stainless steel appliances, sink and faucets--how to keep clean

ksd51April 7, 2009

Would appreciate hearing from all of you who have stainless steel in your kitchen.This is going to be all new to me, as I have always had a white cast iron sink, and used 409 or when needed ajax, the same for my old cooktop as well. Now it's a whole new world for me. I know I will need to change my cleaning products, but what do you suggest? Also concerned about whether to use Ajax on my pots and pan, which would then go into my stainless sink. Wouldn't that then ruin the finish on my stainless. Love to hear all your suggestions. Thanks.

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there was a posting about this recently, maybe in the appliances forum. some one said to rub a little baby oil or other type of oil on the ss. I have NO IDEA whether this is a good idea, just passing the info along...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 6:00AM
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Ksd, here's the thread that ebse is referring to...


Here is a link that might be useful: Cleaning Stainless

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 6:51AM
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I have a large spray can of Twinkle and it has lasted for years. I use one of my DH old soft t-shirts, dampen it and then spray the Twinkle right on your stainles appliance. It does a terrific job.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:57AM
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This is too funny to read after going through the broo-haha at the posts on soapstone. Maybe we should ask fredl? (Apologies to OP -I realize this is not a helpful answer but I couldn't resist).

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:01AM
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I absolutely love my WD40! It takes but a minute to wipe down my SS fridge, dishwasher, microwave and sink with a microfiber cloth and WD40. Just spray the clothe (not the appliance), and wipe. Dry your sink before doing this. Water spots, fingerprints, goop and food will slide off and disappear. Everything is clean and sparkly in no time. So, so easy.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:18AM
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Jodi, how frequently do you use the WD40? It's what Modern-Aire suggested I use for our stainless hood. Works great but I have to say the smell leaves something to be desired...:-). That's why the baby/massage oil intrigues me; haven't tried it yet though.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 11:04AM
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I used a little baby oil on a paper towel and wiped my stainless fridge, DW, and stove after reading that post that elizpiz attached the link to. The results were amazing. I have not tried WD40, but I will try it next time.

Bar Keepers Friend is a product I have used on my stainless steel sink based on a recommendation from this forum. It did a great job on the sink. DON'T USE it on your stainless steel appliances, though. It almost destroyed the finish on my fridge! YIKES!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 12:10PM
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Eliz, I use WD40 about once a month or so. We don't have any small kids and not a whole lot of cooking is done these days so it really doesn't need it more than that.

You don't need to use much. Just spray a small amount on a cloth and start wiping. Of course if anything hard is caked on your appliance surface, especially something that might scratch, remove that first.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 12:38PM
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Re: cleaning a stainless steel sink. I suddenly remembered this clipping in my private file and thought it might be helpful The orginal post seems to have fallen off the forum. I can't vouch for the method, so this falls into the "for what it's worth category"... just passing the information along in case it helps (copied from My Clippings):

posted by: talmond on 12.12.2008 at 06:41 pm in Kitchens Forum:

Being a car buff I use an automotive aluminum mag wheel polish which is also safe for stainless steel (wont scratch)
about every week or so when the sink starts looking spotted or filmy. apply with throwaway cotton pieces in 3 to 4" circle motion as you see black appear on cloth keep turning cloth over till most of the black is gone and a shine starts to appear, then final buff with a cotton or microfiber cloth. Sink will maintain that new look. I have not had to polish the sides of our sink as the spotting and filming only seem to show up on the bottom. I can usually complete both sides in 5 to 10 min,

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 5:17PM
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I bought a large can of Zep for SS from HD back in 7/08. I use it one a week on my appliances and it works beautifully. The can also seems to last forever -- it still feels full and it was less than $10.00.

I wipe my appliances first with hot water on a clean cloth to remove any "stuff" and clean them up. Then I apply the Zep with another clean cloth. It really shines them up and keeps them nice for at least a week. Sometimes I can go for more than a week.

I am also careful though to use a wet, clean cloth to open the fridge and dishwasher when I am cooking and might have messy hands. I keep a lot of clean cloths on hand (stored away in a drawer) for wiping my granite and ss appliances...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 6:30PM
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Micro-fibre cloths! I get them at the dollar store. I'm amazed at how they can disperse smudges, streaks, and grease when only dampened with water. For more stubborn guck, I use Pledge All-surface cleaner.

Stainless steel is NOT difficult to keep clean, and no expensive exotic cleansers are required.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:09PM
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I second the vote for micro-fiber cloths. They are very helpful in getting rid of water stains, both on stainless and granite. I use them daily.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:17PM
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I haven't tried it yet but my friend SWEARS by Pledge - and it's cheaper than the special stuff they sell for stainless steel.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:37PM
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I'm kind of curious-- do others with a stainless steel sink expect the sink to look like new forever? I thought stainless sinks were supposed to develop a patina of scratches? I don't use sink grids, and I scrub the sinks with dish soap and a vegetable brush-- as I would a stainless bowl. I have quite a few scratches from my cast iron pans and wok. I do wipe out the interior with a towel when I am done cooking for the night. I never considered polishing the sink. Please tell me if I am being reckless with my sinks and ruining them. Sorry to veer off topic a bit.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:55PM
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I've always used a mat or grid in my ss sinks when washing pots and pans, especially CI. I've never noticed a lot of scratching, and I don't think my sinks have ever looked particularly abused, even the 40+ yo one I recently replaced. I don't consider myself particularly obsessive - perhaps I just choose not to notice anything that may disturb me...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 11:51PM
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I also use microfiber cloths on my SS fridge. Just wet one with hot water, wipe it down, and follow with a dry cloth. I've had the fridge for over a year now, and have no problems with fingerprints. I do the same on me SS DW.

For my stove, I need something more to clean up spatters and spills, but I typically use whatever cleaner (e.g., 409) that I'm using elsewhere. I clean the sink with dishsoap and a Dobie pad.

I've never bought any special products for me SS, and it all still looks good as new.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:02AM
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morton, I also expect to see wear and patina over time with my ss sink. At the moment, I think I'm in "new car" mode - I want to preserve the shiny newness of everything for as long as possible! DH hasn't seen me clean so much in all the time we've been married :-)

Having said that, I have a scratch on the cooktop and an indelible mark on our wood island top already - no biggie. We wanted to choose things that would appear to be appropriate for our old house and old houses have patina. Our old kitchen had a ss sink that was at least 20 yrs old and I certainly didn't baby it the way I'm doing with this one. Looked just fine. I guess it goes back to the linen pants analogy that's often used to determine whether someone would love soapstone or not: if the wrinkles bother you, it may not be for you. And we have soapstone too so I guess you know we don't mind a ding or two!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 7:04AM
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I did a lot of research on cleaning SS before I purchased my new fridge, slide in electric stove, OTR microwave and dishwasher. Friends kepts saying how hard they were to clean and one friend in particular was especailly down on SS as she cleans houses for a living. I really wanted SS because I love the look of it, so did the research.
Pledge, baby oil, WD40 and barkeepers friend were the things most often mentioned. I found micro cloths to be the answer. Personally I love my SS appliances! I have never had appliances that were so easy to keep looking nice. I just don't understand why so many people say they are hard to look after.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 7:52AM
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morton - we are getting a new SS sink. I made sure it would have a brushed finish, not shiny. My old SS sink took 26 yrs of abuse, no special cleaning except wiping it out after dishes or most likely just running the faucet around until the mess was gone :) It aged just as it should, scratches and all. Not polishing it doesn't make a bit of difference in how well the sink lasts, it's just a preference for some.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 7:52AM
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My last kitchen reno had all new SS appliances, which were a first for me. I bought Stainless Steel Magic at I think Bed Bath and Beyond and always used that - and frankly never understood why people thought stainless was "so hard to keep clean." It worked like a charm. I'll be buying more for this kitchen. :-)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 8:10AM
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Another vote for micro fiber cloths here. The cheapest way to buy them is in the auto care department, BTW.
Every so often we clean/polish the stainless steel with ZEP, too-it says on the can "Original Oil-base Formula".

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 9:34AM
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Echoing others--I too adore Microfiber cloths--especially when purchased from the "dollar store". They are invaluable. They are fabulous for non-porous surfaces like stainless and glass and amazing for removing dust from the fabrics that can't be washed such as valances, upholstered headboards, lampshades, couch backs.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:55AM
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