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How to easily clean stainless steel appliances at home

Say goodbye to all those fingerprints, smudges and water marks with this genius hack to clean your stainless steel appliances.
Versatile olive oil is an effective cleaner for stainless steel.
Versatile olive oil is an effective cleaner for stainless steel.Shutterstock
/ Source: TODAY

Stainless steel: It's beautiful, shiny and can instantly upgrade a kitchen.

But there is a downside. The sleek look shows remnants from everyone who has ever touched it. Fingerprints, scratches, water marks, smudges and whatever else is in the kitchen sticks out like a sore thumb, turning your beautiful, shiny fridge into a fingerprint autograph book. Cleaning stainless steel can also be tricky.

Luckily, TODAY Home found the magic solution: olive oil.

It turns out that the versatile oil is an effective cleaner for stainless steel and protector for all your stainless steel woes. So how does it work, exactly? The olive oil actually safeguards against blemishes, Donna Smallin Kuper, certified Home Cleaning Technician and author of "Cleaning Plain & Simple" told TODAY.

"Olive oil doesn't clean per se, but when you put a bit of olive oil (or baby oil) on a clean microfiber cloth, the microfiber cloth cleans the surface and the oil leaves behind a light, protective film that helps to repel water spots and smudges from hands and fingers. Wipe the surface with the grain of the stainless steel (on a stainless steel fridge, it's generally a vertical grain) for best results."

Smallin Kuper cautions to go easy on the oil so you don't end up with a greasy situation. "You can always add more to the cloth if needed," she said.

How to clean stainless steel appliances:



  1. Apply a few drops of olive oil on a soft microfiber cloth
  2. Wipe your fridge, oven or dishwasher — any place with stainless steel! It will mask scratches and erase pesky water marks and repel smudges.
  3. Buff with a dry cloth to finish.
  4. If you are doing a serious clean up, put a little bit of rubbing alcohol on a microfiber cloth and wipe it down.

Pro tip: Make sure to go with the grain while when doing stainless steel cleaning and wiping the surface. The alcohol will dissolve quickly and dry streak-free.

Say so long to scratched stainless steel!

Using interviews with specialists, online reviews and personal experience, TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! TODAY does have affiliate relationships with various online retailers. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

This article was originally published on Aug. 10, 2017.