How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances without Streaks? (Detailed Guide)

Integrating stainless steel appliances into your kitchen adds a fresh and modern touch to your interior decor. Not only are these appliances practical and functional, but they also impart a stunning shine to your culinary space. With their remarkable resistance to corrosion and rust, you can count on them to endure and maintain their beauty for many years to come only if maintained and cleaned smartly. We have step by step guidelines for the most frequent problem about how to clean stainless steel appliances without streaks and will ensure a smooth finish without causing any damage to the surface.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances without Streaks?

Proper maintenance and regular cleaning of stainless steel appliances bring an air of elegance and sophistication to any kitchen. If you neglect this essential aspect, then it can lead to a dull and lacklustre appearance, with appliances losing their radiance over time. However, with a little know how and adherence to some simple do’s and don’ts, you can easily learn how to clean stainless steel like a pro and restore that brilliant shine without causing any harm to its exterior and to give it an everlasting shine. Cleaning stainless steel can be trickier compared to other finishes due to its susceptibility to show fingerprints and streaks. Moreover, various types of stainless steel may require different cleaning approaches, making experimentation necessary to identify the most effective method for each appliance. If your kitchen is filled with a variety of stainless steel appliances, then you might realise that each one requires a somehow separate cleaning practice. By understanding these nuances and tailoring penned down below, you can master the cleaning techniques accordingly and can secure your stainless steel appliances to stay radiant and pristine for a long time.

11 Best Ways to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances:

We have summed up the top 10 methods that are effective against all Stainless Steel appliances from fridges to air fryers, you can apply these ways to get flawless results. We have tried them out against refrigerators, stainless steel stovetops pressure cookers, air fryers, ovens, sinks, dishwashers and many more. These ways that have got you covered are:

  1. Dish Soap & Baby or Mineral Oil:

Before you start cleaning your stainless steel appliances, it’s crucial to identify the direction of the grain on the surface. Just like wood or certain fabrics, steel possesses faint striations that determine its grain direction. Keep in mind that an entire sheet of steel will have a consistent directional grain, while other steel components like knobs and handles may have a different direction.

Dish Soap & Baby or Mineral Oil:
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It is not compulsory that not cleaning with the grain won’t ruin your appliance, but it’s best to clean following the grain’s direction for the most satisfactory results. Cleaning against the grain might push cleaning residue deeper into the tiny crevices, impacting the overall shine. To begin the cleaning process, gather your supplies, including two non abrasive cleaning rags, preferably 100% cotton to minimize lint residue. While paper towels can be used, they may leave some lint behind. Additionally, you’ll need plain dish soap and either baby oil or mineral oil.

Now, you’re ready to clean your appliances. Dish soap is highly effective in removing grime from stainless steel and simplifying the polishing process. Apply a small amount of dish soap to one of the rags and dampen it with a modest amount of water, ensuring it’s just enough to make the cloth damp. Wipe the surface along the grain, and for stubborn fingerprints, you may need to repeat the process. Once an area is cleaned, use a separate clean towel to dry any water streaks.

Finally, it’s time to polish your stainless steel. Take the second rag and apply a small amount of baby or mineral oil, using just a couple of tiny drops. Follow the grain of the steel in either direction while polishing. This method will yield the best results, leaving your stainless steel appliances with a satisfying shine. After completing the task, remember to wash the rags for future use.

  1. Lemon Oil Polish:

Lemon oil polish proves to be a highly effective solution for tackling water stains and scratches, leaving your appliances looking pristine. However, when it comes to stainless steel, it is essential to avoid direct application of the polish as it might result in a lengthier cleaning process. For optimal results, simply take a small amount of the lemon oil polish on a microfiber cloth and evenly apply it to your appliances. This method ensures efficient cleaning and polishing without any unnecessary hassle.

Lemon Oil Polish
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  1. White Vinegar and Olive Oil:

To achieve a fresh, polished surface, the combination of white vinegar and olive oil works wonders. Start by applying white vinegar either directly onto a microfiber cloth or by spraying it directly onto the surface. Allow it to sit briefly, then wipe it clean following the grain’s direction. Repeat the vinegar application as needed to eliminate any stubborn grime.

White Vinegar and Olive Oil:
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Next, take a clean towel and dampen it with some olive oil. If you use the same direction as the grain, you can easily polish the recently cleaned surface. You can wipe away any excess olive oil residue with another clean cloth. This method is effective as the vinegar efficiently removes grime, while the olive oil adds a lustrous shine, leaving your surface looking fresh and revitalized.

  1. Lemon Oil Furniture Polish:

To effectively use the lemon oil furniture polish, take a clean towel and apply a small amount to it. Gently rub the polish onto your appliance, ensuring even coverage. Once you have achieved this, use a separate microfiber cloth to wipe the surface clean. Avoid applying the furniture polish directly onto the stainless steel, as it may result in uneven distribution, leading to more effort in removing the excess later on. By following this method, you will achieve a well polished appliance without any unnecessary cleanup hassles.

Lemon Oil Furniture Polish
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  1. WD-40:

Surprisingly, one of the unconventional methods to clean your stainless steel appliance involves using WD-40, a product commonly found in garages or tool storage areas. If you want to choose this way of cleaning then get started by spraying a small amount of WD-40 directly onto the appliance’s surface or a rag. Then, proceed to wipe away the grime. You will see that the results are astonishing, as your appliance will instantly appear clean and shiny. The added benefit of using it is that WD-40 creates a protective layer that helps deter pesky fingerprints from showing up later on. This unique approach offers a quick and effective solution to keep your stainless steel appliance looking spotless and well maintained.

Image Credit WD-40
  1. Commercial Stainless Steel Cleansers:

When dealing with staining, scratching, or the need for a comprehensive polish for your appliance, a viable option is a commercial cleaner specifically designed for stainless steel, even though it may come with a higher cost tag. Although these cleaners and polishers might be more expensive, they offer significant benefits, such as minimizing scratching and effectively removing stains. Additionally, they have the ability to polish surfaces to a beautiful, enduring shine.

Commercial Stainless Steel Cleansers
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To ensure optimal results and avoid any potential issues, it’s essential to read the directions provided by the cleaner carefully. Moreover, before applying the cleaner to the entire surface of your appliance, conduct a test in an inconspicuous spot.

After using the commercial cleaner, remember to rinse the appliance thoroughly and then towel dry it to reveal the gleaming and revitalized stainless steel surface.

  1. Club Soda:

For a fantastic cleaning and shining solution for your appliances, grab some club soda and follow these steps:

  1. Spray club soda directly onto the appliances, targeting areas with fingerprints and food residue.
  2. Wipe the surface in the direction of the grain, allowing the club soda to effectively clean and shine the stainless steel.
  3. To confirm a pristine finish, use a soft, microfiber cloth to wipe the surface clean.


By using club soda in this manner, you will effortlessly remove fingerprints and food residue while achieving a delightful shine, leaving your appliances looking refreshed and spotless.

  1. Glass Cleaner for Fingerprints:

The primary concern with stainless steel is often the pesky fingerprints, particularly for parents dealing with constant smudges. But we have luckily found a simple solution to this problem by using any standard glass cleaner, like Windex, which can do the trick.

Glass Cleaner for Fingerprints
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Start by spraying the glass cleaner onto a microfiber cloth and then apply it evenly in a circular motion to effectively eliminate the fingerprints. Repeat the process as necessary until all the smudges are gone. After cleaning, make sure to rinse the surface thoroughly and then towel dry it.

It’s essential to avoid spraying the cleaner directly onto the appliance, as this may lead to drip marks and splatter residue, resulting in additional cleanup work. By using the glass cleaner on a cloth, you’ll achieve a smooth and spotless surface without any extra hassle.

  1. Bon Ami, Flour Sack and Wax Paper:

To effectively clean your stainless steel appliance using a flour sack and Bon Ami, follow these simple steps:

  1. Dampen a small section of a soft flour sack and sprinkle it with Bon Ami.
  2. Apply the moistened flour sack to your stainless steel, using circular strokes to cover the entire surface.
  3. Lastly, damn a little portion of flour sack and with the help of the correct direction of the grain wipe the surface of the stainless steel appliances.

Once that is done, take a fresh, clean part of the flour sack to thoroughly dry the surface. In the end, use a piece of wax paper and pat the waxy side over the whole appliance exterior.

Bon Ami, Flour Sack and Wax Paper
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If you follow the best ways to work quickly and handle small sections at a time is key to success with this method. Don’t forget to clean the inside of the doors, as they can also accumulate grime and fingerprint oils. The wax paper serves as a protective barrier against smudges and fingerprints, and it’s effective at removing deep-set stains without leaving behind any streaks. By moving on these steps, you will achieve a spotless and shiny stainless steel appliance, ensuring it looks its best in no time.

  1. Flour:

Flour is an easy and effective cleaning tip for your sink or pots and pans cleaning, all you have to do is follow the instructions below:

Start by cleaning the sink or pots and pans thoroughly to remove any dirt, grease, or grime that may have accumulated. Once the surface is dry, you can proceed with the flour cleaning method. To prevent making a bigger mess, it’s advisable to use this technique primarily for the sink or pots and pans that can be cleaned over the sink.

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Simply cover the dry sink or pot surface with a liberal amount of flour. There is no need to hold back; use as much flour as needed. Now, take a soft cloth and begin buffing the surface in circular motions. As you do so, you will notice the sink or pot gradually regaining its shine, looking almost like new.

This flour based cleaning method is straightforward, and useful, and can bring back the shine to your sink or pots and pans with ease. Do not forget to clean the area afterwards to remove any remaining flour residue.

  1. Water and Cloth:

You will be surprised by knowing how much you can achieve through routine cleaning with just warm water and a lint free cloth, making it the safest option for cleaning stainless steel. In most cases, plain water proves sufficient to tackle the cleaning task effectively. Afterwards, ensure you dry the surface with a towel or cloth to avoid water spots since water minerals can leave deposits on stainless steel.

Water and Cloth
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To achieve impressive results, always clean following the direction of the polish lines. If you go for a microfiber cleaning cloth then it is an excellent choice, as they absorb water exceptionally well without causing any scratches on the surface. For an even finer polish, you can opt for special polishing cloths designed explicitly for stainless steel. Using these basic tools, most smudges will probably vanish without requiring any specialized supplies or chemicals.  This approach not only provides a practical and safe cleaning solution but also helps maintain the pristine appearance of your stainless steel appliances with ease.

Cleaning Dos and Don’ts to Keep the Stainless Steel Appliances Look New:

Stainless steel appliances when located in the kitchen drives to give it a lavish and eye catching look with a touch of modernity. However, failing to maintain the finish regularly can lead to dull looking appliances that lose their lustre over time.


To keep your stainless steel looking pristine, follow these cleaning steps:

  1. Regularly clean your stainless steel using warm water and non abrasive cloth, such as a microfiber towel.
  2. For stubborn dirt and grime, mix dishwashing liquid with warm water and gently scrub the surface with a non-abrasive cloth.
  3. Address fingerprints and smudges by utilizing glass cleaner and a microfiber towel.
  4. If your stainless steel appears dull or shows signs of rust, apply a stainless steel cleaner following the provided directions.
  5. Always clean with the grain’s direction to prevent streaks during the cleaning process.
  6. After cleaning, dry the surface with a clean towel to avoid spotting.
  7. To restore your stainless steel’s gleam, gently rub a small amount of mineral oil onto the surface using a clean, soft towel. Ensure to rub in the direction of the grain for optimal results.

By following these steps, you can maintain the beauty and shine of your stainless steel appliances, ensuring they remain a stunning addition to your kitchen.


Avoid the following to protect your stainless steel appliances from any harm:

  1. It is essential to refrain from using steel wool, metal brushes, or any other abrasive tools on stainless steel. These cleaning tools can cause scratches on the surface, leaving the finish vulnerable to rust.
  2. Avoid the use of bleach or other strong cleaning solutions, as they can stain and damage stainless steel surfaces.
  3. Always ensure that the cleaning towels or sponges used are clean and free from any debris or residues from previous cleaning tasks. Cleaning solutions and bits of debris left behind can stain, scratch, and discolour stainless steel.

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