For a finish that's supposedly "stainless," our steel kitchenwares certainly show a fair amount of wear and tear: Fingerprints and food blotches start making an appearance on our pots and utensils after just a few uses, and anyone who uses a dishwasher knows that it's near impossible to get rid of those unyielding white water spots.
Keeping steel appliances pristine requires more than dish soap and a good scrub down. However, there's no need to shop around for a strong chemical cleaner. You'll be surprised at how easy it is to eliminate blemishes and discoloration with products you have around the kitchen. Read on a few household ingredients that work wonders to restore your metal to their shiny, spotless glory.
Vinegar & Oil
This handy tip from The Kitchn utilizes the two most commonly-found items in your kitchen: Vinegar and olive oil. Spray a generous amount of vinegar over your appliance and wipe it down with a paper towel or dish cloth. Then, add a droplets of oil on your cloth and wipe over the steel surface in the opposite direction of the grain — the horizontal or vertical "scratches" on the finish. This two-step polishing trick will leave your wares looking as good as the day you purchased them.
When it comes to cleaning stainless steel, Michael Dimopoulos, a house cleaner at Thumbtack and the founder of Lazy Susans Cleaning, sticks to his trusty combination of hot soap, water, and his secret ingredient — coconut oil.
"After drying the soap and water with a micro fiber cloth, I spray just a little organic coconut oil on the surface and wipe with a good quality paper towel," says Dimopoulos via email to Refinery29. "Coconut oil spray buffs and removes dirt and finger prints, leaving a shine that will stay on for ages." Plus, it will leave your kitchen smelling great.
We've already established that baking soda is pretty much the MVP of household cleaning, and the natural ingredient has formidable cleaning powers. Sprinkle the exterior with a generous amount of the powder, then rub it down with a sponge soaked with vinegar. This combo will dissolve even the toughest of grime — without the harsh chemical smells of store-bought cleaning solutions.