If you have stainless steel appliances in your kitchen – perhaps a double-door fridge, a large oven and a dishwasher – no doubt they were pristine and gleaming when they were new. That’s probably why you chose them. Stainless steel appliances can look really good, but only if you keep them that way.
It’s not possible to clean and polish stainless steel the same way you would a regular appliance, and hiring a professional cleaner to do this can prove to be very expensive. Luckily, there’s no need, since L. Wells – a writer covering the recent styles showcased by contemporary kitchen designers Halcyon – would like to share with you 10 innovative, inexpensive and unusual ways to keep your new appliances up to those standards; streak and smudge-free, stylish – and sparkling clean.
1. Commercial stainless steel cleaners
You can buy a commercial stainless steel cleaner from your appliance manufacturer or supplier. Although they may be expensive, they will work well and are very efficient in getting everything from stains, smudges, streaks and even small scratches off the stainless steel surfaces. You need to carefully follow the instructions before using the cleaner, and when you’re done, just wipe the cleaner off the surface and let the appliance dry. It should then be as shiny and clean as it was when it was delivered.
2. Furniture polish
Although you’re cleaning stainless steel, furniture polish does the job perfectly. However, don’t apply the polish directly onto the steel, rather put some on a cloth and buff the appliance till it shines. And for your trouble, your kitchen will smell great too!
Using flour to clean stainless steel works beautifully. Lay some newspaper on the floor around the appliance and gently clean off all the grime, fingerprints and streaks with a soft cloth. Now sprinkle a thick dusting of flour over it so it’s completely covered. Finally, take a cloth and buff the flour off and you’ll be treated to a gleaming appliance.
4. A flour sack, Bon Ami and wax paper
Are we out of our minds? I hear you thinking. What’s this all about? But this old cleaning method works, so why not try it. First, get your hands on a flour sack, then buy some Bon Ami – a cleaning solution of feldspar, limestone, corn, coconut oil and baking soda – from your local homeware shop or sink supplier.
Next, wet a corner of the flour sack and sprinkle it with Bon Ami. Rub it onto the steel using a circular motion. Wet another part of the sack and use this to wipe the Bon Ami clean, only this time rub in the opposite direction. Finally, rub wax paper over the steel surface. You should now have a shiny clean appliance.
5. Soda water
How easy it this? And cheap too. Fill a spray bottle with soda water and spray the steel surface. Wipe one way (with the grain) and then the other (against the grain) and in no time at all you’ll have a beautiful shine.
WD-40 is Mister Fixit, and a dirty, smudged or scratched stainless steel appliance is no trouble to him at all. Just spray some on the surface then shine it until it looks like new again. Remember, WD-40 contains petroleum, be careful with it around food and cutting and food preparation surfaces.
7. Glass cleaner
This cleaner works well for fingerprints and handprints. Use your favourite brand of commercial glass cleaner and spray it over the surface, then wipe using a soft cloth.
8. White vinegar and olive oil
Apply vinegar directly to the surface with a cloth, or spray it on, then wipe off in the direction of the grain. With a few drops of olive oil on a cloth, give the surface a good shine.
9. Washing-up liquid and baby oil
Washing-up liquid is great for cleaning streaks and fingerprints off your appliances. Use soapy water to clean the surface, then rub dry with a soft cloth. Use baby or mineral oil to polish the steel, remembering to follow the grain.
10. Water and a cloth
Let’s face it, if I’d put this cleaning method at number one on the list, you wouldn’t have read any further. That’s because it’s the simplest and most cost-effective method. You can clean off fingerprints, grime, smudges and streaks by using a microfibre cloth (that’s important), dipped in water. That’s right just plain water. The result? A spotlessly clean and shiny surface.