When Will I Relax and Enjoy My Kitchen?

sail_awayApril 22, 2013

We've just done a small refresh of our kitchen, not a major reno, but I have to ask---when will I stop being nervous every time I use the kitchen, or worse, every time someone else does something in my kitchen?

We put in new floors last year and recently replaced our 20+ year-old appliances with SS ones, replaced my hated cast iron double sink with a large single bowl SS sink, and replaced laminate countertop with granite. The BS will follow soon, leaving just the hardware to be decided upon and installed on the cabinets.

While I love having appliances that work well, there's definitely a learning curve and I'm not totally in love with the SS. I have learned how to avoid most fingerprints on the SS, but others haven't. I practically want to throw myself in front of someone who is about to touch an appliance or even just wash their hands in my new sink. I've never been an obsessive cleaner, but I find myself running around the kitchen with a microfiber cloth several times a day, touching up the appliances. I'm afraid if I don't do that then the smudges and fingerprints will become so widespread that I won't be able to remove them all. Someone, please, talk me down from the ledge!

The worst part is my multiply handicapped child who has always seemed to leave a certain amount of mess and disorder in her wake. I have yet to let her take anything out of the microwave. She can't actualy cook with the microwave, but she does like decaf and I sometimes heat up a cup in the microwave for her and tell her to get it out when it's done. Now, I wait and get it out myself. Crazy? I think so.

Yesterday I noticed a few spots on my new SS cooktop, and my heart was in my throat while I wiped them off, afraid I would scratch the cooktop. What in the world am I going to do when I have to face a burned-on mess that I know will happen sooner rather than later? I'm planning spaghetti and meatballs for dinner tonight, but I so badly want to change the menu because of the mess created from the splatters of the simmering spaghetti sauce. I can't stop making certain foods because they are so messy, can I?

Please tell me this will pass soon. I love to cook, and I'm not the neatest cook, so I realy need to get over this.

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Sail-away, thank you for the laughs this morning. I'd love to talk you down from the ledge, but I am afraid we are on it together ... two crazy ladies with their microfiber cloths.

Just last night my DH made the comment that he didn't feel like he was allowed in the kitchen any longer (I don't think he was complaining). Turns out my new kitchen came with a whole set of don't-do-this and don't-do-thats which resulted in him just staying the heck out.

I am so happy to know that I am not the only one who is trying to think of "less messy" menus! Yesterday I felt like a neurotic mess, but today you have made it all funny. Thank you!!!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Holly- Kay

Oh goodness Sail your post made me laugh. Thank you so much for that!

I have agonized over every darn decision. I am not even able to get my kd to return my calls, for all I know he took my money and ran!

Then I see your post and I realize my agony has just started. It took me weeks to convince myself that stainless steel would be ok and not be a total fingerprint magnet! I knew I didn't want white and I thought all black would be too dark for my kitchen so I finally bit the SS bullet so to speak!

My floors will be hardwood and I am already obsessing over how to keep them lovely with a DH who is in and out all day long, two little pupsters, and a kitty cat with rear claws.

I am trying to come up with a method of keeping my faucet looking great and my cast iron enameled sink from getting little grey scratches. Oh, and how about the SS in my new dw? I have hard water how will I prevent spots? Will I be a total wreck if I get a scratch on my granite? Oh how the list goes on.

I am a business owner who makes decisions involving thousands of dollars every day but agonize over the simplest decision when it comes to my kitchen. Running a company is easy making a total kitchen reno happen is a nightmare!

To keep it in perspective I know my home is filled with the people who make my life a joy, the animals who make me laugh every day, and is my little port in the storm of life. The rest of my home is far from perfect but I love it. So when my not so perfect kitchen is finished I will love it too. That is after I have my first meltdown or two!!! Glad to have found others to share the ride Sail!!!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:04PM
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Oh, heavens, ladies, you are scaring me! My crappy old white appliances just went out the door this morning, along with most of my cabinets. Am I going to miss them???

Seriously, sail-away, do try to come down off that ledge. You clearly have a lot of responsibilities added into the stress of kitchen reno. And for all that I'm not a stainless lover, I do believe that my incoming SS will prove very durable. If you will do a search for my recent thread on cat pee being sprayed on my brand new stainless grill, you will see just how durable! Yes, it did come off -- weeks worth of calcified pee. Now I just wipe the grill with a Wegman's once a week and it looks great. Just make it part of your daily routine. Once a day, run around the kitchen with a Wegman's, then Let It Go!!! Use the kitchen for its intended purpose and enjoy it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:07PM
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A kitchen is a working room where you prepare meals for family and friends. My guess, the first real scratch or genuine mess to clean up will help you get over your angst and you will enjoy your kitchen.
One thing I found in caring for stainless is "less be better". I stopped using any of the cleaners and use a little rubbing alcohol mixed in water in a spray bottle. (you can add a couple of drops of scented oil.) Then you can easily spot clean vs cleaning the whole front of a refrigerator etc.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:18PM
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Reading this makes me think of one of my grandmother's comments that I repeatedly heard as I was growing up. She liked to re-tell her memories of how sad she would be when we would head home from our visits and how, as she entered her empty home after waving goodbye, she didn't feel so lonely as she looked around and would see the reminders of our time together. In her otherwise spotless home, she would notice on the ground she would notice the Rice Krispies or Cheerios hiding under the tea service table, her china and crystal might be out of place because she allowed us to use a piece in our play...with a giggle and a grin, she would add that she often refused for weeks to clean any of it because she appreciated the reminders of our presence.

So as I debate replacing some of my white appliances with stainless and whether I might be able to live with the finger prints, I try to tell myself that I'm going to need to re-train myself to not think of the smudges and marks as things to be cleaned, but instead to embrace my grandma's philosophy as they will be reminders of the presence of my children as they will only be little once and I'd rather think of the memories of our time spent in the kitchen as a family and not my time spent cleaning...

And yet, as I type this I'm making mental notes of suggestions of micro-fiber cloths and rubbing alcohol ;)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 2:25PM
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So, is rubbing alcohol better than BKF?


I feel your pain. :-)

I didn't have time to clean my SS fridge and DW several times a day, so I moved them out of sight and got a fully integrated fridge for this remodel.

However, IME, cleaning SS once a day is quite sufficient. Most of the time, I did not even need BKF, just microfiber cloth to wipe the fingerprints.

There is no fingerprint police in your neighborhood, is there?

And we promise, we won't tell your neighbors that your appliances are not in pristine condition, LOL.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 2:40PM
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Goodness, I've been enjoying my kitchen since install. Fingerprints everywhere. The Wolf range looks like it really came from a professional kitchen.

Although I was pretty upset the first time the kids made a milk shake using a hand shaker and forgot to close the top all the way. Chocolate milk all over the wood cabinets and in the little wood creases. Lots of yelling, kids cleared out, I cleaned it up, then I felt guilty and made them another one and did practically the same thing!

Now the kids are making their own omelets after school, inventing tomato soup using leftover spaghetti sauce...it's great. It's messy, but great.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 3:09PM
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Holly- Kay

You guys all make me smile! I love the remarks from your grandmother Hammer.

My little grandsons love that Nana always displays their art work on her fridge. DH told me stainless isn't magnetic so I have to find another way to display them! I have two darling antique chairs that I keep for my grandsons as their arts and crafts chairs. I haul out the card table, cover it with a piece of plywood and the boys have a field day! Glitter glue everywhere!!! I learned that a card table with plywood is preferable to my lovely, antique fluted dining table for crafts as glitter glue is hard to get off.

I'll bet my mom is smiling at us when we all sit down at that beautiful table and share a family meal on the table that she loved so much!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 3:13PM
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How can steel not be magnetic?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 3:25PM
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This post just made me glad I am spending some extra money to have my dishwasher paneled instead of stainless steel. Who has time to keep up with the streaks. Life is way too short!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 4:42PM
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So true. And, we can all relate. It took me so many years to do this remodel, who wouldn't want to baby my new kitchen?
After install, I noticed that one of the knobs on a corner cabinet could potentially damage another cabinet. I looked into a bracket but did not want to drill anything in my new doors. I put one of those clear bubbles on the outside of the door! Looked a bit silly if you looked real close but I felt it would be good damage control.
My kitchen is now fours years old and just the other day I realized that clear bubble was gone. And, I've lived to tell this tale.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 4:52PM
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To answer the OP's original question- I do think it takes a little time (and some nicks and scratches or whatever). I have also never been an obsessive cleaner (I thought), but I swear I was pretty obsessive the first 6 months or so after our remodel. After that, life got in the way. I still was (am?) a little nuts when we had company, especially when they hadn't seen the "new" kitchen. The first time we had our closest friends over for dinner, I cringed every time someone moved the chair back and forth on the new hardwood, even though the chair legs were well protected. And none of my grandchildren visited until the kitchen was over a year old (although the closest ones came mid-remodel). Anyway-it does get better.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 5:01PM
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Thank you, ladies, for simultaneously calming me down and empathizing with my situation.

Because I work at home, I have plenty of opportunities to walk into the kitchen and see the new spots on the SS that seem to pop up all on their own. I keep microfiber cloths under the sink, so it's really pretty painless to grab it and quickly wipe the spot(s) away---it just seems so ridiculous.

What I don't like is this: We had a friend over last night, and when I saw a couple smudges on the SS microwave, it took a great deal of self-control not to get my microfiber cloth out and clean it like the crazy woman I apparently am right now. Worse, I had to resist the urge to immediately wipe up after her when she washed her hands or cut a second piece of cheesecake, leaving a trail of cheesecake on my counters. Normally, I wouldn't give that a second thought until the evening was over and everyone had gone home. Last night I had to steel myself not to flinch or give any other sign of concern, much less run around cleaning up.

I think the cure might be to just have a lot of people over, let them do their worst, and learn by experience that the kitchen and I can survive the trauma. :)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 5:24PM
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I won't be the one that has this happening - my husband will. And, I'll tell you, that's even worse. I'm the one that will be cooking in the kitchen and using it...and he will be the one checking for any smallest issue. To say that he's a little OCD is an understatement...3 years in on his "new" car, and he still parks as far away from other cars as possible in parking lots when we go out and won't park on the street.

I believe in having a working kitchen...one that looks nice, but is WORKING. My husband will probably nearly need hospitalized the first time something gets spilled...which with me and my klutziness, that will happen sooner than later.

Personally, I am looking forward to my new kitchen. But I'm not looking forward to my husband being around the new kitchen when I'm working in it!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 5:33PM
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Andreak, I agree---that would be far worse.

I remember when we moved into our home when it was new the movers put a scratch in the hardwood floor. I told DH that it was good we got the first scratch out of the way, becuase the remaining ones won't hurt so much. I've already put the first (and second) scratch in my SS, so I guess I'm past that, too---although I think it's also one reason I'm so concerned about doing it again.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 5:48PM
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I think you're right, Sail - you need to break that kitchen in! In July, when my kitchen is brand-spanking new and unspoiled, can I cry on your shoulder?

I was going to give the new car/first dent analogy, but anderak100 threw that out the window!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 5:49PM
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It's been almost two years since I remodeled my little kitchen and nothing compared to the gorgeous kitchens posted here, but I still wipe down surfaces even if I see a drop of water. And no dirty dishes in the sink. I love the room so much I want it to stay new looking and clutter-free. However, I'm not wiping down baseboards anymore. That got old real quick. : )

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:19PM
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That is so funny about your DH!

But that is hard, to say the least.

We installed two brushed SS counters just a couple of weeks ago. They are gorgeous! But I knew that scratches were inevitable, so I didn't worry about them. I guess DH didn't know. When he saw those first scratches, he thought I was cutting on the counter w/o a cutting board and yelled at me that I ruined our new counters, lol.

It was surprising b/c I am the perfectionist in the family and he is the type who doesn't care about appearances. Granted, we were both pretty stresses out.

So, the 'new kitchen syndrome' is pretty wide-spread, I guess. :-)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:27PM
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Some SS is magnetic apparently. Depends on the alloy/am't of certain alloys used???

As for BKF vs alcohol-water spray (FWIW, I add some essential lavender oil to mine; it has its own anti-bac properties, and smells nice, too!), you can use both on your SS. I mostly use BKF in/on my sink, but I do also use a little BKF on a sponge if I've dripped or spilled messy stuff down the front of our range while cooking (although just a wet sponge alone, or the alc-water spray does the trick as well). Just spray and then wipe with a paper towel or micro-fiber cloth.

You will find it easy to clean your SS if you avoid oil-based polishes and cleaners and just use the alc-water spray. As for dings and scratches, the first one(s) is always the hardest to get over, but after that first one, not so much!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:31PM
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I know I will be joining the rest of you on this soon. I can only imagine how crazy I will be about grubby fingers on the new white cabinet doors. Lol.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:44PM
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What's the alcohol-to-water ratio?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:15PM
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Andreak LOL, I think at the end of your message you should have added "Can this Marriage be Saved?" . Some of you might remember that column in one of the magazines years ago. Maybe it was Good Housekeeping. First the wife would write her side of the story and then the husband his side of the story and then the all knowing maharishi would chime in with all the answers. It was actually pretty amusing and sometimes funny!

To the OP, I think you will get over it. It's like a car, after the first ding it's easier. One of the reasons I always buy preowned. I don't want to be the first.... I do think SS is harder to keep the fingerprints and drips out of sight but I am learning to live with it and with the extra wiping. It wouldn't be so bad if wiping actually helped but that just leads to streaks and the obsession of getting that right. I am still experimenting with the perfect formula. The other day I just finally put window cleaner on it and it looked as good as when I use all the other fancy cleaners that don't seem to really do the job totally. But I do love the way it looks, it's so bright and cheerful as opposed to the black I had before. I guess there must be a lot of good things about stainless since it is what is used in restaurants and other commercial applications so would sure like to know what they do to keep it looking so pristine.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:22PM
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Sail...and everyone else. I'm about as OCD as it gets with anything new. It does get better. It may take days, weeks, months, or years, but eventually you'll have something else that is newer to take your mind off of the kitchen. When I re-did the kitchen in my old house, I got SS appliances and with my family and friends over for dinner all the time, I had to take lots of deep breaths to remain calm and keep life in perspective. I also found having a cocktail or two has away of making things that are not so important fade into the background. Can't do that all the time, but every now and then does the trick.

Slightly off topic, several years ago I re-sodded my backyard by myself - complete with several yards of dirt. NO ONE was allowed to walk on the grass for the first year. If only I could do that with the upcoming new kitchen...alas...more cocktails in my future!!!

Good luck...and enjoy!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:32PM
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gr8day - haha...I do remember those articles! Luckily, I love my husband BECAUSE of who he is, not in spite of...some moments, he drives me crazy, but then I'm sure I do my fair share to him (and probably more..he's likely up for sainthood in dealing with me!)

In regard to SS, we have part of our appliances already installed and they are stainless. In our other house, we had black appliances. Honestly, the black appliances were WAY easier to keep clean. As much as I enjoy the look of SS, I'm not entirely certain I would do it again.

Can anyone tell me that is of the alcohol/water camp for cleaning SS, what did you need to do at first to get the oil/cleaner off or were you able to just start using the alcohol/water mixture and the oil based cleaner remnants came off?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:51PM
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Sail- my DH is very OCD and is contagious (have you seen my drawers)
Fortunately DH learned what the handle is for on the fridge, so very seldom need to clean fingerprints.
My SIL hates SS as DH hasn't learned about handles.
I say- carpe diem. Seize the day! Use whatever SS cleaner when you have company and not worry about day to day issues.
BTW- my sink is sacred and DH knows NEVER put a dish in the sink LOL!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:51PM
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Alc-water ratio not an exact science. I do anywhere from 30%-50% alc to 70%-50% water. I top off my spray bottle before it's totally empty, so never an exact amt each time. I go by sense of smell and how it looks when I spray it on my counters. It needs to have a discernible amt of alc without being enough to make me choke on the fumes! LOL It also needs to "bead" up somewhat, or separate into fine droplets when sprayed. Plus, I can tell by how streaky or not my granite looks after a test spray and wipe if the mixture is good or needs more alc.

I add enough lavender oil to be noticeable, but again, not enough to make me gag. :)

To remove oily residue, I "scrubbed" my appliances with BKF and a blue scrub sponge. "Rinsed" using wet paper towels. Took a few rounds to get it all off, but so worth it. Now I just spray, wipe, and done.

I got my three close friends using the spray to clean their SS and granite. One of them told me her cleaning lady asked for my recipe because she loves it now, too!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 10:03PM
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I'm hoping for a minimum of OCD in the new kitchen. It dawned on me on the way home from a trip to NH while wondering in dismay why the granite yard we passed kept so many stones out in the elements.

Yes, I wondered why -the stone- was outside. Then something clicked and I realized things are pretty durable and meant to be used. (And yes, I did make DH stop to look, $25/sf any remnant!)

We are getting granite and simple stained cabinets. I should not have to worry about much. I hope.

But I completely understand where you're coming from. And I'll probably stop by that ledge to visit :-)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 10:41PM
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Tell yourself..."it's only the kitchen."

Once you step out of the designer/owner/seller mode and go into the user mode, some of this tension will abate. Hard to admit but another good thing is to wean yourself off of reading Garden Web kitchens. This cohort has done its job; now join the real world.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 1:39AM
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I am soooo enjoying everyone's comments. Glad i'm not alone on that ledge and that others have had similar thoughts or feelings. I work very, very hard to counteract the OCD part of me. I never want someone in my home (including family as well as friends) to feel that they are less important than the THINGS in it. So I work hard to not act on impulses to immediately clean up after them and also make sure to hide my concerns about any real or imagined mishaps. It's such a relief to be able to come here and confess it all.

Celebrations are in order---I successfully made spaghetti with meatballs, without a single splatter of sauce on my cooktop. I guess that simmer plate works really well after all. Of course, I also compulsively removed the pot from the cooktop to a trivet when I wanted to (carefully) take off the lid. I then ''allowed'' both DH and child to put their dishes in the sink after dinner. Guess what? No catastrophes!

I'm really, really trying, and I choose to trust those of you who are telling me it will all be okay and i'll get past this. And for those of you facing a similar fate in the future, yes, of course, I will be here to sympathize with you when your day comes.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 1:51AM
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First thing I have to say is how on earth does one make red sauce without splattering even a tiny bit??? Impressive. :)

Secondly, my advice would be to make a dinner like this and get it over with.

My kitchen looks like this just about every night after dinner just from dinner, but I am obsessive, even after 17 months, about cleaning it up AFTER the kids go to bed and guests have left so that it looks like this again.

Oh, except for kid and cat prints on the SS fridge and DW. Those I only clean for company.

A kitchen is for food preparation. If you're afraid to use it, then what's the point?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 3:56AM
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I'm with Breezy. Here's what you do: pour a nice adult beverage of your choice and drink it. Then pour another but don't touch it yet.

Then you SMEAR your hands all over the fronts of all the SS I mean print it up with wild abandon and then sit down, look at it and enjoy your beverage.

You'll be better after that.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:04AM
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deedles: Your post literally made me LOL. I'll have to remember that advice for the future :)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 7:02AM
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Breezy, you are my hero. !!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 11:02AM
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I had to google BKF, (barkeepers friend, duh)
I use it in the sink and for counter stains but mostly use the more gentle BonAmi on my stainless. It is a 3 minute workout to wipe, damp rinse, and dry wipe clean.
I married a baboon that only uses handles to open. Not sure what he does the minutes after. "stop licking the appliances!" haha
(once i put clear double stick tape along the edge of the fridge door so he would stick to it since he swore he did not touch the surface, lol) he stuck to it.
I use 1/5 alcohol 4/5ths white vinegar for most cleaning. I add a drop of lemon grass essential oil. Brilliant on all my glass to get the dog nose art off in a quick swipe at nose level.
My first dinner party a friend helping clean up, used a scour pad on my one week old stainless gas Bertazzoni cooktop. (like she was digging to China) oopsie.
It only needs a simple wet soak and wipe. Still there, still ugly, oh well.
Then i put a wood panel on the lower freezer door i stained to match my teak cabinets. Someone dented it, then again, and again, so i covered it and no longer have to clean it. I have to constantly adjust my frustrations and then eventually have to laugh about it. (just me, one baboon and two dogs)
Cloudy overcast days are so nice, like today. Sunny! Oh my! Who wiped the wood floor over there with a dirty rag? Hmmm

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 11:06AM
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Quick answer to the question about magnetism. Cat_mom is correct, but here are a few more details.

Iron can exist in two different microscopic configurations; the one that is usually stable is magnetic, and the other one is non-magnetic. As you add alloying elements (nickel, chromium) to make stainless steel, eventually the metal switches over from the magnetic to the non-magnetic microscopic configuration. However, there are ranges of alloys that have enough nickel and/or chromium to be "stainless," but not enough to switch over to the other, non-magnetic microscopic configuration.

So, yes, there are both magnetic and non-magnetic stainless steels. Most are non-magnetic.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 11:20AM
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We kitchen was recently finished and just need to paint. Need to post for paint colors next month after my son is bar mitzvahed. Not sure why I planned two huge events in the same 6 mths. But anyways.. We kept our black appliances and there is now a recessed light over the fridge. Since when did all that dust appear all over it?? Drives me crazy.

My DS age 9 was eating his breakfast at the island and whacked a full cup of milk all over the floor, cabinets and stool. I didn't notice if he got wet! (lol). Who was that crazy lady that had a tantrum? Couldn't have been me... Oyyee..

I need to get over it. Fingerprints and all...

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 12:56PM
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Your only solution is to be rich - then you can afford a show kitchen and a working kitchen that your staff can use to cook your meals.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 1:07PM
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Holly- Kay

Thanks for the info Angie. I googled it last night, because I too, wondered how what DH said about stainless being non-mag could be true, but sure enough adding nickel and chromium is what causes the non magnetic quality.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 1:34PM
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I think this is kind of like driving a new car. At first you make a "NO FOOD IN MY CAR" rule. At first you wash it every week. You park at the back of the grocery store parking lot and walk a long way to the door.

Then that all wears off, and you remember that the car is a possession, an item that exists to serve you -- not the other way around. And you begin to live in that happy medium in which you take care of the car, but you don't let its care rule your life.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 2:13PM
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It took me almost a year to relax. The biggest worry is my painted cabs and fear of messing up the paint job. One of my cats opens cab doors with his paws (and claws), so I have tiny little holes on the tops of the doors. I'm finally over it and what will be, will be.

I'm just back after three weeks' vacation, my cats alone in the house, except for being fed twice a day. No harm done. Yay!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 3:48PM
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About a month after our kitchen was finished we held our annual Christmas party. 30 people came traipsing through while we served 14 different kinds of hors d'oeurves that we had prepped in the kitchen the few days before the party. Talk about breaking it in! We had people looking in our cabinets, in our pantry, in the drawers - everywhere! We didn't mind one bit!

That was the night that we truly came to view the kitchen as OURS as opposed to something we needed to treat gingerly.

I still cringe when I see my husband wiping down the new white cabinets. I fear he'll rub too hard and make the paint come off! Hasn't happened yet though!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 5:47PM
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You all make great points. Breezy, i'm working up to your dinner photo. I think last night was about halfway there. I don't think I'm far enough along in my "recovery" to follow Deedle's suggestion just yet. Ask me again in another month or so. Part of the hesitancy in using the kitchen is getting used to new materials, appliances, and other changes. It's like I have to stop and think how to do something that I have been doing for years, because everything's not the way it used to be.

DH, who rarely spills anything, spilled an entire glass of wine on the granite, down, the cabinets, and splashed on the SS oven. You'll be happy to know that my first concern was getting the stain out of the white dress shirt he was wearing at the time---so I do have my rational moments.

I am using my kitchen more and more each day, but I look forward to the time I won't have butterflies in my stomach each time I do something different or create a big mess with my cooking. I can say things are getting closer to normal each day. I'm relieved, though, that I'm not the first to have these totally irrational fears.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 5:59PM
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I'm totally happy with the new kitchen, but as you say, everything is different --- materials, appliances, layout -- and requires more thought that I'm used to giving it in the kitchen. I'm not anxious about the first scratch or dent; it'll happen when it happens, and probably pretty soon. But I also don't feel entirely at home in this beautiful kitchen, and I'm looking forward to getting to that point. (I have noticed that I've become an habitual counter-wiper, every time there's a bit of water on the counter. Hoping I can learn to relax and just let the counters be.)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 6:08PM
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I wrote a post yesterday but somehow it didn't make it on the forum - I managed to hit another tab on my iphone and oops!

Anyway - I am fortunate that my OCD DH is very careful and only grabs the handles - so we only need to clean the SS every couple weeks and the Miele DW almost never.
My DB is has not learned what a handle is for and my SIL goes crazy. When he came to visit, I introduced him to the refrigerator handles - he did OK, so he has potential.

Now - go back a few months and having my first gathering. I was overseeing everything in the kitchen and cooked a nice meal.

One of the guests brought a pie and told me to just sit while they cut up the pie - I walked into the kitchen and they were using the induction cooktop as a cutting board. Ahhhhhhh!!!!

So, now, I put down a Silpat type mat over the cooktop when not using it as a precaution and obviously no one is using my kitchen without my presence!!

In the meantime - enjoy the fingerprints and don't obsess on them - they are little works of art - when you have company coming - then clean them for the event.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 8:01PM
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a2g - oh my Dear Lord...using the cooktop as a cutting board, really????? I'm pretty relaxed, but really? What would possess someone to DO that? I guess that my expectations of people and common sense are a bit higher than reality and I'm often reminded of that rather painful...as it seems you were. Hopefully no scratches.

I'm considering putting paper towels under my pots and pans when I finally start using our induction cooktop. Maybe that's a little OCDish...perhaps DH is rubbing off on me.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 8:19PM
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a2gemini, So did the cooktop escape unscathed? I can't imagine anyone doing that,which is probably why these things happen. Really how many possible scenarios can one anticipate and prepare for?

I think it would be easier not to obsess about the finger prints if there were more of them. But just one or two seem to jump out at me! I'm really getting better, though.

Andreak, Just give in and use the paper towels---believe me, resistance is futile. It will make your DH happy, no doubt.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 12:20AM
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Sail- yup those onesy and twosy fingerprints do stand out and I have to clean them
No rug rats around here to enhance the numbers.

Andrea and sail- I came in and politely moved the pie over to the counter top. Fortunately, no damage- but really- I still can't imagine doing this.

I don't use paper towels on my cooktop. If you do, be careful as there is a flash point. I forget the exact temp but in the 400s.

I was heating some water in a vessel on boost and it boiled dry(a small amount to steam some shellfish). I can tell you that pot was HOT.

No damage to the pot or cooktop.

I do have silicon trivets which I used a few times but it isn't too hard to clean, so mostly I just clean it up afterwards.

The only thing I might use towels or my silicon pads/silpat would be for a sugary mix (pie filling) as I read that sugar can really stick and be hard to remove.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 5:27AM
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I've enjoyed reading this thread. My kitchen is a year old and I'm absolutely in love with it. I was crazy obsessive about my honed marble countertops for about a month but then a switch flipped and I let go. There are etches and a ding or two, but it has a soul and what soul doesn't have an imperfection or two?

For what it's worth, my kitchen is in heavy entertaining rotation. We live in An 1890 house and fit our charming, copper ceilinged new kitchen in the original footprint of the house so it is small, yet every weekend it is filled to almost bursting with family and friends cooking, eating and drinking. I woke up on Sunday to a sink full if dishes and a countertop full of wine glasses, some leaving red rings, which all wiped up nicely. A year ago, that would have never happened. Now, I've learned to enjoy the night. PS Usually, we all pitch in to clean, but we moved to the front porch because it was an unusually warm evening.

So, from a former obsessive, let go and enjoy!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 8:00AM
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Time helps a lot. And if it's any consolation, you're not alone. Plus, I'm the same with my car.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 8:19AM
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I recently had to replace my dishwasher. The old one was SS but the top part, the control panel was black which I liked simply because it didn't show every fingerprint. I did not have time to order one and wait a week or two because I was having surgery in 3 days so I had to pick from what was in stock at my store of choice, Lowe's. Part of the reason I chose the one I did is because of the handle. I noticed tons of finger prints on and under the handles of the SS models in the store, it seemed like just reaching for the handle your fingers would touch the front of the unit because the handle was so close to it. I found one that the front of the unit was actually clean, no finger prints at all!... It was a Frigidaire. The handle curves out away from the washer, so it is actually all you touch when opening it. I did do some online research about this model and it had good reviews. It has other great features such as being able to easily raise and lower the top rack. I am actually very happy with this dishwasher, it does a great job and it is so quiet not only can you carry on a conversation standing beside it, you can carry on a whispering conversation. I had my surgery 3 weeks ago and I can honestly say the front of the dishwasher is spotless and I have not had to wipe it off at all. The handle is the only thing that I have had to wipe down. I'm going to keep this in mind when I need a new fridge too. My old dishwasher was 11 years old and would only come on if I banged and banged on the control panel, then it would kick on but when I would bang on it the knob would fly across the room... my husband thought that was perfectly fine, not a problem at all, just keep using it... until the knob nearly put the dogs eye out when it flew across the room...

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 12:13PM
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As soon as you let yourself.

I think this is a by=product of folks labeling houses and kitchens as "dream" items, and especially kitchens. A kitchen is a working room -- some more than others. But my way of thinking is that the more it was worth putting the trouble and expense into, the more you should be getting out of it. If it's just to look at, a $10 magazine would have sufficed. The "dream" should be working in it, getting it dirty, making memories. Stop using stainless cleaners looking for the perfect one and just use a microfiber cloth with water. Once you get the residues off, the stainless is much easier to wipe off and I find I actually need to wipe it down less than when I tried cleaners.

Make your own schedule -- once a day, twice a week, quick wipes with a good cleaning once a week and then don't worry about life happening in your kitchen. That's what it's supposed to be, and isn't that girl of yours the most important thing in the kitchen? Remember that, celebrate it and don't make you and her both crazy over some fingerprints or splatters. I promise your lives will not be less ten years from now if your kitchen had smudges, but your lives and relationships could be a lot different if you make yourself crazy over them.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 12:58PM
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My solution-- I am going to buy my new appliances (fridge and dishwasher) at the scratch & dent outlet.

but I do worry a little bit about fingerprints and smudges. I guess it will just induce me to do my "total kitchen scrubdown" a little more often!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 1:15PM
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Thankfully, I have been blessed to renovate more than one kitchen in my day, but honestly, this one has been the easiest so far.

Painted cabinets will chip, handles will patina - and I made some decisions finally accepting some foibles of the other other people who share the space with me. My daughter will happily clean the kitchen. But she will not remember to wipe down the sink and countertop. So no stainless sink and no marble countertop. We went with silgranit and Corian.

We have a pale blue and gold Turkish rug right in the middle of our kitchen that my in-laws gave us for a home we owned *years ago* - and a color scheme ago, too. Someone dropped a bright blue Sharpie on it. I sprayed it with Method countertop cleaner (hey, it was what I had) and blotted with a white towel. Gone enough.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 4:57PM
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Just checking back in to say how much I've enjoyed reading everyone's responses. Your all are quite knowledgeable, and funny, too!

Just want to add that, other than for admitted microfiber cloth abuse/addiction, I was mostly writing tongue-in-cheek. Although I have had those over-protective thoughts about my kitchen, i promise I haven't actually tackled anyone about to ''assault'' my kitchen--not even a nudge!

So thanks for the sensible advice, the empathy, and the laughs.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 1:56PM
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Lascatx -- wise words.

Raee -- Buying at the Scratch and Dent might not make any difference at all. My mom bought her stove at the Scratch and Dent . . . and the dent is hidden by the kitchen cabinets. The only person who may someday realize it's not perfect would be a repair person who removes it from the line of cabinets. Even if you, a casual visitor, were to inspect it thoroughly, you'd literally never know anything was second-rate about it.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:11PM
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