How to Clean and Brighten Stainless Steel Appliances

How to Clean and Brighten Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances are a sleek, modern choice for any kitchen. They have a nice, polished appearance to them when they’re clean, but can sometimes appear dirty due to fingerprints, heat discoloration, spills and other buildup.

If you find that your stainless steel appliances are looking a bit worn down, the good news is that cleaning these appliances is fairly simple. Whether you’re cleaning a dishwasher, coffee pot or refrigerator, there are multiple methods and products to get your appliances looking like new.

What should you clean stainless steel appliances with?

Generally, using a mild soap mixed with warm water is a safe method for cleaning stainless steel. When applying this mixture, use a microfiber cloth and always apply any type of cleaning solutions in the direction of the grain. Baking soda and vinegar can also be used to clean some stainless steel appliances.

To avoid damaging your stainless steel appliances, you should always consult your owner’s manual first to ensure your chosen cleaning method is safe for your appliance.

How do you brighten stainless steel?

To brighten your stainless steel appliances you can use a stainless steel brightener to help clear away rust, heat discoloration and yellowing from stainless steel surfaces. Make sure to always wipe stainless steel surfaces in the direction of the grain to avoid leaving behind streaks.

Affresh® stainless steel brightener helps give your stainless steel appliances a bright shine and is safe to use on all stainless steel surfaces including refrigerators, range hoods, ovens, dishwashers and microwaves.

Cleaning stainless steel appliances: a guide

When cleaning stainless steel appliances, you should always make sure you’re choosing a product that won’t damage the surface or leave unwanted streaks behind. Follow the general cleaning steps below to get all of your stainless steel appliances looking like new.


  • Stainless steel spray or cleaner
  • Mild soap
  • Warm water
  • Baking soda (optional)


  • Microfiber cloth

1. Find the direction of the grain

Before you begin cleaning your appliance, you will first need to identify the direction of the grain. To find the grain, simply look for striations in the stainless steel finish running vertically or horizontally.

2. Remove any dirt or grime

Before applying your cleaning solution, use a dampened cloth to gently remove any dirt, food or residue from your stainless steel appliance. Make sure to always wipe down your appliance in the same direction of the grain to avoid leaving unwanted marks behind.

3. Apply cleaning solution

Whether you’re using warm water and soap or a homemade baking soda solution, you can usually apply the cleaner directly to the appliance. Once applied, simply wipe the solution in an ‘S’ motion in the direction of the grain.

If you’re using a stainless steel spray cleaner, you can also spray it on the appliance in an ‘S’ motion and then wipe it clean with a dry microfiber cloth in the direction of the grain to clean and polish the appliance.

4. Buff appliance with a microfiber cloth

Once you’re done cleaning your stainless steel appliance, you can add some extra shine by buffing away any remaining residue. Use a separate, clean microfiber cloth and wipe down your appliance in the direction of the grain to remove any stubborn streaks.

Shop affresh® stainless steel brightener

Tips for cleaning stainless steel appliances

Maintaining clean, polished stainless steel appliances is simple if you follow a few tips and tricks. Here are some different ways to keep your appliances clean and shining like they are brand new.

  • Use stainless steel brightener to remove stubborn rust, yellow stains and discoloration
  • Use microfiber cloths to buff off fingerprints by wiping appliances in the same direction as the grain
  • Spot treat any stubborn grime and build up that’s present
  • Always use proper, safe cleaning solutions and products
  • Buff and polish appliances after cleaning to add extra shine
  • Maintain your stainless steel appliances by regularly wiping them down with a gentle cleaning solution and microfiber cloth

Explore affresh® appliance cleaning products

Whether you’re cleaning your dishwasher, cooktop or washing machine, affresh® appliance care makes maintaining your appliances simple with our line of cleaning products. Affresh® appliance care goes beyond the common clean for carefree appliance maintenance to help you easily care for every appliance in your kitchen.