Do you regret your stainless steel appliances?

htraceyJuly 17, 2011

I am slowly getting my new appliances for my re model (which is moving along slowly). We have had the fridge for a couple months, we have the dishwasher but it isn't installed yet, and i have picked out my range yet. We had decided on Stainless, but I think I might be regretting that because of how easily they dent! Since we have gotten the fridge, we have put 2 dents in it - the first seems insignificant compared to the one I just did. I was carrying a chair through the kitchen and lighlty bumped the fridge, and it put a good ding in it!

Doesn't it seem unrealistic to that your appliances won't get the occasional bump? Are you just going to live with the dings or will they drive you nuts? My parents just got rid of a fridge that they had for 20 years. At this rate my fridge will look terrible in 5 years...

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Secondly - has anybody ever used the dry ice method for removing dents from stainless steel. I'm willing to give it a try, but I don't want to do anything that will make it worse.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 6:11PM
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Sorry about your dents. )-:

My last kitchen had a stainless fridge I loathed. I sometimes cleaned it 2-3 times per day (ridiculous, I know) but it didn't matter-it was always dirty. I feel lucky that I never got dings.

This time around, I decided to do a paneled, integrated fridge. It was REALLY hard for me to spend the money on this--I didn't splurge on anything else except the cabinetry itself.

My stainless dishwasher and hood are easy to clean, so maybe the finish/ease of cleaning/"dentability" varies a lot from brand to brand. It would be nice to be able to find out before you buy!

So, YES, I regretted that stainless fridge, but the other appliances have not been a problem. (Different brands.)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 6:20PM
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fyi to readers in St. Paul area...Best Buy in Maplewood has an Electrolux induction cooktop (black with stainless border) and an induction range (stainless steel) on sale. Nice prices!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 6:40PM
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Have always had a hard time with my stainless fridge. Way to hard to keep clean. The others don't bother me. This time around we are panelling the fridge.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 7:27PM
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I love my SS Samsung French-door fridge but I hate the always streaky, water drippy marks that I've yet to find a perfect cleaner to get it off! I have wet hands when I cook so it's gonna happen.

How does one go about paneling a fridge? About how much does it cost?

I have 2 large upright freezers that are workhorses for me. I really wanted a white French door fridge but Lowes didn't have one at the time. Now, I designed my new kitchen to have both of the freezers in a separate pantry that is outside the kitchen. I'm thinking I won't like losing the freezer in the kitchen. Maybe I should just panelize one? *sigh* $$$$$!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 7:37PM
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NO regrets. This is my 2nd kitchen with SS..... we have not had any denting issues, even with different manufacturers. It might help that we don't have kids in the household.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 7:47PM
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I have GE cafe fridge and stove and have no problems with fingermarks, watermarks or drips. A simple wipe and they are clean. Same with my Bosch DW.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 7:49PM
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We have all stainless appliances and love them. The fridge can get messy looking but you're really only supposed to touch the handles so other marks are just me being sloppy. :( We have no dings on our fridge and it's been moved around a lot! Our stove lasted a good 5-6 years before finally getting a ding and that was because it was being shuffled around while the cabinets were being done.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 8:39PM
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I really have no problem with my LG fridge or DW. I wipe them down with multi surface cleaner everyday but am not obsessive about it. Spots aren't an issue. The 5 kids who insist on pulling the fridge door open with dirty hands is my complaint. I would buy stainless again. Oh, and mine are actual stainless with no coatongs or anti smudge. Just plain ole stainless. I like that everything gets put on a corkboard instead of magneted to the front of the fridge.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 9:01PM
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Love mine--esp since I started using alcohol-water (w/lavender oil) spray to clean them (after scrubbing off all the oily cleaner residue). Easy, easy, easy to spot clean and they stay clean longer, too.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 9:09PM
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cat_mom...can you give me your cleaner recipe, please? What did you use to scrub off the oily cleaner residue? Where do you get lavender oil? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 9:43PM
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First, I have to give credit where credit is due: GW forums. From the time I started frequenting these forums, people have been touting alcohol-water spray (anywhere from 10-50% alcohol to 90-50% water) for use on their granite.

I finally mixed some up myself late last year, with the addition of essential lavender oil (I purchased it first at Mrs. Green's, an organic food store, but got a bottle more recently at Fairway--it's cheaper there--check out local health food stores, too). Lavender oil not only smells nice (and is supposed to relax you!), but it also has anti-bacterial properties. I add enough to my alcohol-water spray bottle to make it smell "right" without being overpowering (same with the alcohol and water; I use enough alcohol so I can smell it, and it evaporates/wipes dry without streaking, without being too astringent).

I used BKF and a blue scrub sponge to remove the 3M cleaner residue from our KA built-in fridge and our Wolf AG range. It took a few passes to remove all the residue.

FYI, I got some colorful and nice-weight microfiber cloths at Christmas Tree Stores last year, for $1.00 each.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 10:14PM
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I use Cat mom's recipe and still love my new SS appliances as a result. I think it's 2 parts water, 1 part isopropyl (70%) alcohol and 15 drops lavender (or other) essential oil. I use it with a microfiber sponge. It smells nice and works well for spot cleaning. I find that some marks need a little more elbow grease than others, but overall it's not a problem. I still love the look, though.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 10:18PM
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Thank you, cat_mom! I'll probably have to order the oil online since this tiny Alaska town probably won't have it.

BKF is a miracle, eh? I used it tonight on the inside of my crockpot. The crock part is black so it shows everything. There was a whitish film that dried on & the BKF got it off. It wasn't dirt so not sure what was coming off. Oh well, it's off & BKF saved the day again.

The BKF didn't mar the fridge surface? I used a SS spray cleaner, do you think I'll need to do the BKF?


    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 10:19PM
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Now I'm intrigued... what is BKF??

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 11:27PM
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I do regret mine. I have dents in the fridge and they are impossible to keep clean. The BKF is good but it's a bit toxic to be using everyday and it is literally dirty later the same day after using it. Looks great immediately after a clean though. I have three young sons so perhaps when they get older I won't mind as much but it's not realistic to have to clean my appliances daily. And when they are dirty, it looks horrible. The baby put the dents in the fridge with a toy - boo. Two teeny dents, but dents none-the-less.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 11:37PM
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what is BKF??

Barkeeper's Friend

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 11:59PM
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We have a stainless hood, micro shelf and wall oven. I think the hood and micro shelf will not get smudged and therefore are good choices. The jury is still out on the wall oven. It does get streaks and smudges on it that do not just wipe off. I will try the alcohol mixture, but even then, I wish it would just clean up like our other appliances do (white and black ones). I am glad I did not get the fridge or freezer in ss because I wipe them down easily now (and frequently, with 2 young sons). I'd hate to worry about streaks on such large noticeable surfaces.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 12:35AM
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Had stainless. Disgusting.

Yes, I can harvest lavender by the light of the moon while praying to Hecate in order to keep the fridge clean, but I have this other thing called a life.

It is not an appropriate material for residential appliances. It is a slavish copy of commercial kitchens, where, P.S., no one cares about fingerprints.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 12:51AM
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I use closer to a 50-50% mixture; somewhere between 30% to 50% alcohol (less the lavender oil--again, I just add enough drops 'til the mixture has noticeable lavender scent without being overpowering). I usually refill my spray bottle before it is completely empty, so my measurements are purely by eye and by nose (!).

I used BKF (Barkeeper's Friend) because I knew it would remove the residue from the SS cleaner (most contain some form of oil). Straight alcohol might have done the trick, or Goo Gone might have worked as well, but I used the BKF with good results. It didn't mar the surface as far as I can tell (you can go with the grain to be on the safe side). once the residue from the other cleaner was removed completely, I was, and am able to just spritz with the alcohol-water spray with good results.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 1:00AM
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Thank you for decoding BKF :). I will have to pick some up. I've had SS appliances before, except for the fridge, and they were fine. We will have all SS, including the fridge, in our new house which should be ready in September.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 10:04AM
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melaska, please email me at my email address. Would love to talk to you about your little town. Thank you.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 10:23AM
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Thanks for the recipe. SS appliances were just delivered. I used ZEP SS cleaner and it works. But this is much more economical. thanks for clarifying BKF as well. Where can you purchase it? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 10:35AM
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I am on my second kit of stainless appliances and I feel when it comes to cleaning "less is best". Just water or mixture of alcohol/water and you can spot clean around the handle which is where I get fingerprints. I found spot cleaning impossible with the ready made SS cleaners.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 10:51AM
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marcolo--I like your posts. I think you are to the point, and usually quite humorous, but snarkiness isn't becoming, especially when it isn't warranted.

I happened to already have lavender oil in the house when I decided to mix up some alcohol-water spray (which people here had been touting for their granite countertops since before I'd started frequenting these forums). While looking up various cleaners (for our new bathrooms which have natural stone accents and/or flooring), I read about lavender (oil) being naturally anti-bacterial (as are some other essential oils BTW). Since I had that bottle of lavender oil in the house and, I like the scent of lavender, I added some to my spray bottle. FWIW, I've seen lavender oil in a number of places since I started using it--no need to harvest it by moon or any other light.

Once I removed all the "crud" (residue) from the SS cleaner we had been using, it honestly couldn't be easier to clean our fridge and range using the alcohol-water-lavender spray (which I only tried on a whim, since it had been mostly recommended for cleaning granite, not SS in the posts/threads I'd read).

Without the oily residue from other cleaners, the SS surfaces actually seem to repel smudges and fingerprints better, and I can easily spot clean any that appear when/as needed, without having to clean the entire fridge door or range front every time.

I mixed up a bottle for one of my best friends when she recently reno'd her kitchen, and got granite countertops and SS appliances for the first time. She has two teenage boys, and is thrilled with how easy it is to keep her fridge doors and her DW door clean. She sprays, wipes, done.

Had I not "discovered" this easy-to-use spray, I'd still be bi***ing about cleaning our fridge, without a doubt. When I say the alcohol-water spray has made it possible to clean/keep clean our SS appliances easily and quickly, I really do mean it. Doesn't mean it will work, or work as well on every SS surface (different textures, grades of SS, etc.) but certainly worth a try.

I have better things to do than spend 20-30 minutes trying to clean my fridge doors without them looking all streaky. With this spray, I can spend less than a minute, and they look great.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 11:05AM
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In a word, yes. I thought as I replaced appliances, I would change over to stainless. Bought a stainless DW and hate the prints, drips, and smears.

Luckily our water is hard and DW's have a lifespan of about 5 years, so I've only got 3 or 4 years to go with it.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 11:08AM
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I wouldn't say I regretted previous SS appliances, because the alternative white or black is not as pretty. But in our current remodel I got a paneled DW and refrigerator. My other appliances are wall oven and cooktop so I don't think the fingerprints on the SS will be as big of an issue. But that was my annoyance with them...they never looked clean enough.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 11:22AM
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I have a Miele oven and DW. They have Miele Clean Touch Steel. Whatever that is, it makes them impervious to fingerprints and they always look nice and clean. The Sharp micro drawer also seem to stay pretty finger print free. The handle is a very brushed SS.

It's not offered in a refrigerator/freezer. So I went with wood panels there.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 11:32AM
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Marcolo -- you always crack me up. You have such a witty way of making a point.

While I said that I love my SS appliances, your point is a good one. In this house, we do not get crazy over fingerprints or dust or drips or whatnot -- because we have three teenagers and a very busy life. So, when the appliances need a spot clean, I do it quickly and easily with the H2O, alcohol and lavender mix. In between, I don't worry about it.

I would NOT recommend SS appliances to someone who cannot have a fingerprint, or dust bunny, or newspaper on the table, etc. without freaking out.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 4:18PM
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Marcolo-you forgot naked; it should be

"...harvest lavender WHILE DANCING NAKED by the light of the moon AND praying to Hecate in order to keep the fridge clean...."

I'm still laughing!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 4:30PM
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IMHO...I hate stainless steel appliances! The look and the cleaning...every day mind you. I have SS in my NYC apartment and my Tahoe guest house.

My Tahoe main house kitchen will be custom cabinetry panels on everything..cabinet depth integrated frig, dishwashers, trash compactor and warming drawer. I can't wait!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 7:15PM
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"...harvest lavender WHILE DANCING NAKED by the light of the moon AND praying to Hecate in order to keep the fridge clean...."

Oh, sorry!

Instead of going from memory, I should have looked it up properly in my copy of Incantatem per Finishem Trendiam Kitchenem Ridiculum.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 8:05PM
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"...harvest lavender WHILE DANCING NAKED by the light of the moon..."

Please, I believe the term of art is "Skyclad." ;-)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 11:20PM
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So much wittiness. I won't even go there. But I enjoy it, snarky though it may be. One of those things you just gotta bounce with, cat_mom. I really appreciate your serious points and this post in particular, I think when marcolo rubs you wrong you just gotta apply some of your own, um, alcohol mixture IYKWIM.

I have always thought the stainless-thing looked pretentious and silly. We rented a house recently with a ss fridge that had the most annoying way of being filthy, always, prints, smears, bumps: just ick always. And I am no way-no how a person who tends to care about such things. But this fridge just drew you to its grodiness.

So when it came time to buy a fridge I absolutely wasn't going to have a grunge-magnet that I had to even pay extra for the privilege of feeling upset by, daily. Imagine my surprise when dh flipped out that I'd bought a white fridge. He was so adamant about wanting ss and I've always felt the whole superficialness of what's on *top* of the appliance was so silly, that I just decided to let him have this one. I actually physically went back to the store, shelled out -- I don't really even want to remember how much more but I think it was more than a hundred dollars, even -- to receive a ugly, pretentious, grunge-magnetizing fridge.

I have found it a huge relief to learn that it is true, some of these fridges are more grubby than others. This one does not retain prints of dirt or smears. Knobbly bumps do appear but are way easier to remove than from that other fridge. This one is a Samsung FD.

So I've made my peace with the pretentiousness of the ss. If I had my druthers I'd save the money and design something less overwrought. But it's nowhere near as bad as I'd thought. It wouldn't be my first choice, but I'm not unhappy with it as a second. FWIW our KA ss dishwasher is *terrible* at showing those prints and smears. I don't care; I just can't be bothered to clean it constantly -- even at all, really. But it is an interesting contrast with the Samsung fridge and the Miele MW, neither of which need any special attention.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 1:41AM
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I didn't want SS at all either, for a variety of reasons-- from the "statement" it makes, to it being a PITA to clean. But when we finalized our kitchen design and colors, SS was really the only way to go. So I caved.

It hasn't been as bad as I thought. I clean them with the alcohol mixture that others on this thread have discussed. I'm not one that cares about every smudge and fingerprint, but to me, they look fine. If I were a neat freak, I might feel differently, though.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 7:40AM
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I like my cheap Frigidaire SS frig better than my previous white one. The textured white surface was really hard to clean, actually. Dirt got in the crevices. I always felt like it was grubby near the handle. I like the elegance of black appliances, but shiny black surfaces get finger marks, etc, too. Built-ins with panels are lovely, but expensive, and replacing them is more complicated.

Since they each have their own drawbacks, I think you should get the one you think looks prettiest in your kitchen and you can best afford. If you love how it looks, you won't mind cleaning it as much.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 9:44AM
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I didn't have stainless in my last kitchen or the one I just redid, in both cases everything was paneled but of course ovens, ranges.

But I don't see how SS can be called pretentious. To me, panelling is pretentious. It's so "oh no, this is not an appliance, this is a fabulous precious antique".

Because I wanted a "ulilitarian, what, this old place, this is just a little spot for the skullery maids" look, i hesitated to panel my appliances again. I eventually succumbed because with my particular appliance placement i think it would have changed the visual balance in the room (geez, that pretentious streak runs strong!)

CatMom, thanks for running your "recipe" again. We were advised to use only vinegar water on our floors, and I am really liking not buying all those horrid chemicals. Do you know what other surfaces alcohol/water/lavender might be good for?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 10:17AM
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So far I like it for our granite, our SS appliances and sink, sometimes on glass/mirrors (depends on what I feel like using at the time on those), the black enamel Wolf burner pans, toaster oven door, coffee maker surfaces....

Sometimes I use it on glass/mirrors; really depends on what I feel like using (we also keep Perfect Glass from BB&B on hand--I like it better for cleaning certain glass/mirrors in the house).

You can spray bathroom surfaces with it for disinfecting (according to a Dr I'd spoken with at the EPA), though I find other products to be better at removing soap scum/film/hard water deposits and film.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 12:11PM
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Yes, they are harder to get clean but the beauty is worth it! I use the Weiman products and they work very well.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 1:48PM
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It's so funny to hear how people say that MOST will buy stainless. Well, try to buy anything else. You can't. There are very limited white appliances out there. You can't even find off white anymore. So yes, I guess everyone is forced to buy stainless. But not everyone loves it. I can't put black in my kitchen because it's so small. I can't stand stainless, and white is really too stark for my warm toned cabinets. But I can't find bisque anymore...why wouldn't they offer an off-white option???

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 12:20PM
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I have been building kitchens for 35 years, and I would not have stainless steel appliances in my kitchen if you gave them to me. I even hate my stainless toaster oven which is stainless only because I could not get it any other way.

I have much, much, much better things to do than clean stainless appliance two or three times a week -- no matter how nice the home-made cleaning solution smells.

Stick with white -- not "Ice" -- white. It fits any decor, never gets dated and is everyone's first or second choice of appliance color, so it does not affect resale.

Those that are buying the au-courant stainless, black, teal, etc., are buying the Avocado and Harvest Gold of the 21st century. In ten years the colors will be so dated they will wonder why they did such an idiot thing.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 12:37PM
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I have stainless in my kitchen. The fridge and OTR are a nightmare, every finger print and wipe mark shows on them. The OTR gets spots from steam from the cooktop below. I tried using a SS cleaner, but I found it made it worse. When first applied, it was okay, but marks showed even more and darker in the oily build-up. I think I could get the same result from mayonnaise.
But, my DW and range are EZwipe. Finger prints don't show. I can wipe them with a wet cloth, not bother to buff dry and no streaks. Wish I had gotten the fridge and OTR with the same finish.

This post was edited by canuckplayer on Sun, Mar 16, 14 at 14:28

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 2:16PM
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My realtor said SS appliances are a must to sell. We were reaching the point where all our appliances had to be replaced. They were not functioning well. So because we are moving in a year we now have new SS appliances, except the fridge.

I don't like them very much compared to my old white ones. The fingerprints are super annoying but I hope to purchase some products this week to help. The worst is the Bosch DW with fingerprints.

I looked in many kitchen showrooms and there were no other appliances to see. They were all SS. So while you can still order white, its really difficult to see it in person before you purchase. That is a huge frustration since as we know, "white" comes in so many different shades.

I do think the newer slate is kind of interesting. We'll see where that goes. And you can always buy those big appliance magnets that change the color!! LOL!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 5:33PM
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Happy with SS, and that includes a backsplash covering most of one wall, and a big hood. My cooking is messy and I like surfaces that are easy to scrub.

So far I haven't dented anything.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 10:48PM
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I've always hated white appliances with white plastic trim and handles. They have a bad habit of yellowing from use and UV. I'll take hitting the appliances up with Pledge weekly over something that looks dingy and can't be fixed.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 7:25AM
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I too had a heck of a time with cleaning my stainless fridge. On a whim I bought Perfect Stainless from BB&B, fully anticipating to add it to my collection of stainless cleaners that didn't work. Surprise!! It works!! Very easy to use, and leaves a beautiful shine. $5.99 for a good size bottle is a bargain. My 3 little pigs and their daddy have met their match! Also went out and bought Perfect Granite and Perfect Glass. Great products.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 7:06PM
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I use the weiman SS cleaner that comes in a can. next time I'll try the pledge in the brown bottle. The weiman works well, but you can't really do a 'touch' up cleaning in between. The spot will come clean, but there will be a sheen difference between the touch up spot and the rest of the appliance that wasn't just wiped usually one smudge on the fridge means wiping the whole fridge down top to bottom, buffing, etc.

A pain in the butt for sure, yet somehow I would never consider a different color appliance.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 6:38AM
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