Modern kitchens are full of stainless steel. It lends an air of elegance and sophistication, and looks sleek and contemporary. But if you don’t clean your stainless steel items regularly, they can start to look dull and dirty. If you want to clean them, you need to bear in mind that not all cleaning materials are going to be appropriate.
What You Should Never Do
The problem is that a lot of people simply assume they can use anything to clean their stainless steel. Unfortunately, this can damage the surface and leave it looking even worse. So, here’s what not to use when cleaning stainless steel:
- Steel Wool
Many people think that using steel wool or steel wool brushes is a good idea because it can get rid of a lot of the surface grime. However, steel wool brushes are harsh and will scratch the surface of the stainless steel item in question. When the surface is pitted and scratched like this, it not only looks bad, but it can also start to rust.
- Bleach Products
Chemical cleaners like bleach are incredibly harsh. They are great at removing many kinds of stains and grime, but should be avoided when you want to clean up your stainless steel products. The bleach itself is harsh enough that it will stain the surface of the stainless steel and leave it looking dull.
One thing to remember is that any chemical cleaner you buy in a bottle may actually contain bleach. It’s worth checking the label for what the cleaner contains if you’re going to be using it on your stainless steel.
If you are thinking of using a chemical cleaner and you’re unsure, it’s best to put it back on the shelf. In general, any abrasive chemical cleaners can damage the surface of stainless steel.
Advice on Cleaning Your Stainless Steel
Now that we know what not to use when cleaning stainless steel, here’s the best approach:
- Gentle Is Best
The best place to start cleaning your stainless steel is with warm water and cloth. It may sound simple, but this solution will actually get rid of a lot of dust and grime without you needing to do anything else. As long as you use a nice soft cloth, it will be gentle on the surface of the stainless steel and won’t damage it.
- Use the Right Cleaning Agents
There are actually a few chemical cleaners that you can safely use on stainless steel without damaging the surface, including:
- Proper glass cleaning solution to wipe away any oil and fingerprints
- Regular soap or dishwashing solution to get rid of certain kinds of stains
- A proper stainless steel cleaning solution to get rid of tougher kinds of stains
It’s always a good idea to use the cleaner on a small part of the stainless steel, first, just to make sure that it is safe.
- Eliminate Streaks
When you use cleaners and water on your stainless steel products, there’s a high chance that streaks will be left on the surface. This can look unsightly and cause the steel to look dull. The easiest way to get rid of these streaks is to wipe in the direction of the grain of the steel.
- Dry Properly
The last step is to make sure that you use a cloth to dry the steel properly. This will ensure that streaks and spots are not left on the surface and will leave it looking shiny and like new if done properly.
Stainless steel looks great in the modern home, but it needs to be cleaned regularly and thoroughly. Make sure that you don’t use abrasive chemical cleaners and use a more gentle approach.