Glossy black refrigerators can create a striking design feel in your kitchen, but they are also difficult to keep clean. Scratches on the shiny, glossy surface of your refrigerator are often very easy to see and can become an eyesore. While you may not be able to remove all scratches, you may be able to clear up some scratches.
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Glossy Black Refrigerators
Most glossy black refrigerators, like cars, have a layer of paint beneath a layer of glossy finish. The base metal of the refrigerator is below both of these layers. Typically, light scratches only damage the shiny, hard layer of polish that sits above the paint. Sometimes, deeper scratches may penetrate the paint.
Each type requires a different method of repair. For light scratches, a few paint touch-up tricks from the automotive industry work just as well on refrigerators. For deeper scratches, the entire area will need to be repainted or possibly replaced, depending on the material.
Note that some modern glossy black refrigerators are actually made of stainless steel. The appearance of scratches on stainless steel can be diminished but not completely eradicated.
Scratches on automobile paint surfaces are very common, and there are a wide range of products available to help remove them. These products can also help you if your black refrigerator becomes scratched. The basic process for removing or repairing slight scratches is to buff the area with a polishing compound like Bar Keeper's Friend and then apply a layer of wax finish.
The polishing compound removes the scratch and the wax polish fills in the gap, leaving behind a smooth, flawless finish. In fact, popular appliance manufacturer GE recommends this method, specifying the use of an appliance polish to remove light scratches from its refrigerators.
Deep Scratches on Refrigerators
If the scratch is deep enough to remove the paint and the glossy finish layer, penetrating all the way down to reveal bare metal, the only way to fix the scratch is to paint it again. Some manufacturers have paint pens or touch-up paint available that matches the appliance color. Painting over the scratch, then polishing and waxing after it has dried is the only way to remove these scratches.
Fixing Stainless Steel Scratches
To remove scratches from stainless steel, use steel wool to help buff out the scratch. The steel wool will add more scratches to the stainless steel, so try to make sure you always move from side to side to create an even "grain" pattern. Then follow up with a polish like Barkeeper's Friend.
Preventing Refrigerator Scratches
Apart from repairing scratches to your black appliances, you can also take steps to prevent them. You should only clean glossy appliances with a nonabrasive soft cloth, such as a microfiber cloth or similar material. Don't use paper towels as they may leave tiny scratches.
You should also check the appliance's owner's manual for information on how to properly care for your refrigerator. For example, GE recommends applying appliance polish wax immediately after purchase and every six months thereafter to protect the painted finish and to keep the fridge looking like new.
Roger Thorne is an attorney who began freelance writing in 2003. He has written for publications ranging from "MotorHome" magazine to "Cruising World." Thorne specializes in writing for law firms, Web sites, and professionals. He has a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas.