Cleaning Stainless Steel

Cleaning Stainless Steel
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Caring for Stainless SteelI've gotten several email questions about cleaning stainless steel the proper way. I have some tips for what works and what doesn't!

First, let's go over the DON'T tips: Never use any kind of abrasive cleanser, either powder, steel wool or scouring pads. It will most likely scratch the surface, which could remove an overlay or coating that keeps rust from forming.

Bleach is not recommended either, or cleaners that contain bleach. If you do use a commercial cleaner make sure it says that it is safe for brushed chrome or stainless steel.

The CORRECT things to do:

-Use soft clean clothes or rags. One to clean and one to dry and buff. Use white or cider vinegar to wipe clean your stainless steel surfaces, appliances or tableware.

-You can also use a mild detergent and water for everyday cleaning.

-You can also use a nonabrasive cleaner like Bon Ami or a paste made with baking soda.

-If a surface is really dirty (like a trash to treasure item) and you need to get it cleaned, opt for a scouring pad that is safe for Teflon pans--that will be better than a regular scouring pad. But try the other cleaning options first. Dampen the pad and rub evenly, then rinse and dry.

-After cleaning try rubbing the surface down with olive oil and then buffing.

-To clean a stainless steel sink try using 3 parts cream of tartar to 1 part hydrogen peroxide. Use a damp cloth and rub gently into the sink surface, covering the entire thing. Let it dry, and then wipe it off with another damp cloth. Wipe it down with rubbing alcohol, then buff with a soft dry cloth.


How can you put the shine back in your stainless steel dinnerware? I have this advice from the Waterford company:

Waterford recommends "using a gentle dishwasher detergent (avoid using lemon-scented products). If possible, set your dishwasher on the fine china setting to insure gentle cleansing. Wash stainless separately from aluminum, sterling or silver-plate items, as pitting can occur...Also, rubbing alcohol or salad oil can be used to remove stubborn water spots. Shine flatware using a sponge doused in white vinegar.



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About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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