Stainless steel countertops are incredibly easy to keep clean due to there being no seams in the surface material to collect dirt. Simply wipe away any debris, use a stainless steel cleaning spray to remove steaks and fingerprints, and carefully work out any dents or scratches. With proper cleaning care, you can keep your stainless steel looking brand new for years to come.
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How to Clean Your Stainless Steel Countertops
Cleaning stainless steel kitchen countertops is a simple and straightforward process. Below are the best steps to clean them.
Wipe Away Food, Liquids, and Debris
Use a clean, dry microfiber towel to wipe any food, liquids, or other debris from your stainless steel countertops. To avoid damaging your countertops or leaving tough-to-remove streaks behind, always wipe in the same direction as the grain of the stainless steel. Next, grab a second microfiber towel and get it damp, but not dripping wet. Use the damp towel with some mild liquid dish soap to wipe away any stains or markings. Again, remember to only wipe with the grain.
- Use soft microfiber towels and mild dish soap to wipe stainless steel counters.
- Always wipe in the same direction as the grain. Never wipe against the existing stainless steel grain.
- Certain gentle powder cleaners can help clean tough spots.
If mild dish soap and water do not clean away all the grime from your stainless steel countertops, use this gentle cleaning scrub to help finish the job. If your stainless steel countertop is covered in dried, crusted debris, use a microfiber towel with hot water to soak the dirty area. Then, using something like a squeegee or rubber spatula, carefully get under the material and pry it loose. If the tough stains don’t come loose, continue adding more warm water to help loosen them. Dispose of the debris when it is all loose.
Clean Off Fingerprints and Watermarks
Once you’ve given your countertops a thorough wiping, it’s time to remove any remaining fingerprints or watermarks. Use a clean microfiber towel with this stainless steel cleaning spray to wipe away any smudges or marks. Work quickly, but with care, to avoid leaving any chemicals on your stainless steel countertop for too long. Don’t leave any cleaner residue on your counter or it will show streaking.
- Use a stainless steel cleaner to remove watermarks and fingerprints.
- Do not ruin your counters by using a non-stainless steel-safe cleaner.
One of the biggest issues with stainless steel countertops is their persistence to show fingerprints and watermarks. Only use a product that is safe for stainless steel when removing these markings. Products that are too abrasive will cause damage.
Remove Any Minor Scratches or Dents
Like fingerprints and watermarks, stainless steel countertops are also susceptible to dents and scratches. Use this gentle cleaning pad to work out any minor markings. Perform soft, gentle strokes, starting from the outside of the scratch or dent, and working your way in towards the center. The objective is to get the light scratches to blend into your stainless steel countertops. Again, always wipe in the same direction as the grain of your countertops to prevent further damage. If a thin scrubbing pad doesn’t work, upgrade to a slightly more abrasive pad.
- Use a lightly abrasive cleaning pad to work scratches and dents out of your countertops.
- Following the grain, stroke from the outer portion to the inner portion of any dent or scratch.
- Professional help is required for larger dents and scratches in stainless steel countertops.
A cleaning pad will not be able to remove large scratches or deep dents from your stainless steel countertops. These types of blemishes require professional assistance. Contact a local metal fabrication company to assist with large damages or deep scratches to stainless steel countertops.
What Should You Not Use on Stainless Steel Countertops?
There are several household products you should not use on your stainless steel countertops. These products include:
- Scouring Powders: Never use a cleaning powder, like Comet, to clean your stainless steel countertops. These chemicals can easily damage the surface. Use a stainless-steel-specific cleaning product instead.
- Chlorine Bleach: Avoid using chlorine bleach at all costs when cleaning your stainless steel countertops as it will pit and stain them.
- Ammonia: Using ammonia and alkaline-based products can warp the color of your stainless steel counter, leaving it looking darker than normal. Avoid these types of cleaners.
- Steel Wool: harsh scrubbing pads, like steel wool, will leave your stainless steel countertops with unnecessary scratches and bumps. Instead, opt for a gentle cleaning pad to scrub away grime.
Can You Use Vinegar on Stainless Steel Countertops?
While vinegar is okay to use when cleaning your stainless steel countertops, it isn’t recommended. A high-quality stainless steel countertop made with at least 18% chromium and 8% nickel should be able to withstand the slight acidity of vinegar, but leaving your counter exposed to vinegar for too long could damage it. Ultimately, it’s not worth potentially damaging your stainless steel countertop with vinegar when other products are available.
Can You Use Windex on Stainless Steel Countertops?
Because Windex Original is an ammonia-based product, it is not recommended for use on your stainless steel countertops. With that being said, not all Windex products are off-limits. This ammonia-free Windex can be used to wipe fingerprints and smudges off your stainless steel countertops.
How Do You Clean Stainless Steel Kitchen Worktops?
To clean your stainless steel kitchen countertops:
- Wipe away any liquids, foods, or unwanted debris.
- Clean water spots, streaks, and fingerprint smudges with a stainless steel-specific cleaning spray.
- Use a gentle cleaning pad to buff out scratches and dents.
- Avoid using scouring powders, abrasive pads, bleach, and ammonia products. Each of these can damage stainless steel.
Regular maintenance will leave your stainless steel countertops looking good as new. Be sure to check the product label of any cleaning product before use, to make sure it does not include ammonia or bleach.