7 common household items you didn’t know you can use to clean stainless steel


Stainless steel appliances can feel like a luxury, but they also tend to be pretty pesky when it comes to cleaning. It seems that no matter how hard you try, the fingerprints persist and smudges appear on a daily basis. You might even be spending a small fortune trying to find the best type of stainless steel cleaner—to no avail.

Thankfully, there are a number of different ways you can clean stainless steel using your own homemade solutions that might even work better than some pricy cleaner when it comes to getting your metal shiny and clean. Here are seven ways to clean stainless steel that you likely have never heard of before. And bonus: You probably already have the supplies sitting around your house.

1. Olive Oil

Using olive oil to clean stainless steel is a great alternative to using harsh chemicals, and it can help give your appliances a nice shine. Just pour a drop of oil onto a rag, and wipe down your surface to remove any streaks. Once the marks have been removed, use a paper towel to create shine.

olive oil photo
Getty Images | Tim Boyle

2. Vinegar

Just like oil, vinegar can also help get rid of unwanted streaks on your stainless steel appliances. To clean, pour some vinegar in a spray bottle, and spray your appliance liberally. Take a paper towel or soft cloth and wipe the vinegar off in the direction of the grain. This can help get rid of any initial debris.

vinegar photo
Flickr | JeepersMedia

3. Lemon Essential Oil

Take a few drops of lemon essential oil and rub it into your stainless steel, and you’ll not only get rid of those marks, but you’ll have a nice-smelling kitchen. Lemon essential oil can also be combined with baking soda and vinegar to make an all-natural cleaner that you can store in a bottle and spray when needed.

lemon essential oil photo
Flickr | yourbestdigs

4. Rubbing Alcohol

Take that rubbing alcohol out of your bathroom cabinet, and use it to get your appliances super clean. Add some rubbing alcohol to a soft, non-scratching cloth, and wipe down your stainless steel appliances, going with the grain. This can help remove marks like fingerprints.

rubbing alcohol photo
Flickr | RLHyde

5. WD-40

WD-40 can easily clean stainless steel and give it some protection. Just spray some onto your appliance or a rag, and then wipe. Just be sure to clean the surface afterwards, as WD-40 is a petroleum-based product.

wd 40 photo

6. Baking Soda

Most of us have baking soda on hand at home, and it makes a great scratch-free cleaner. If you have any gunk or grime stuck to your appliance, sprinkle some baking soda over the affected area. Using a sponge with vinegar on it, scrub the surface to dissolve the grime.

baking soda photo

7. Flour

Flour can help add some shine to your stainless steel. Apply dry baking flour to a rag, and then buff it into your surface. Rinse it off, and your stainless steel should shine.

white flour photo
Flickr | Mel B.


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About the Author
Carina Wolff
Carina is a health and wellness journalist based in Los Angeles. When she’s not writing, doing yoga, or exploring mountains and beaches, she spends her time cooking and creating recipes for her healthy food blog, Kale Me Maybe. Carina is also an ongoing writer for Bustle, Reader's Digest, FabFitFun, and more.

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