Cleaning Stainless Steel
How to clean stainless steel appliances wihtout damaging them
Whatever you do DO NOT clean stainless steel appliances with the likes of a Brillo pad (as shown in the photograph to the right) or other abrasive cleaning pad or you WILL cause irreversible damage to the surface!
Great success in cleaning stainless appliances, like hobs, hoods and ovens has been achieved using bicarbonate of soda, it acts as a simple cheap and very gentle abrasive cleaner.
It's also very cheap!
However care is required especially where there is printed lettering on the appliance as this will remove it. Most cleaning products will remove such printing but this method, or any other abrasive cleaning material, will remove the print far faster ans as a general rule replacing cosmetics, especially stainless fascias, is not cheap affair with many costing the lion's share of £100.
But for many stainless appliances this is a superb method of getting rid or "spot" stains, simply dab a damp cloth in the bicarb and rub the mess away.
Bicarbonate of soda can be used on non-stainless appliances as well but with the same caveat regarding printed surfaces so please take great care using this method and we'd only advise this once all the non-abrasive methods have been tried first.
To keep that nice clean look you just got and eliminate any smears that are left get some kitchen roll and some baby oil, the clear stuff that's really runny and put some on the kitchen roll. Not a lot of it mind and then simply wipe over the stainless appliance and it will come up like new.
This method also stops a lot of the likes of fingerprints on the appliance as well and it will look good for a few days afterwards as well Also if you clean regularly it will aid the removal of minor spills and grease spatters and you get a nice deep shine on the product.
This method will only work on stainless steel, not on stainless steel coloured appliances or on any painted surface unless anyone can tell us differently.
The downside is that baby oil tends to attract dust and stuff liek a magnet and it's not long before the appliance will look a bit grubby again. Dedicated cleaners, while this can still happen, are far better.
Although this works it's nowhere near as effective in our opinion are specific cleanerscleaner (mentioned later on in this article) and is far more time consuming to do. The commercial cleaner that we use is just spray, wipe, done!
Don't leave salt, vinegar, citric fruit juices, mustard or pickles on the surface of stainless steel for long periods as they could cause corrosion.
Commercial Cleaning Products
You see loads of them promising miracles on supermarket shelves and the quality and performance of some are, shall we say, a little less impressive than the marketing hype that is on the pack. Sure they all look nice and promise this, that and the next thing but a lot of them just don't seem to live up to expectations.
A good way to get stainless to come up looking really nice is to use a GOOD quality microfibre cloth.
We must admit being massively skeptical about this, especially at the price of what looked to us to be a glorified rag, but they do work and there are massive differences between the cheap ones and the more expensive ones. Somehow we never thought we'd say that, or even get remotely passionate about a cloth, but there you go.
We sell the Electrolux produced version which you can find in our online shop from this link and it is very, very good.
The nice thing about this is that, not only does it bring up most appliance surfaces like new, it does so without risk as it was designed for the purpose so doesn't cause any damage to the appliance. Most importantly it doesn't remove the stencils or lettering and so it's safe. Add to that the fact that all you need is a little water with it and, to us, it's a winner.
As this also only uses a little water it's also a very environmentally friendly way to buff up your stainless steel. It also works on stainless steel sinks among other things as well and is extremely effective.
After that we'd recommend the use of the Chromol stainless steel cleaner that we sell in the shop as it brings up steel surfaces, especially brushed stainless absolutely brilliantly. Let us put it this way, we use it to bring up stainless appliances in showrooms under bright lights and it's one of the few that works with almost zero effort.
If the surface isn't too bad with residues on it though you can use this stuff straight off the bat and it just brings stainless up like new.
It' s not cheap, but then the good stuff rarely is! However in fairness we've been using a bottle that was opened about eight months ago at the time of writing and we only got half way through the can. To put that in perspective, we have a stainless steel dishwasher, oven, hob, hostess trolley and a big 90cm stainless steel canopy cooker hood that all get the treatment regularly. In other words, you don't need a lot and a can lasts for ages so it is highly recommended.
We've also recently discovered a new one called Chromol stainless steel cleaner which we also stock which is from Germany.
Liebherr recommend this cleaner and, I have to say after using it, that it is outstanding. It cut trough the grease and grime on my waste compactor and left the thing sparkling. It gives a gorgeous deep even gloss to the steel which is way better than baby oil ever did and, it doesn't appear to attract dust, which baby oil does.
We really can't recommend this cleaning product enough, it really is brilliant and we are amazed that none of the stores seem to sell it. Where it really comes into it's own though is on large stainless panels found on fridge freezers and dishwashers most often as the results with Chromol have been just brilliant.
Of course there are cheaper ways to get a good sheen off your stainless steel appliances, but we have to admit this (at least so far) has been the best of the bunch that we've tested.