Scratches may show up over time on your sleek stainless steel fridge. However, they can be fixed with a few easy steps. Most appliances are made of home-grade stainless steel. Always check with your manufacturer to be sure what type of stainless steel you have before attempting to remove scratches.
Buff Scratches on Fridge Door
If the scratches on the fridge door are shallow, you can buff them out with some nonabrasive cleaning products and a microfiber cloth. Professionals recommend Bar Keepers Friend Powdered Cleanser, 3M 36101 Perfect-It Gelcoat Heavy Cutting Compound and whitening toothpaste. How Stuff Works recommends Comet and Revere Stainless Steel and Copper Cleaner. If you are using a powdered fridge scratch remover, add water to it slowly until you have the consistency of a paste.
Put the cleaner on the microfiber cloth and rub with the grain. Make sure the cleaner gets into the scratches. Add more cleaner if needed and keep buffing until the scratches are no longer noticeable. Once you are done, get a clean microfiber cloth and wet it slightly to remove any cleaner.
Making DIY Polish
Once you have buffed the scratches, you can polish the stainless steel for extra shine. There are many store-bought products that will get the job done. If you want to make an inexpensive and all-natural cleanser, try flour and a soft cloth as a stainless steel polish. Make sure the surface is clean and dry and then add a small amount of flour and rub with the cloth. This method adds some shimmer and can even remove stains.
Sanding Stainless Steel
For more substantial scratches you can use sandpaper. Check with your manufacturer first because sandpaper comes in many different grits, some coarser than others. You want to select the right one for your appliance and not cause any more damage.
Keep in mind, you can only sand if you have plain, uncoated stainless steel. If you have a fingerprint-resistant clear coat or you have simulated stainless steel, do not use this method as it could cause damage to your appliance. Begin sanding on a less visible area and always go with the grain. Start with the finest grade of sandpaper and sanding fluid.
If no progress has been made after sanding for several minutes, then go up a grade to a coarser grit. Once the scratches are sanded away, sand the rest of the panel to blend in and match. After you are done, spread on a stainless steel polish or cleaner.
You can also use wet sandpaper for more substantial and noticeable scratches, according to How Stuff Works. When wetting the sandpaper, make sure it is labeled as wet and dry sandpaper. Some sandpaper can only be used dry, or else wetting it will make it disintegrate and tear. Make Magazine suggest wetting the sandpaper with water and liquid dish soap or WD-40 on metal as a lubricant. Soak the sandpaper for at least 15 minutes before using, but it can even be soaked overnight.
Stainless Steel Repair Kits
You can also purchase some stainless steel repair kits. How Stuff Works recommends the Siege 63001 Stainless Steel Sink and Cookware Scratch Remover pack or Scratch-B-Gone kits. They contain all the materials needed. However, they may cost a little more than buying the materials separately. You can also get a professional stainless steel scratch repair service to do the job for you.
- How Stuff Works: How to Remove Scratches From Stainless Steel Appliances
- Family Handyman: Stainless Steel Scratch Remover Tricks for Appliances
- Family Handyman: How to Polish a Stainless Steel Sink With a Pantry Ingredient You Already Have
- Make Magazine: Wet Sanding Gives Your Projects a Scratch-Free Finish
Meg Scanlon earned a Masters from Johns Hopkins University. Her writing can be found on Hunker, Cuteness, Funny or Die, BarkPost, Taste of Home, LoveTV and ALittleBitFunny.com.