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Best Stainless Steel Cleaners

Stainless steel appliances look fabulous in your kitchen but they are a challenge to keep clean. As soon as you think they look good, someone pops into the fridge for a snack or pulls out a glass from the dishwasher, and the smudge marks appear all over again. Fingerprints can appear out of nowhere and they are difficult to remove. If you have children, these smudges and fingerprints can be never ending.

You can’t use just any cleaner on a stainless steel surface, as its delicate finish is easily damaged. Special cleaners have been developed for stainless steel, which will remove dirt, grime, smudges, and fingerprints, without hurting the finish. These cleaners can be wiped on with special cloths that are gentle and lint-free.

Let’s find out about some of the most popular stainless steel cleaners available on the market today:

3M Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish

Refresh your kitchen in a jiffy with this stainless steel cleaner and polish. It cleans and polishes in one easy step, without any greasy build up. Shine your surfaces to a high gloss! It works instantly for an effective shine.

In addition to cleaning and polishing, this product also leaves a light protective film on your surface which resists streaking and fingerprints. It helps prevent your surface from getting dirty again.

Use it for all your stainless steel, aluminum, and chrome appliances, handles, faucets, kettles, and other items around your home. It’s also great for cleaning restaurant equipment, drinking water fountains, and other large stainless steel items. It works equally well on aluminum, and chrome, as well as laminated plastic, enamel, Plexiglas, and ceramics.

You only need a tiny amount at a time. It is an aerosol, so all you have to do is give your appliance a little spray, then shine away with a soft cloth. Each can contains 21 ounces of cleaner, and it lasts a long time.

It also leaves a pleasant citrus fragrance when you spray it.

It is safe to use, and is NSF certified to use in meat and poultry processing plants. It contains less than half the allowable limit of VOCs according to California regulations. It has a small spray pattern which reduces waste from overspraying. It is also non-flammable. When the container is empty, you can dispose of it in any landfill as per your local regulations.


  • Aerosol with pleasant citrus fragrance
  • Works on stainless steel and many other types of surfaces
  • Cleans and polishes in one step without leaving a greasy build up
  • Leaves a protective coating on surfaces to resist fingerprints and streaking
  • Safe to use, NSF certified, contains half the allowable limit of VOCs
  • Reduces waste from overspraying due to small spray pattern

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Affresh Stainless Steel Brightener

This cleaner is called a brightener because it is great at getting rid of stains and rust. And yes, stainless steel can stain, as you may have noticed if you have had appliances made of this material for some time. Most times, stains appear in places where you may have previously scratched your appliance or damaged it with high heat. This clear liquid brightener will target and remove these marks.

All you have to do is put a small amount of this product on a paper towel or dry cloth and dab away at the stain. After letting it sit for a few minutes, wipe it away in the direction of the grain. Give it a rinse with water and then use a damp cloth to dry. This brightener will remove or significantly lighten the stain. It will also remove water stains and replace them with a brilliant shine.

For best results, use a cleaner and polish first before applying this brightener. It will leave your stainless steel appliances sparkling.

Use it on your fridge, oven, dishwasher, range hood, microwave, and your small stainless steel appliances such as kettles. In addition to stainless steel, this cleaner can remove stains and yellowing from chrome, copper, aluminum, and brass. It will also leave a high gloss shine if you use it on your marble countertop. Some people have even used this brightener on their car!

It comes in an eight ounce bottle of liquid and is safe to use on any surface where you would prepare food.


  • Liquid stainless steel brightener
  • Removes or significantly lightens stains, rust, and yellowing
  • Removes water stains
  • Works best after first using a cleaner and polisher
  • Also removes stains from copper, chrome, aluminum, brass, and marble
  • Safe for use on any surface where you would prepare food

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Magic Stainless Steel Cleaner Aerosol

You spent considerable funds on your stainless steel appliance – now keep them looking their best. This stainless steel cleaner is an aerosol that you can spray on your appliances to keep them gleaming and bright. Use it on your toaster, fridge, dish washer, even your outdoor grill, to remove dirt and smooth out fine scratches. Help them stay beautiful for longer.

This odorless spray quickly dissolves oily fingerprints and greasy splatters for a streak-free shine. It cleans away imperfections while leaving very little residue to buff out. In the process, it lays down a clear protective coating which helps your surface resist more fingerprints. It also easily removes water marks, smudges, and dust.

This spray is very popular with users around the world. Use it on your oven, fridge, grill, dishwasher, BBQ, sink, faucet, trash cans, compactors, warming drawers, and so much more. Keep all your stainless steel looking stunning and shiny, and your kitchen bright, gleaming, and show ready.

Restaurant owners use this product to keep their commercial stainless steel appliances looking their very best, to meet the highest expectations of their discerning clientele. It resists scratching. With just a wipe and buff, surfaces are done. It cleans and protects your surfaces with a pH balanced formula that works in perfect compatibility with all types of stainless steel.

Each aerosol in this two-pack contains 17 ounces of cleaner. Make sure to shake the canister before using and spray directly onto the surface. Then use a clean, soft cloth and wipe in the direction of the grain. Afterwards, buff to a shine with a dry cloth.


  • Odorless aerosol
  • Keeps stainless steel appliances gleaming and bright
  • Removes dirt, fine scratches, water marks, smudges, and dust
  • Makes surfaces resistant to fingerprints
  • Protects surfaces with pH balanced formula
  • Useful at home and in commercial spaces like restaurants

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Quickie Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

If you don’t feel like using a spray, liquid, foam, or aerosol cleaner for your stainless steel surfaces, why not try this high quality microfiber cleaning towel? It is especially useful for quickly touching up your surfaces in between deeper cleans. Or you can simply use it as an alternative to handling chemicals in your home.

With very little effort, you can use these cloths to remove fingerprints and grime from your appliances. You can use the cloths dry but they are more effectively used when misted with water first. Simply wipe the problem area and then dry it. The cloths have a textured weave that absorbs liquids well and dries quickly.

They will remove 99% of dust, allergens, and bacteria that have accumulated on your stainless steel appliances. They are non-abrasive and will not leave scratches on your surfaces. They also will not leave lint behind. They will simply leave a streak-free shine.

These little grey cloths are machine washable and reusable, which saves cost and waste, and makes them great for the environment. They are made of 80% polyester and 20% nylon, and they are a nice size – they measure 13 by 15 inches. They include a tag that tells you which types of surfaces they will clean most effectively.

They can be used on everything from ovens to fridges and all other stainless steel surfaces, to your bathroom, electronics, and even to detail your car. They are great for shining up high gloss kitchen cabinets, as well as counter tops, mirrors, and windows. Users also find them handy for drying dishes, pots, and pans. Others use them to clean iPads and phone surfaces.


  • High quality microfiber cleaning cloth leaves a streak-free shine
  • Great alternative to using chemicals to clean your stainless steel
  • Removes fingerprints, grime, dust, allergens, bacteria
  • Textured weave absorbs liquids well and dries quickly
  • Non-abrasive, does not leave lint behind
  • Machine washable and reusable, which saves cost and waste

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Weiman Microfiber Cloth for Stainless Steel

This is another microfiber cloth that is great for cleaning stainless steel. This one does double duty. One side cleans and the other polishes. You can use one side of this cloth to remove dirt and grime, and the other side to buff to a shine that will be streak-free every time.

The cleaning side has soft ribs in the fabric that lift out dirt and avoid scratching your delicate surfaces. It traps oil, dirt, and grime safely, and removes smudges effortlessly. This cloth is absorbent and can be used with or without a cleaning product to keep your appliances looking their best.

They are suitable for all stainless steel surfaces, including kitchen appliances, sinks, faucets, grills, and range hoods, as well as other materials such as counter tops and backsplashes.

This product can be put in both the washer and dryer, and you can use them over and over again. If using in the washer, try to avoid bleach, detergent tabs, and fabric softener, and try not to use too much detergent, as this might cause streaking in the cloths. They will keep for longer if you line dry them rather than using the dryer.

The cloths are made of 80% polyester and 20% polyamide. They measure 13.8 x 13.8 inches square.


  • Microfiber cloth, great for cleaning stainless steel
  • Double duty: one side cleans while the other side polishes
  • Cleaning side has ribs that lift out dirt without scratching
  • Traps oil, dirt, grime; removes smudges easily
  • Machine washable and can be put in dryer
  • Also suitable for other surfaces such as backsplashes and counter tops

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How to clean your stainless steel appliances

You might not realize it, but there are many different types and grades of stainless steel. In your own appliances, what works on your fridge might not necessarily work as well on your dishwasher. A good rule of thumb when choosing a stainless steel cleaner is to start with something less expensive and if it does not work for you, expand from there. You can look for a product that cleans not just stainless steel but other surfaces as well. And there are also many green cleaners you can choose from.

Above all, avoid abrasive cleaners, scouring powders, ammonia, bleach, and steel wool, as they can damage your stainless steel finish and make your surfaces look worn.

When you are cleaning, use the product sparingly. Using too much product can actually result in more scrubbing. Also, try not to let it dry on your stainless steel. Instead, dry it with a soft cloth, preferably one made with microfiber. These cloths work better than paper towels, and they also work on many types of surfaces in addition to stainless steel.

Make sure to wipe in the direction of the grain of the appliance. Wiping against the grain or in a circular motion can cause streaks to arise.

If you want to give your appliances a little extra sparkle after using a stainless steel cleaner, try rubbing on some mineral oil. This should not be done every day but rather for special occasions.

With some gentle tender loving care and a little elbow grease, you can keep your stainless steel appliances and surfaces looking sparkly and gleaming. All you need is the right products to maintain that shine, and this will reduce the frustration of trying to keep your appliances clean.

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