Stainless steel looks good and is suitable not only for industrial kitchens or pipes but also for home kitchens. Besides whole kitchens, many kitchen appliances are also made of stainless steel. It is easy to clean, usually does not rust, and is difficult to destroy.
Depending on the type of stainless steel, other cleaning methods and means are suitable. In this article, we will show you how to clean stainless steel. In particular, we will deal with the cleaning of stainless steel in the kitchen and kitchen appliances.
The most important in a nutshell
- There are different types of stainless steel. Depending on the processing of the stainless steel, different cleaning methods are suitable.
- It does not always have to be chemicals. There are many natural, inexpensive cleaning agents that are suitable for cleaning stainless steel.
- Some stainless steel cleaners do a good job of removing dirt from stainless steel, but some are harmful to the environment.
What are the types of stainless steel?
We limit ourselves here to stainless steel for the kitchen. You can often find these under the category of stainless steel. In industry, there are other types of stainless steel with their own standards, but we will not go into them here. Generally, alloyed and unalloyed steel with a particularly high degree of purity is referred to.
For stainless steel used in the kitchen, one usually uses either ferritic 17-percent chromium steel, which is corrosion-resistant, or austenitic, acid-resistant 18/10 Cr-Ni steel, which contains little carbon.
|Stainless steel type ||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Ferritic stainless steel||very good resistance to chlorine, good corrosion resistance, good cold, and hot forming properties.||only conditionally weldable, not hard enable, not heat-treatable, conditionally machinable, low strength.|
|Autentitic stainless steel ||very high corrosion resistance (with increasing content of chromium and molybdenum), low thermal conductivity, very good weldability, very good cold, and hot formability, acid-resistant, temperature resistant up to 600 °C||susceptible to stress corrosion cracking, high coefficient of thermal expansion, non-hardenable.|
Dull stainless steel
Matte stainless steel is usually not shiny. It is often insensitive to scratch marks and hardly wears out.
Matte gray stainless steel with compartment code 2B is also referred to as ground stainless steel. Matte or ground stainless steel surfaces usually have a grain that runs in the direction of rolling.
Brushed stainless steel
Brushed stainless steel has a rough surface. Dirt particles can get stuck in these grooves, which are created by brushing the stainless steel. Therefore, always wipe in the direction of the groove when cleaning.
Special stainless steel cleaners or acidic or alkaline cleaners are often recommended for cleaning brushed stainless steel.
Use fiber-free cloths to clean brushed stainless steel so that no fibers get stuck in the grooves.
Depending on how the stainless steel is finished, some cleaners are suitable and others are not. Black oxidized stainless steel does not tolerate highly diluted acids. Alkaline cleaners are particularly suitable for it. Soda works well for cleaning brushed stainless steel.
High-gloss stainless steel
High-gloss stainless steel shines. Stainless steel becomes high-gloss by polishing. Electropolishing can be used to polish stainless steel to a high shine.
Mirror polished stainless steel
Mirror polished stainless steel is more environmentally friendly than chrome-plated surfaces. Usually, mirror polished stainless steel is only used for contract products.
Polishing is a type of surface treatment. A distinction is made between mirror polishing and brushing, which is also called matting or satinizing.
What are the types of stainless steel cleaners?
Stainless steel cleaners are only for cleaning. Stainless steel care products protect the stainless steel and keep it looking high quality for a long time. Stainless steel care products are more expensive than stainless steel cleaners.
Depending on the stainless steel cleaner, the chemical composition of the cleaner is slightly different. Some stainless steel cleaners have anti-fingerprint function and beading effect.
Stainless steel cleaners also differ according to which stainless steel they are suitable for. It makes a difference if you want to use it to clean matte stainless steel, mirror finish stainless steel, or brushed stainless steel.
Apart from the type of stainless steel cleaner, you can also distinguish it by the form of application. There are stainless steel cleaners in bottles and in spray bottles.
What to do about dirty stainless steel: Tips for cleaning stainless steel
Here we present you tips and methods for cleaning stainless steel
How can I clean stainless steel without chemicals?
- Cleaning stainless steel with baking soda
You can clean stainless steel very cheaply, quickly, easily, and gently with baking soda. Soda is characterized by the fact that it is natural and inexpensive. Another strength of cleaning with sodium bicarbonate is that the grains of the sodium bicarbonate powder remove very fine dirt without leaving scratches.
In order for you to clean your stainless steel appliances with baking soda, you will need the following:
- 3 tablespoons of baking soda or baking soda powder;
- 1,5 tbsp. water;
- if necessary a little vinegar essence;
- 1 small bowl;
- 1 sponge.
When you mix sodium bicarbonate with water, a soda alkaline solution is formed in which proteins and fats are broken down into acids. These acids form water-soluble salts. This allows stainless steel to be cleaned without streaks.
In our step-by-step instructions, we explain how to clean stainless steel with baking soda:
- Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with about 1.5 tablespoons of hot water in a small bowl.
- Dip the damp sponge into the mixture and rub the stainless steel surfaces with it. Leave the baking soda-water paste on for about 2 minutes for stubborn dirt. Then wipe the stainless steel with a cloth and clean water.
Alternatively, you can spread 50 grams of baking soda powder on horizontal stainless steel surfaces like the countertop in the kitchen. Then rub the baking soda powder onto the surface with a sponge soaked in hot water.
Instead of a sponge, you can use a spray bottle filled with hot water. Wet the stainless steel surface with it. Let the water-soaked baking soda soak for 1 – 2 minutes and then wipe it off with a clean cloth and clean water.
If necessary, you can wipe it with a microfiber cloth.
If there are lime stains on the stainless steel, first spray the stainless steel with vinegar essence or a vinegar solution. Then add the baking soda powder to the stainless steel surface.
The baking soda will begin to foam when it comes in contact with the vinegar. Therefore, wear disposable gloves and safety glasses when cleaning the stainless steel surface with vinegar products and baking soda.
- Cleaning stainless steel with oil
Oil is suitable for polishing stainless steel. Polishing with oil makes dirt stick to the stainless steel less easily and the stainless steel becomes shiny. Olive oil is good for polishing stainless steel, and it does not leave a greasy film on the surface.
Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil on a cloth and spread the oil on the stainless steel surface. Leave the olive oil on for 5 minutes. Then you need to massage it into the stainless steel with circular motions. If you have brushed stainless steel, you should apply the oil in the direction of the cut,
You can use other cooking oil or baby oil instead of olive oil.
- Cleaning stainless steel with cola and baking soda
Stainless steel is often rust-free. If you still have stainless steel that rusts, cola and baking soda will help. Put a packet of baking soda with some cola on the rusted stainless steel and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Wipe the stainless steel surface with warm water and a sponge.
If the stainless steel is more rusted, clean it several times with cola and baking soda. The disadvantage of this method is that the rusty areas are not permanently sealed. Therefore, the rust will come back after a while.
Overview of the individual low-chemical stainless steel cleaners
We have compiled the natural cleaning agents that you can use to clean your stainless steel equipment on a clearly arranged table.
|Baking soda||Fast, simple, gentle. Cleans thoroughly and leaves no scratches. Is cheap and contains hydrogen.|
|Vinegar/vinegar essence||Removes lime stains, cheap, natural.|
|Soda||It is suitable as a grease solvent. It is inexpensive does not contain hydrogen.|
|Oil||Owns to polish stainless steel, depending on the oil maybe a little more expensive, makes stainless steel shine.|
|Cola and baking soda||Helps with rust stains, depending on the cola it can be a bit more expensive, but overall cheap.|
What else can I use to clean stainless steel?
Cleaning stainless steel with acid
Depending on the type of soiling, different acids are suitable for cleaning stainless steel. For heavy soiling, discoloration, oxidation, and water stains, citric acid is suitable for cleaning stainless steel. For rust stains, a 10% phosphoric acid solution is suitable. Then clean with diluted ammonia. Alternatively, a solution of oxalic acid is also suitable.
Cleaning stainless steel with rinse aid
If the stainless steel is only slightly dirty or fingerprints are visible on it, you can clean it with dishwasher-safe rinse aid. Or you can clean it with a fat-dissolving detergent. You should then use microfiber cloths for polishing. Moisten the microfiber cloths before wiping the stainless steel.
Cleaning stainless steel with acetone or alcohol
Acetone is good for removing adhesive residue or stickers from stainless steel surfaces. Instead of acetone, you can also use rubbing alcohol.
Cleaning stainless steel with glass cleaner
Commercially available glass cleaner is helpful against water droplets and fingerprints on stainless steel appliances. Spray the glass cleaner on the stainless steel surface you want to clean.
Then wipe the stainless steel appliance with a microfiber cloth. Finally, rinse the appliance with clean water and polish it with a dry cloth.
Cleaning stainless steel with the spirit or petroleum jelly
If you want to remove streaks and smears from your stainless steel appliances, we recommend Vaseline or methylated spirits.
Both agents are also great for removing light grease and oil stains.
Cleaning stainless steel with fabric softener
If you want your stainless steel kitchen utensils to get clean and shine again, we recommend fabric softener as a stainless steel cleaner.
How to avoid streaks or stains when cleaning stainless steel?
Streaks on stainless steel do not look nice. To help you clean your stainless steel as streak-free as possible in the future, we’ve put together some helpful tips.
- Cleaning stainless steel extractor hoods and hoods
A distinction is often made between an extractor fan and an extractor hood. An extractor hood is called a fume hood in technical language.
You can use soda to clean the fume hood
Depending on the type, cooker hoods have a grease filter and a fan or a grease filter, a fan, and an odor filter. A distinction is made between the exhaust and recirculation range hoods.
Depending on the type, you may also need to clean the grease filter and the odor filter. Metal filters can be cleaned by placing them in the bathtub or shower tray. Add 2 cups of detergent and spray hot water over the filters. When the filters are covered with hot water, let them soak in the water for 1 hour. Then clean them with a sponge.
- Stainless steel refrigerator cleaning
There are several ways to clean a stainless steel refrigerator. Here we will introduce you to 2 methods to clean a stainless steel refrigerator.
You can use a microfiber cloth, paper towels, and water to clean your stainless steel refrigerator. First, clean and polish the refrigerator with paper towels.
To improve the cleaning effect, clean the stainless steel refrigerator with a microfiber cloth and a cleaning agent suitable for stainless steel. Then wipe your refrigerator with paper towels.
When cleaning, make sure that you wipe in the direction of the grain.
If you clean against the grain, you will scratch your stainless steel refrigerator in the long run.
Alternatively, you can use water or oil to clean your stainless steel refrigerator. Water is an inexpensive cleaning agent, but you may have to use a little more pressure to remove stains. You can also add a few drops of detergent to the water to better remove stains.
- If you use detergent, clean the refrigerator with hot water afterward. Dry it with paper towels immediately after cleaning with hot water to prevent streaks.
- If you clean your stainless steel with oil, it will shine afterward. You will need to wipe the oil off thoroughly with paper towels. You need paper towels to absorb the oil.
- Stainless steel appliances are durable and easy to clean. You do not always have to resort to expensive cleaning agents. Household detergents or water are often sufficient.
- However, it is important to work with fine cloths and, in the case of brushed or polished stainless steel, to wipe in the direction of the polish to avoid scratches.
- If you use chemical cleaners, don’t just pour them down the drain. Although cleaning agents usually last indefinitely, you may want to dispose of them. Chemical cleaners belong to hazardous waste.