Things You'll Need
Stainless steel is an iron alloy that contains over 10 percent chromium. This metal is known for hardness and durability and is used in the manufacture of sinks, counter tops, utensils, cookware, appliances and much more. The chromium forms a hard oxide coating on the outer layer of stainless steel. This coating resists rust but if this layer is removed through wear, abuse, or corrosion the metal will rust like normal steel.
To protect the chromium layer on stainless steel, care must be taken not to be too abrasive when cleaning. This can be a challenge when things become stuck or burned on stainless steel items. Baking Soda is a non-toxic, earth-friendly cleanser that is gentle enough for use on stainless steel yet powerful enough to remove the toughest grime. This item is readily available in stores at a reasonable price.
Remove any loose grime or food from area with soap and water.
Spray remaining grime with warm vinegar until damp. Allow vinegar to soak for three to five minutes (longer for larger spots).
Sprinkle the grimy area liberally with baking soda. Scrub using a sponge dampened with vinegar. The combination of baking soda and vinegar will foam in a non-toxic chemical reaction that will help dissolve the grime. This foaming will not harm your skin.
Rinse the sponge and add more baking soda as needed. Keep the area moist as you scrub. Use a circular motion, scrubbing at various angles using moderate pressure on the sponge.
Rinse the area well with warm water.
Dry area with a soft cloth. This step helps to prevent water marks and rust.
Add a light coating of mineral oil onto stainless steel surfaces to bring out the shine when finished.
Make a paste of water and baking soda if vinegar is not available. A baking soda solution (3 tbsp. baking solda to 1 qt. water) can be used to clean the inside of stainless steel coffee pots.
Jean Brewer is a self-starting computer professional who has been writing since 2008. Her work can be found on various websites and she is the author of "How to Write and Sell an Ebook," "Where to Work Online" and "Professional Help: How to Prevent and Fix Malware, Viruses, Spyware and Other Baddies." She is a computer repair graduate of Harcourt Education Direct.