibly simple supplies I use for streak-free stainless steel appliances...

holding a spray bottle of glass cleaner and a microfiber towel

My trusty microfiber cleaning cloths and glass cleaner (i.e. Windex). That's it!

wiping stainless steel with a microfiber cloth

Simply spray your appliance down with the glass cleaner and buff in a circular motion. It might take a couple of times to really get the streaks and smudges out of your stainless steel appliance - repeat as needed until clean.

I do this once a week (on Journey to Clean fridge/pantry day, which just happens to be today!). It takes a grand total of 2 minutes and makes your fridge look so sparkly and shiny.

How to Keep a Stainless Steel Appliance Streak-Free

There's also a fun little trick I like to do once a month (during Journey to Clean kitchen week, on the refrigerator deep clean day) that keeps your fridge smudge-resistant and conditioned.

olive oil and microfiber cloth on a counter

For this, you need olive oil (yes, olive oil that you cook with!) and a microfiber cloth.

stainless steel surface

It's kind of hard to see in the picture above, but your stainless steel appliance has a "grain" to it. Look closely at your appliance - you can see that it either runs vertically or horizontally. Looking at my fridge, you can sort of see that horizontal graining above.

microfiber cloth with a small amount of olive oil

Put a small amount of olive oil (maybe a teaspoon) on a microfiber cloth. Following the grain of your stainless steel, gently rub the olive oil onto your appliance.

using a microfiber cloth on stainless steel

After you do this one time, it might look a little cloudy and streaky - that means you'll need to gently buff off excess oil. Use the clean side of your cloth to apply really light pressure to the stainless steel in a circular motion until you can't see the streaks in the stainless steel.

This method conditions your stainless steel and helps ward off those extra smudges from little fingers.

cleaned front of a stainless steel refrigerator

See? So pretty and shiny! With those two simple tasks, your fridge can look like new. Integrate this cleaning into your weekly routine for super easy fridge maintenance.

Catch up on the rest of the Cleaning 101 series with the links below!

How to Clean Cast Iron

How to Clean a Dishwasher

How to Clean Upholstered Furniture

How to Clean an Oven

xo, Leslie; signature for end of the blog post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.