In my last post, I talked about the importance of reading the maintenance instructions in an owner’s manual. It is the one opportunity a manufacturer gets to advise you as to how to keep their product looking as good as new in your home. Just because one manufacturer advises one technique, it is not safe to assume that another manufacturer will have the same instruction.
Take stainless steel, for example. Different manufacturers use different grades of stainless and apply different finishes over the top of the steel to yield their unique, branded characteristics. These different materials and processes require different types and amount of care. According to Sub-Zero and Wolf, they want you to “use a lint free or microfiber cloth and a stainless steel cleaner to remove any food stains. Then apply a polish to maintain luster and protect the surface from future food stains. Always apply cleaner and polish in the same direction as the grain”. KitchenAid sells a one-step stainless steel wipe for use on their products that do everything – clean and polish. According to Bosch, they want you to use “a non-abrasive sponge, soft cloth, mild soap and stainless steel conditioning cloths” available for purchase through Bosch. They even have a video showing how to clean, determine the grain direction and the damage that you will cause if you don’t follow the instructions! Check it out.
In general, regardless of product and manufacturer, it is always safe to say that stainless steel can be cleaned with a mild soap and water or a very diluted vinegar solution and then rinsed and wiped dry.
Stainless is prone to showing scratches and fingerprints. Avoid the scratches by always using a soft cloth and wiping with the grain of the steel. If the fingerprints don’t wipe off or you can’t eliminate the streaks, wipe a very small amount of olive oil on the appliance, with the grain, to even the thin film of oils out across the surface. It will shine like new.