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Do's and Do-Not's of Cleaning Stainless Steel

Do's and Do-Not's of Cleaning Stainless Steel

Posted by Lucy Taggart on Jun 22nd 2022

Stainless steel is one of the most popular materials used in kitchen and laundry appliances of the 21st century. However, just because it's known as "stainless" steel doesn't mean that it never gets dirty. When it comes time to clean stainless steel there are some important things to remember in order to not damage the sleek and elegant appeal of the material.

Do-Not #1

Do-not use abrasive materials like steel wool or the abrasive sides of sponges to clean harder messed on your stainless steel appliances. Though it may seem necessary to use your Sterling Scrubber to remove dried laundry detergent of your stainless steel washer or dried spilled condiments off of your stainless steel refrigerator, it is just not worth it! Abrasive materials can wear down the steel and in combination with water can lead to rusting of the material. 

Instead, Do This!

A better alternative to getting rid of those tougher types of messes is to using a small amount white vinegar on a microfiber cloth or directly on the mess. Let it sit for a couple minutes before wiping the mess off in the direction of the grain in order to clean without damaging that gorgeous stainless steel shine! Just make sure to not let the vinegar sit for too long as the acidity and high pH can cause damage to the stainless steel as well.

Do-Not #2

Do-not wipe against the grain when cleaning any type of mess of your stainless steel. Wiping against the grain for one, can easily wear down the cloth you use as well as get pieces of cotton stuck between the grain depending on the appliance and how coarse the grain of the steel is, and for two, can leave streaks on the material. Additionally letting the stainless steel airdry after cleaning even in the direction of the grain can lead to a streaky appearance once fully dried.

Instead, Do This!

Again, using that good ol' microfiber cloth, use a safe for stainless steel cleaner, wiping with the grain, and drying with a dry microfiber or paper towel to avoid streaks that would otherwise take away the "stainless" appeal of the material.

Do-Not #3 

Do-not clean smudges and small messes with cleaners like bleach, glass cleaner, or any homemade water mixture; like one of salt and water. The reason stainless steel is "stainless" is because there is a protective layer of chromium oxide made when the chromium of the steel react with oxygen which protects the metal. Using bleach, was remove this layer and damages the material. Additionally, when using mass amounts of glass cleaner draws humidity to the ammonia in the cleaner and can lead the metal to rust. Just the same can happen with water mixtures, it can dry out the metal and lead it to rust.

Instead, Do This!

The safest bet to not damage the protective layer and to not damage the metal itself is to use a cleaner specifically made for stainless steel, like Magic Cleaners Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish, or Magic Cleaners Stainless Steel Wipes, this was you can ensure a effective clean without risk of ruining that shine and effectiveness of your stainless steel appliances. Remember to always do your research before trying new methods of cleaning so you don't damage your sometimes expensive appliances.

Thanks for reading our first blog! More tips and helpful blogs to come in the future!