How To Clean Stainless Steel Refrigerator (10 Actionable Tips)

Stainless steel refrigerators are more durable than other types of fridges. They fight off heat, dust, fire and give your kitchen a trendy, sleek, and modern look.

However, suppose you have children or are an innovative chef. In that case, the nobility of these shiny appliances quickly becomes a fly in the ointment, especially when it becomes a magnet for fingerprints, streaks, water sports, and other forms of the mess that makes keeping the pricey appliance sparkling a frustrating task.

Stainless steel refrigerators are also prone to scratches and so using the wrong cleaning materials could be an expensive mistake that you cannot afford to make.

This article gives you valuable insights on how to cleaning and keep your stainless steel refrigerator beaming.

How To Clean Stainless Steel Refrigerator
How To Clean Stainless Steel Refrigerator

The Do’s and Don’ts of How to Clean Stainless Steel Refrigerator

Do you want to keep your refrigerator looking as new as the day you got them? Here are a few do’s and don’ts that you should consider when cleaning your refrigerator.

Do’s

  • Invest in a spray cleaner, one designed for cleaning stainless steel. Read the manual instructions to see whether there are any recommended products. Using certain cleaning products on stainless steel could put your warranty in jeopardy.
  • Stick to the recommended cleaning agent and follow the specified method of cleaning.
  • Go with the grain. First, understand the direction of the grain. The grain is a faint striation on the surface of the appliance. An entire sheet of steel will have a grain going in the same direction.
  • Note that other pieces of steel, such as door handles have different grains, so you should wipe them according to their grain.
  • Wipe the stainless steel surface like you would fine wood. Wipe it down along the grain with long swipes and rinsing it off once you are done. Avoid using circular motions as it could destroy the surface of the appliance.
  • Use non-abrasive cleaning cloths. They should preferably be 100 percent cotton. Cotton does not contain fluff and leaves almost no residual lint like other materials as paper towels do.

Don’ts

  • Don’t let grime and other forms of kitchen dirt stick or dry on the stainless steel. Form a habit of wiping grime with a wet cloth or paper towel before it hardens.
  • Don’t scrub the stainless steel surface because it is prone to scratch marks.
  • Please do not use harsh abrasives, steel wool, scouring powders, bleach, or ammonia because they may damage the finish.
  • Avoid wiping vertical to the grain because the residue may get deeper into the tiny crevices of the grain.

Methods of Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

White Vinegar & Olive Oil

For this process, you will need some white vinegar, olive oil, and some microfiber cloths. You can mix a solution of vinegar and water, put it in a spray bottle and spray it directly on the fridge surface, or you can apply white vinegar directly to a microfiber cloth and apply it on the surface.

White Vinegar & Olive Oil
Picture by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels

Let the vinegar sit for a while, and then use a clean microfiber cloth to remove all the grime. Once the dirt is dislodged, wipe the fridge with the solution again and then dap a clean towel in some olive oil and apply it along the grain of the freshly cleaned steel.

Use a clean cloth to wipe off extra pol residue. The vinegar gets rid of the grime entirely, while the olive oil gives it a radiant new look.

Using vinegar also gets rid of the bacteria that may be on the surface of the fridge.

Club Soda

Club soda makes the process of cleaning your stainless steel refrigerator simple. You need to spray some club soda onto the stainless steel surface and then use a clean cloth to wipe it in the direction of the grain.

Club Soda
Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

This gets rid of all fingerprints and grime as well as leaves the fridge sparkling.

WD-40

You can also use WD-40 to clean your stainless steel refrigerator. For this process, get an empty spray bottle and put some WD-40 in it. Then spray some WD-40 directly onto the appliance and then wipe it off with a clean non-fluffy cloth.

WD-40

Alternatively, you can pour a little WD-40 onto the fridge and then use a rag to wipe it off along the grain. This cleaning agent gets rid of all the dirt instantly and gives the steel a bright and shiny appearance. WD-40 also adds a layer of protection against fingerprints.

You should note, though, that WD-40 is a petroleum-based cleaning agent. It should therefore be used with care because of the proximity to stored foodstuffs.

Dish Soap & Baby or Mineral Oil

You can opt to use dish soap and mineral or baby oil to clean the stainless steel surface of the refrigerator. Dish soap cleans off the excess oils and makes the polishing process more effortless.

Dish Soap
Picture by silviarita from Pixabay

To clean using dish soap:

  1. Pick up some and rub a little bit on your damp cloth.
  2. Gently wipe the appliance along the grain. If there is a stubborn fingerprint mark, go over the area a few times.
  3. Rinse off the soap with a wet cotton cloth and dry any water streaks left with another dry cotton cloth.

Polish the refrigerator by dabbing a small amount of baby or mineral oil on another cloth. You don’t need to use a lot of oil. A few drops will do. Follow the grain of the steel moving up and down until you are satisfied with the results.

Lemon Oil Furniture Polish

For this process, you will need two clean kitchen towels and some lemon oil furniture polish. You need to apply a bit of the furnish on one piece of cloth and gently rub it on the stainless steel surface along the grain.

Once you have applied the polish evenly on the surface, use the other cloth to clean off the extra furnish. Leaving excess polish on the fridge may not give you the results you want.

Instead, you might end up spending more time cleaning off the excess polish than the dirt on the refrigerator. So, wipe off extra polish evenly.

Bon Ami, Flour Sack & Wax Paper

Dip a small section of the soft flour sack in a bit of water and sprinkle some Bon Ami on the moistened area. Gently rub the mixture on the stainless steel surface until the stains come off. To clear it off, dampen another section of the flout sack with water and wipe it clean in the direction of the grain.

Take another small piece of the flour sack and use it to dry the cleaned surface. Then take a bit of wax paper and rub the stainless steel surface using the waxy side.

This cleaning method takes the deep-set stains off stainless steel appliances and prevents fingerprints and smudges from appearing for a little while. However, when using this method, you ought to work quickly, cleaning a small section at a time.

Glass Cleaner for Fingerprints

The most frustrating thing about owning a stainless steel refrigerator is having fingerprints all over them, especially if it has many users. Having a cleaning agent that can quickly and easily remove them could give you much relief, especially as a parent.

One of the best agents to get rid of fingerprints is a glass cleaner such as Windex. To clean with it, spray it on a microfiber cloth and then use circular motions to rub it evenly on the stainless steel surface.

Repeat the process as much as needed, then rinse off the cleaner using a dry towel. Please note that the glass cleaner should not be sprayed directly on the refrigerator. Doing this could create splatter residues and drip marks that may give you more cleaning work.

Flour

Did you know that you could use flour to clean your stainless steel surfaces? It sounds strange, but it works, although it works better on the sink, pots, and pans than with your other stainless steel appliances.

Flour
Picture of Kaboompics .com from Pexels

You could use flour to get that clean and shiny appearance you are looking for, but it would be a cumbersome and time-consuming process.

Commercial Stainless Steel Cleaners

If your refrigerator has stubborn stains and is marred with scratches, you should consider getting a commercial cleaner designed to polish stainless steel surfaces.

Although this cleaning agent is expensive, it can thoroughly clean and polish your refrigerator. It can also minimize scratches and remove stubborn stains giving your fridge a new long-lasting sparkle.

Before using this cleaner on the whole refrigerator, it is recommended that you test it on a small inconspicuous spot. If it works out, then you could use it on the rest of the fridge’s surface. Once you are through, use a damp cloth to rinse it off and another one to dry it.

Water and a Cloth

Suppose you want to keep your refrigerator clean and sparkling at all times. It’s best to include your refrigerator in your daily cleaning routine. However, you don’t need to clean it with any cleaning agent. Wiping it with warm water and a clean non-fluffy cloth will do just fine.

Water
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Not only is water the least risky option for stainless steel, but it’s also an effective cleaning detergent if utilized daily. This is the least risky option for cleaning stainless steel. Plain warm water removes loose dirt quickly and easily. However, ensure that you dry the surface thoroughly after cleaning to avoid leaving streaks on the steel surface.

Follow the direction of the grain as you clean to achieve the best results. Use a pure cotton non-fluffy cloth to polish the stainless steel after drying. Microfiber would also work excellently for polishing stainless steel because it absorbs all the water from the surface without scratching it.

Water is a good cleaning option if religiously used daily because it clears smudges just as well as other special detergents before the streaks set in.

Apply the cleaning solution to the cloth to avoid leaving streaks on the fridge surface.

Stainless Steel Cleaning Tips

  • Avoid spraying or applying the cleaning agent directly on the stainless steel refrigerator.  
  • After cleaning, rinse and dry the fridge surface entirely with a towel to prevent water streaks and spots.
  • Use a glass cleaner to wipe away fingerprints as soon as they appear.
  • Use warm water and baking soda to remove baked-on grease and food.
  • Rub on the surface gently with a soft cloth.
  • Use a commercial stainless steel cleaner to clear scratches and stains.
  • Clean the stainless steel in the direction of its grain.
  • Have a cloth for buffing the surface in the direction of the polish as soon as you wipe it.
  • Use a soft cloth on the stainless steel appliance as steel wool could finish the stainless steel pans.

What is the Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel Appliance?

The best way to keep stainless steel sparkling is through routine cleaning. Regular cleaning keeps stainless steel “stainless,” which is the essential maintenance and care it needs.

Although water is an ideal option for routine cleaning, the guaranteed method for cleaning stainless steel would be a designed cleaning agent such as the commercial stainless steel cleaner, which is often the most expensive option.

Get a soft cloth and apply the chosen cleaning agent to it. Use a non-fluffy cotton cloth. It is always preferable to use microfiber.

FAQs

  • Can I use Windex on my stainless steel appliances?

    Yes, but not directly. Apply it on a cloth and then rub the stainless steel appliance to clean it.

  • How do you remove stains from a stainless steel refrigerator?

    Use a commercial stainless steel cleaner that the manufacturer approves.

  • What can I use to clean my stainless steel refrigerator?

    There are various cleaning agents that you could use to clean the stainless steel refrigerator, warm soapy water, dish soap, and baby oils, WD-40, commercial stainless steel remover, lemon oil furnish polish, glass remover, and vinegar.