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Cleaning stainless steel

Last week, Cheryl from Manitoba wrote: “Got any great tips for stainless steel? I gotta admit, this is one of my least favourite things to clean. I use the dish soap and baby oil method. It works BUT takes a ton of elbow grease and valuable time. I find it really hard to avoid streaks, and I’m OCD about that lol. I’d love to hear what works for you 🙂”
First of all, Hello, Cheryl! It’s awesome to hear from you. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Secondly, I’m there with you. Cleaning stainless steel is not one of my favs. Anyone else with us on that one?
When it comes to stainless steel, my relationship status is “it’s complicated.” I love shiny stainless steel appliances, they look so good! Now, cleaning them? Not so much. That’s one of those things that I see as being part of the job. No yay or nay, just something I have to do.
There are different options for cleaning stainless steel surfaces. I’m going to describe here some of the more popular ones, and I’ll also share with you what I do.
Method #1:  Water + Dish Soap and Baby Oil

  1. Wipe the stainless steel surface with a soft cloth dampened with a small amount of dish soap and water
  2. Wash the cloth and wipe the surface again, but this time with a cloth dampened with only water
  3. Dry the surface
  4. Drop a small amount of baby oil on a different soft cloth and wipe along the grain of the stainless steel panel

Method #2:  Water + Vinegar and Olive Oil

  1. Mix one part water with one part vinegar
  2. Using a spray bottle, spray the vinegar and water solution onto the stainless steel surface and wipe it clean, always working with the grain
  3. Add a dab of oil to a soft cloth and wipe along the grain
  4. Buff to shine

Method #3:  Mine!
From my own personal files, this is what I do:

  1. Using a microfiber cloth damped in just water, I wipe the surface to get rid of the dirt. Always going with the grain* That’s key! 
  2. Immediately after, I dry the surface with a dry microfiber cloth. Again, going with the grain 
  3. Using a couple of drops of baby oil (olive oil works too) on a soft cloth, I apply a thin layer of oil over the surface 
  4. I then buff with a cloth to make it look all clean and shiny!

We got all the to do’s down. Now it’s time to see what not to do.
DO NOT DO! (things to avoid) 

⚠️ Something to avoid, at all cost, is using abrasive sponges, steel wool, or any other cloths made from materials that could scratch the surface.
⚠️ Also, do not clean in circles or against the grain. Always work with the grain.
Now that I think about it… @Cheryl, are you cleaning in circles? That could be the thing that’s slowing the process for you.

I hope these tips and ideas help you get those stainless steel appliances looking like new, clean and shiny. Seriously, who doesn’t like things that shine? lol
BONUS TIP! (courtesy of Sanela in BC)
Sanela soaks lavender in the baby oil she uses to clean stainless steel, which gives it a lovely scent. I’m so going to do this!
Do you have any more tips? Feel free to add them in the comment section below. We can all share our tips and secrets here. 😊
Have a great week!
PS. If you guys have more questions or ideas, let me know. I’ll do my best to answer your questions and write about things you are interested in.


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