Cleaning Stainless Steel - from the Range Cooker Experts

One question we are asked on a regular basis is “What is the best way to clean stainless steel?” and there is no doubt that, despite being a great-looking and very practical finish for domestic appliances, stainless steel does present more of a cleaning issue than an enamelled or painted surface. Many years of selling and displaying stainless steel range cookers have taught us a trick or two about keeping the inevitable finger-marking at bay, and we are happy to share our experience.

Brushed stainless steel will always show fingermarks as the natural grease from our skin embeds into the tiny grooves of the surface, and this effect will vary according to the particular grade of brush used in the steel’s manufacture. It is a similar story with cleaning, as some grades are harder work than others. All should respond well to cleaning, though, so do not be too put off the idea of a stainless steel range cooker or other appliance.

What is Involved?
In cleaning stainless steel we are aiming to do two basic jobs - to degrease and remove finger marks, then even-out and safeguard the finish. Before the introduction of proprietary stainless steel cleaning fluids, people would often resort to a two-stage process involving vinegar or a gentle surface cleaning fluid and, more controversially, baby oil.

Baby Oil? No thanks
This seems to have become a popular notion at some point, but we have never been a fan of this solution. It may have a pleasing effect initially, leaving a nice, even sheen, but it will eventually be come rather sticky - if you have a dog or cat you could soon find your appliance covered in an unsavoury layer of hair.

Modern Solutions - Get the basics
• A good stainless steel cleaning spray (see below)
• Soft application cloth
• Micro-fibre cleaning cloth - for final polishing. Initially marketed as E-cloth, these are now generically available in supermarkets and can really get into the grain to do a thorough job.

Microfibre Cloths

The Technique
• Always aim to clean the whole panel in one go, with broad sweeps, rather than in small areas.
• Apply the spray in moderation to the panel, or to the application cloth - it doesn’t need much to be effective.
• Polish with a separate and clean micro-fibre cloth.
• Always wipe and polish with the grain of the steel rather than in a circular motion.

Cleaning Products - Our Favourites
Any good, gentle and non-abrasive surface cleaning solution will work reasonably well in combination with a micro-fibre cloth and the right technique, and we particularly like the Australian citrus-based cleaning product Kitchen Power in this respect, as it seems to contain the right sort of residue to leave an even finish. Other cleaning fluids may do a good job of degreasing, but may leave a smeared or uneven finish, so the best solution is a proprietary stainless steel cleaning fluid, but these can vary.

Good - The best widely available product we have discovered is Cif Stainless Steel (around £4 for 500ml), which does a good job of cleaning but also contains a good polishing agent which leaves a nice, even sheen. There may well be some other good ones out there, but you will not go far wrong with this one, and you will find it very readily in your supermarket.

Stainless Steel Cleaners

Better - We have had even more impressive results with a product - simply called Stainless Steel Cleaner - available online through As the name implies, this company specialises in this area and the product really does seem to do what it claims, making the job a lot easier and quicker and the results are extremely pleasing. Although it is a little more expensive at around £8 for 750ml, a little should go a long way, and as we have a lot of display cookers to clean we find it is well worth it!

Not Convinced?
If you like the look of stainless steel but cannot face the prospect of cleaning it, why not consider a range cooker in Silver instead of stainless? There are some great products in silver enamel or painted finishes - CLICK HERE to see what is available, or call us on 01244 402975 to discuss the options.

Definite No-nos
Never use abrasive pads or cleaning creams on stainless steel, as they will irreversibly mark the surface.
Never use chlorine-based products like bleach, as these will etch into stainless steel and ruin its finish and hygienic properties.

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