How to Clean Stainless Steel With Vinegar

By Michelle Miley

The water spots, streaks and fingerprints that befoul the look of stainless-steel appliances and sinks can be removed with items you have in your pantry. White vinegar removes any marks or spots, and an olive-oil rubdown will have your stainless steel shining in no time.

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credit: Michelle Miley
Water marks and stains are easy to remove from stainless steel.

Get It Together

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credit: Michelle Miley
Generic white vinegar works as well as a name brand.

Collect the items you need so you have them all within easy reach. You need a soft, clean cloth, distilled white vinegar and olive oil.

Remove the Stains

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credit: Michelle Miley
Wipe down your sink or appliance with the vinegar.

Pour a generous amount of white vinegar on the cloth and use it to wipe down the stainless steel. For maximum cleaning power, rub with the grain of the steel. The grain appears as tiny, fine lines in the metal that run parallel to each other.

Polish It Off

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credit: Michelle Miley
An olive-oil polish removes streaks vinegar leaves.

Wet another section of the cleaning cloth or a new cloth with olive oil. Polish the stainless steel with the olive oil, using a circular motion at first, then moving with the grain of the stainless steel. Although rubbing oil on your newly cleaned surface seems counter-intuitive, it removes the streaks the vinegar left behind and leaves a nice polish on stainless steel.

Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor

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credit: Michelle Miley
After a polish, the streaks are gone and the stainless steel shines.

The olive-oil polish coat you put on your stainless steel helps prevent dirt from sticking and makes it easier to clean next time. Applied sparingly, it does this without leaving behind an oily residue. If it does leave residue, use less olive oil after the next cleaning.