KitchenAid stainless "finish" ... what is it??

jellytoastJune 7, 2013

I have a new KitchenAid french door refrigerator and I can't find any information about the stainless steel finish on their website or anywhere online for that matter. I assumed I was buying a real stainless steel refrigerator, but my refrigerator doors feel very smooth and appear to have some sort of a coating on them. The finish doesn't feel similar to any of my other non-Kitchenaid stainless appliances. Those appliances actually DO feel like stainless steel. Does anyone know if KitchenAid puts some sort of a clear coat finish on their SS refrigerators? My fridge was delivered with a scratch on the door, but it doesn't look like a normal "stainless steel" scratch, but rather like a scratch would on an automotive finish. For other recent KitchenAid refrigerator purchasers, do your doors appear to be clear-coated? (Cross-posted on the kitchen forum).

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Now that you mention it, yeah, it does kinda look topcoated, and you are right about it being hard to impossible to find anything specific about it.

But I pretty strongly suspect that we probably are looking at the the result of buffing with a polish like Weiman's. You use products like Weiman's to clean and shine the surface, and that process, according to Weiman's, leaves "a shiny, protective barrier that resists fingerprints and repels dust and dirt."

Page 11-12 of my KA fridge owner's manual, recommends a Whirlpool product "Stainless Cleaner and Polish" which seems to be in the same vein as Weiman's except that WP does not claim that its product leaves a protective barrier.

Also, another clue: magnets stick to the door. To me, that means KA used grade 430 stainless steel. This is a bit less "stainless" than other grades and can rust when exposed to acidic or harsh environments or frequent use of ammonia based cleaners like Windex. And, sure enough, page 11 of the owner's manual also says to avoid "window sprays" and various other harsh cleaners. If there was a top-coat, it seems that they wouldn't need to warn against using window sprays.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 3:15AM
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JW, I'm wondering if the grade of stainless used by KA is so low that it needs the protection of a clear coat to prevent rust? My fridge will definately show fingerprints, so it's not that type of coating.

If I look very closely at the finish, I can see that it has some sort of a texture ... it definately looks like something was sprayed over the surface. It's not just shiny like a polish, but slightly textured. The stainless steel has a brushed appearance with a grain, but the texture of of the finish doesn't feel like that at all. My stainless steel range, hood, and sink don't have that look or feel, but my KA dishwasher does. Like my fridge, it feels more like a painted automotive finish than stainless steel.

Whatever the finish is, trust me, you don't want to scratch it!!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 1:42PM
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I wish all my appliances had the finish that my new KitchenAid dishwasher has. It is easy to clean and streaks disappear with their own cleaner, Affresh?, that I buy on Amazon. I have a three year old KA dishwasher and refrigerator in a second home and it is very difficult removing water streaks.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 5:24PM
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