The Common Mistake You’re Probably Making When Cleaning Stainless Steel

published Oct 23, 2022
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a hand wiping down a stainless steel refrigerator
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Stainless steel appliances lend a sleek, modern touch to the kitchen — but keeping them clean and shiny can come with a bit of a learning curve. And even if you consider yourself a seasoned pro when it comes to cleaning stainless steel, you may still be making this common mistake.

You’re applying cleaner directly on the surface you’re trying to clean.

The problem with this approach is that most stainless steel sprays contain oil. While oil is an essential ingredient for cleaning these sleek metal surfaces, it can also backfire — dripping down the fridge or dishwasher (which can be difficult to clean up), or onto your floor (which can be dangerous if you have kids or pets).

So what’s the better way to go about it? Leave it to our favorite TikTok follow, professional cleaner Vanesa Amaro, to fill us in. Amaro recently shared her go-to hack for cleaning stainless steel, and it’s surprisingly simple.

The Right Way to Clean Stainless Steel

Amaro’s solution is to spray the cleaner on a microfiber towel instead of directly onto the stainless steel. We love Amaro’s use of microfiber for a few reasons. Along with being less wasteful than single-use paper towels, microfiber is way more absorbent because of how the fabric is woven. In other words, no excess streaky spray left on your appliances after you clean! This fine weave also means microfiber is more effective at picking up germs and other debris than other towels. Finally, microfiber won’t leave any lint behind on your surface. It’s a win-win-win, if you ask us!

We couldn’t help but notice Amaro uses a Sprayway product to clean the refrigerator in the video, but you can choose any stainless steel cleaner you like. Just be sure to avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools, and always be sure to follow the grain of the steel to prevent streaks!