How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances look modern and sleek ... until they don't. When they're covered in fingerprints, smudges, and water stains —not so shiny anymore. Unfortunately, these marks show up fast and frequently in a busy kitchen. Luckily, you can make your appliances shine again with this stainless steel cleaner that not only makes surfaces sparkle, it disinfects, too. All you need are two simple ingredients.

DIY stainless steel cleaner
credit: Ana Stanciu

Things You'll Need

  • Distilled water, 3/4 cup

  • 70 percent isopropyl rubbing alcohol, 3/4 cup

  • Funnel (optional)

  • Spray bottle, 16 ounces

DIY stainless steel cleaner
credit: Ana Stanciu

Step 1

Measure and pour the water and rubbing alcohol into the spray bottle. You can increase or decrease the amounts of each — just be sure to keep a 1:1 ratio.

Rubbing alcohol is the key to shiny stainless steel because it evaporates quickly without leaving a residue. The spray also helps prevent appliances from picking up future smudges and fingerprints.

DIY stainless steel cleaner
credit: Ana Stanciu

Step 2

Replace the spray bottle nozzle and agitate to combine.

DIY stainless steel cleaner
credit: Ana Stanciu

WARNING: Rubbing alcohol has a strong smell so open the windows and ventilate if you're doing a lot of cleaning. And don't use this spray around heat or flames.

Step 3

To use, spray onto stainless steel and wipe up using a soft cloth. If you look closely, you'll see that stainless steel has a slight grain so always wipe with the grain of the appliance.

Because alcohol is antiseptic you'll be disinfecting your kitchen surfaces while you clean.

DIY stainless steel cleaner
credit: Ana Stanciu

This cleaner works well on your steel pots and pans, too!

DIY stainless steel cleaner
credit: Ana Stanciu

WARNING: Never clean stainless steel with abrasive cleaners or sponges, because this will create permanent scratches.

DIY stainless steel cleaner
credit: Ana Stanciu

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credit: Ana Stanciu
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credit: Ana Stanciu

Stephanie Gerber

Stephanie Gerber

Stephanie Gerber is the founder and editor of the beauty and wellness site, HelloGlow.co. She lives in Nashville with her husband and three children.