Your Guide to Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances & Cookware

updated May 2, 2019
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Most of us have some stainless steel in our kitchens, whether it’a refrigerator, dishwasher, countertops, pots and pans, or another well-used tool. Stainless is durable and resistant to rust, but it shows lots of smudges — as my fridge can attest at this very moment.

Here are our best tips, guides, and reader intelligence for easily cleaning stainless steel — and all with basic cleaners you probably already have in your kitchen.

Eileen’s Beachside Oasis Kitchen (Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Choosing Stainless Steel

First of all, what are the advantages of stainless steel? When I renovated an old kitchen two years, I was reluctant to buy any stainless steel appliances. But stainless steel has become the default standard for American kitchens, and while I might have preferred white, I found stainless steel was actually cheaper in the models we looked at. So it’s a material we all live with, in some form — from shelves to knives to appliances to cookware.

Here are some tips and advice on the pros and cons of stainless steel cookware, sinks, and countertops.

Cleaning Guides

Our essential guides to cleaning stainless steel. No special cleaners needed — just soap, vinegar, and other basics.

Smart Cleaning Tips

Did you know that oil works so well to shine stainless steel?

(Image credit: James Hall)

Reader Intelligence

Our readers always have smart tips and good things to say. The comments on each of these questions are helpful!

Got any sharp cleaning tips or advice to share with us? Do you find yourself rubbing smudges off your stainless steel fridge all the time (I do!)?