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How To Clean Stainless Steel

How To Clean Stainless Steel

With germs more on everyone’s minds these days a lot of people are searching for the best way to clean stainless steel.  The best way to clean depends on the stainless steel item or items you’re wanting to clean.  For example you may not use the same cleaning supplies for your stainless steel pans as you would the appliances.  

How To Clean A Stainless Steel Sink

Stainless steel sinks are hugely popular in kitchens around the world.  Keeping them clean and looking their best does take a little work.  These easy steps will help you remove spots, stains, and scratches.  Get your stainless steel sink looking new in no time.

Tools You’ll Need

To clean your stainless steel sink you’ll need a few tools.  Most of them you’ll likely have in your home already.  You should have dish soap, a nylon scrubber, baking soda, a spray bottle, vinegar, a microfiber cloth, and some olive oil.

Step 1 - Rinse off the sink

The first step in cleaning the sink is to remove everything from it.  Make sure that everything is wiped off and there aren’t food particles in or on your sink.  If you’ve struggling with any areas use some dish soap on it and rinse with hot water. 

Step 2 - Put baking soda on the stainless steel surfaces of the sink

Distribute baking soda onto the sink by sprinkling it on.  Baking soda is tough enough that it will remove stuck on grease and light hard water deposits, but gentle enough it won’t ruin the finish.  It has the added advantage of not leaving behind a harsh chemical odor.

Step 3 - Find the grain of the sink, and scrub with it

Stainless steel, much like wood, has a grain to it.  Grain is the direction of the lines in materials.  In stainless steel you’ll notice that the lines in each piece of metal go in a certain direction.  Follow those lines and scrub with them instead of against them.  It is important to use the nylon scrub brush over steel brushes, steel wool, or other highly abrasive cleaning tools.  If you’ve got scratches and stains this process will help start to remove them.

Step 4 - Spray vinegar onto the sink

Before you go rinsing your sink after this scrubbing process spray it down with some vinegar from your spray bottle.  The combination of baking soda and vinegar is well known for fizzing and science project volcanoes.  But it has a cleaning effect where the vinegar dissolves calcium deposits.  Let the combination fizzle out completely and then dry the sink to avoid spotting. 

Step 5 - For stubborn spots use vinegar paste

If you’ve still got some stubborn stains you can use some distilled white vinegar mixed into some cream of tartar.  It takes about a quarter of a cup of each to create a stain removing paste. Take the paste and apply it liberally to the stains.  Rub the stain with a cloth to spread and clean gently with the vinegar paste.  Give it 5 minutes before you reapply or rinse the sink with warm water and dry it. 

Step 6 - Rinse the sink a second time

Once you’ve gone through the cleaning regimen make sure you rinse the sink off and dry it completely.  It needs to be dried to avoid leaving the cleaning agents or water anywhere, this helps avoid new hard water stains or uneven cleaning if the vinegar paste just sits.

Step 7 - Olive oil can be used to buff the sink to a gleaming shine

The last step, if you choose, is buffing the sink to a gleaming shine.  To do this use a lint-free cloth and apply a few drops of olive oil.  Use it to make concentric circles and buff the sink much the way you would when waxing a car. 

How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Pans

Most stainless steel pans also end up with calcium build-up, stuck-on food, burn marks, and odd rainbow colored discoloration.  Keeping your pans in like new condition makes them last longer and you will be more confident they are clean and safe to use.

Cleaning With Vinegar

Much like cleaning stainless steel sinks, vinegar is an excellent cleaner.  Pans can get discoloration simply from overheating them.  To clean your stainless steel pan use vinegar to wash it and then rinse it out with water.  

Vinegar removes discoloration and it will remove those stubborn white calcium buildups.  Getting rid of them is simple, just mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water and boil it.  Once it has cooled you just pour it out and wash it like you would any other time.

How To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances are the most popular type in the United States, with the exception of the classic white top freezer style.  Whether it is your refrigerator, dishwasher, range, or stainless steel microwave, you want them sanitized and looking clean.  As beautiful as they are they do tend to show more streaks, water spots, and fingerprints.  

Avoid damaging the finish of your stainless steel appliances by not using hard cleaning products.  Never use scouring pads, bleach, ammonia, or steel wool on stainless steel appliances.  Some manufacturers also have specific recommendations for not only cleaning their appliances, but also the area around them to avoid damage.

Stainless steel Appliance Cleaning Tips

Tip 1 - Use a soft cloth dipped in a mild dish detergent and warm water to wipe down your appliances.  Rinse the cloth and give it another pass wiping.  Ensure you always follow up with drying them with a kitchen towel to avoid getting water spotting. 

Tip 2 - Fingerprints can be very stubborn on stainless steel.  A standard glass cleaner can help remove them when used with a soft cloth to wipe them away.

Tip 3 - If you’ve got stubborn grease or baked on food use a baking soda paste.  It is easy to just mix your baking soda with some warm water and rub the spots gently to remove them.  Always rinse and wipe dry with a clean wet cloth and then dry towel.  

UV Light Disinfection

Purifying UV sanitizers can be used for larger items such as sinks, pans, and appliances.  Our UV-C light sanitizers won’t scrub off years of stuck on food, but they will kill germs on surfaces.  In under 60 seconds at about 6 inches bacteria, viruses, and molds are killed by this germicidal band of light. As a quick and easy way to disinfect without those harsh chemical smells in your kitchen, consider a Purifying UV light sanitizer box.

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