9 best tips to get stainless steel looking like new

Stainless steel appliances and sinks are great because they are durable and attractive. This man-made alloy is popular among homeowners because it looks nice, it’s resistant to water damage and rust and it can increase the value of a home.

But, one of the biggest drawbacks of owning stainless steel appliances is that fingerprints and smudges show up very easily and the steel can lose its shine over time. Fortunately, if you can suck up the expensive price tag of stainless steel appliances, dealing with the smudges isn’t that hard.

Check out a few tips for getting your stainless steel appliances to look brand new:

1.Use lime and salt to clean your sink

You can get your sink sparkly clean by sprinkling salt all over the basin. Then, use a lime half to scrub the salt into the stainless steel. After scrubbing with the lime and salt, dust the basin with baking soda and wash it away with a clean rag. For extra shine, buff your sink with a bit of vegetable oil, Engineer Mommy recommends. ​

2. Wash with the grain

Like wood, stainless steel has a grain. If you wash with the grain of the steel you can get more of the cleaning solution into the grains so that your steel looks cleaner and shines brighter.

3. Use cotton fabric

Choose a soft cloth made of 100 percent cotton, Compact Appliancerecommends. The cloth will work better than paper towels or another material because it won’t leave lint behind.

4. Clean your stove with baking soda and water

Easily remove baked on food from the top of your stainless steel stove gently scrubbing the food away with a paste made from baking soda and warm water, according to Consumer Reports.

5. Say no to harsh chemicals

While stainless steel is hardy, it’s not bulletproof. Avoid abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, steel wool, bleach or ammonia as these could damage your stainless steel finish. According to Consumer Reports, you may want to check the manual that came with your appliance to ensure there aren’t other specific products to avoid.

6. The K.I.S.S method

One rule I learned in college that’s always stuck with me is K.I.S.S., or in other words: Keep it simple stupid. One of the best ways to clean your stainless steel is to go the easiest route and opt for warm water and some gentle dish soap. Wash with a gentle cloth and rinse the soap away with clean water.

7. Vinegar and olive oil

Use vinegar and olive oil to remove fingerprint smudges and dirt from the front of your refrigerator. Simply spray the vinegar onto the stainless steel surface and let it set for a minute or two. Wipe away the vinegar, following the grain of the steel, then use a little olive oil to buff the steel to a shine.

8. Clean and shine with WD-40

Spray WD-40 directly onto any of your stainless steel appliances. Wipe away the liquid with a clean rag. The solution will clean and shine the surface at the same time. Compact Appliance also notes that this can help protect the surface of your appliances with a coating so it won’t be as easy for little ones to leave their pawprints behind. Note: This should not be used on your stove, only on dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines to avoid contaminating cooking surfaces.

9. Clean your stove or sink with flour

This method is a bit messy. After cleaning the stainless steel surface with water and soup, coat the surface with a layer of flour and allow the flour to dry. Use a soft cloth to buff away grease and leave your sink or stove bright.