How to Clean Your Stainless Steel Appliances

The other day my sister and I were enjoying a rare lunch date together and “talking shop”. We were brainstorming ideas for our respective websites (you can wander over to my big sisters blog: Camp Wander) when she mentioned that I simply HAD to do a post about how to clean stainless steel in the kitchen!  Since I don’t have any stainless steel appliances, it hadn’t occurred to me that this would be an issue for people who do. But according to my sister, it’s a BIG issue! She said she has tried countless store-bought cleaners to try and restore the clean and shine to her stainless steel appliances, but to no avail.

Of course when I hear “store-bought cleaners”, I tend to get a little nutso! lol.  So I decided I was going to find an alternative for her ineffective and over-priced arsenal of cleaning products that weren’t doing squat for her stainless steel.

After a LOT of research I came up with what I THOUGHT sounded like just the ticket! But of course not having anything in MY “test kitchen” to try it out on…I had to send the formula over to Rebecca’s beautiful, newly remodeled kitchen for actual testing.  So thank you Rebecca, for helping me out with today’s blog post and for helping out your fellow stainless steel afficionados.

The stainless steel cleaner “recipe” I found comes from Leslie Reichert’s book, “The Joy of Green Cleaning”.

(You can also view the video here)


1 cup of baking soda
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tablespoons Borax
Club Soda

Combine first 3 ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Then add just enough club soda to make a thick paste.

Dip a rag into the paste and rub onto your stainless steel appliances. Gently then wipe off with wet rag.

Four simple ingredients that will leave your stainless steel appliances SPOTLESS!

Here is photographic evidence:









Wow!  Look at the shine on that thing! Doesn’t it look nice??  (I’m trying really hard right now not to be jealous of her beautiful new kitchen!)

Rebecca wanted me to pass this along:  “I have countless cleaners for stainless steel and none come close to this kind of clean and shine!”

Pretty high praise I’d say!

Stainless steel appliance owners: you now have a powerful ally in the fight against smudges and fingerprints…..

go forth and clean!


Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Jillee's FREE email newsletter and receive more great tips and ideas!



  1. jenna says

    even easier….friend’s cleaning lady mixes 1/3 pine sol and 2/3 water in a spray bottle. spray on and wipe off with a soft, dry cloth. sparkles! the pine sol cuts the grease from fingers.

  2. says

    Jenna, I’ve tried that too. You’re right, it does cut the grease but stainless steel can also get something like hard water stains, I’ve had a drip mark on my stainless steel dishwasher that ran from top to bottom. Nothing has touched it until this. It’s the grit of the baking soda I’m sure that removed it. This concoction actually buffs the stainless, it’s really nice!

  3. Patty says

    I’ve been bugged by a drip-line myself, Rebecca, on our dishwasher, so I’m very excited to try this! Nothing I’ve used has touched it yet. Thanks for being Jillee’s test subject!

  4. Patricia says

    DIY a few years back suggested using plain ole’ olive oil. I have tried it and it does work fab, but Jillee is great at find workable alternatives. However, olive oil is cheap and super easy.

  5. Eileen says

    WD-40 works for me! I clean with fantastic, then give a quick spray of WD-49, wipe off with a soft cloth and it’s beautiful and shiny. Keeps fingerprints away for the whole week too!

  6. says

    Your miracle cleaner (hydrogen perxyde / baking soda) did a great job on my stainless steel stove. Maybe I´ll try this one too, but what is club soda? Is it just bubbly water? (I´m german and I just don`t know). Please enlighten me!

  7. says

    I infuse a rag with baby oil, and seal it in a ziploc bag. just polish the stainless with the rag. it will get rid of water stains, and even prevent fingerprints. don’t use too much oil, just a small amount, and then buff the surface with a dry rag.

  8. Kim says

    Ok here’s one that’s even easier- use a soft dusting cloth sprayed with ….furniture polish!! no kidding it really works! So when you are all done dusting head to the kitchen and hit those appliances too. Removes smudges, fingerprints, drips. Does not smear and acutally seems to prevent future ones.

    • says

      Can’t wait to try this, thank you! Have used pledge on my fridge , oven, dishwasher and trash can. It seem to prevent the fingerprints, smudges, and dirt from comming back. This seem like it would be great for water makrs etc.

  9. Amanda says

    Olive oil is probably the best method I have tried yet…. until we got a dog. He follows up our cleaning with a good licking of the dishwasher. Plan B was WD 40 but I feel bad about the spray/chemical use. I will give your mixture a try soon.

  10. Rick says

    I mixture that I just tried this weeekend that worked wonders was equal parts baby oil and rubbing alcohol. Mix in a squirt bottle and buff with a plain rag. Shined just like new and dries quickly. No harsh chemicals and way cheaper than olive oil. Fingerprints and stains were wipped away in a flash.

  11. Amy says

    I use Norwex microfiber cloths- they are awesome for removing all of the grimy fingerprints and spatters! This looks good for a once in a while deep clean, but for a really easy fix, try the microfiber!

  12. Jeanne says

    I too have had it with Stainless Steel cleaners that just don’t work. My dishwasher looks the same and I have not previously been able to get rid of the water drips. Plus I have problems with actual DIRT. Small and messy kids leave food-based fingerprints all over the place and it’s really hard to get off. Not to mention the water spots from when hubby just uses the dishrag to wipe it off. I’m just too lazy to use the elbow grease needed to combat the water marks AFTER scrubbing down with cleaner to get off the food. Totally trying this~ thanks so much!!!!

  13. Tracy Bruce says

    I just learned a great stainless steel cleaning tip from Glenda. One word: WD-40. Is that a word? Just spray WD-40 on your stainless steel an buff with a soft cloth. It cleans and shines at the same time. And the longer you use it the better the appliance looks. It’s not natural or organic but it works great!!!

  14. Becky says

    I have a beautiful set of Princess House cookware that I have displayed on a rack, but since I’ve started getting a non stop supply of recipes on pinterest, they are getting a ton of use and looking a little dingy. Do you have any ideas on how to clean them? I have a gas stove and they have marks from the burners.

  15. melmazur says

    Yes! It worked! After years of trying commercial products and many home remedies, this is the ONLY one that works and gives a streak free shine. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  16. says

    This worked wonderfully! Question though, I had about half left over because we only have a couple of stainless appliances.. can you store it? Or do you have to make up a new batch every time?
    Kaitlin :)

  17. Joan says

    Hi Jillee
    I have another solution for stainless steal…after I wash my dishes, I use the wet dishrag to wipe off the “big chunks” of grime, then wipe down the appliances with olive oil! Works like a charm and is easy.

  18. Atonda says

    We bought a stainless steel refrigerator 7 yrs ago and I regretted it up until now because I could not keep it clean and fingerprint free. But just recently I discovered a Simple homemade remedy so easy and my fridge looks clean and new all the time. NO finger marks nothing, it even took the water mark off that gets on the door from the water and ice dispenser. All it is 2 ingredients equal parts baby oil and alcohol put in a plastic bottle with a dispensing cap shake to mix pour small amount on a clean cloth and wipe on your appliances then wipe off with dry cloth and voila clean and shiny. Now I want to replace all my appliances.

    By the way I love your blog. About 6 months ago I started turning my house around and becoming a frugal house wife. It takes a little effort but it is so much fun. Keep the blogs coming.

  19. Kara says

    Thanks for the GREAT recipe. When we bought our appliances the salesclerk gave us a great tip for keeping your stainless looking great in between cleanings…car wax. Just rub it in then buff it off like you do for your car. It really helps repel fingerprints and dirt!

  20. Jodi says

    I tried this and made a huge mess! The paste dried and got all over the floor. Had to wipe repeatedly to get the paste off the appliances. I didn’t use a ton. My dishwasher looked the same as the “during” picture. It looks great but I’d definitely wait to vacuum and mop until after doing this! What’s the definition of “thick paste”? Maybe mine was too thick…can you give me a should look like “this”?

  21. Karen H. says

    I think I have tried every store-bought stainless steel cleaner known to man…. and I’ve lost count of how many homemade versions I have tried. But I finally found the answer for me. It is both simple and works beautifully! I simply rub a small amount of coconut oil on with a microfiber cloth, then buff with a clean microfiber cloth. It shines likes nobody’s business… and it seems to resist fingerprints very well, too. Oh, and there’s NO STREAKS either!

    I use the same cloth each time I clean it, so now there is enough oil in it that I don’t need to add more. And because there isn’t much oil going onto the appliance, I sometimes don’t even need to buff with the second cloth!

    Love all your tips, Jillee! I have incorporated many of your recipes into my daily routine. I even got my folks reading your blog… and they have started making their own laundry detergent now, too. :)

  22. says

    Jillee, I used your new stainless cleaner today, and it worked great! I’ve tried every SS cleaner out there, including the one they sent with the appliances, and none worked very well, and some just plain didn’t work. I have 5 SS appliances, and on the front of the stove door and drawer, as well as the sides of the double door fridge, there seemed to be maybe burned on grease on the stove door, and just something that wouldn’t come off the fridge doors, but this mixture did the trick, and they look as good as they did on the showroom floor 7 years ago. However, I had the same problem as someone above–little pieces of the cleaner fell off of my cloth onto the floor in front of each appliance! I had to vacuum it up. Not a huge deal, but assuming I did not get it mixed to the right consistancy. As the mixture set in the bowl, some liquid formed on top, and I’d stir before I started on the next piece. At first I thought it was too thick, but when I added a bit of club soda, it was thinner, but it still fell off of my cloth. I stored it in a glass jar with a tight lid. Can I use it again? Thanks so much for this website; I’ve been making my laundry soap for a couple of years now, and using white vinegar as a rinse agent, with great results, and I’ve also made your all-purpose cleaner with good results. Thanks again!

  23. Safaia says

    The most amazing thing Ive seen is bleach. We bleach the tea pitchers because they get that nasty dark stain on them from the tea. When done I pour the bleach into the stainless steel sink and rinse. Its removed rings, spots, and everything else and keeps making it look like new. Maybe spraying it on the fridge and other appliances would work the same way?

  24. says

    I commented above, right after I used this cleanser, and my appliances looked wonderful, but a few days later, there was this white powdery film on all of my appliances, and it was really hard to get it off. I haven’t used it again, but have to clean tomorrow for Thanksgiving, so not sure what I’ll use. Any ideas why I had the white powdery film? Thanks.

    • KarenMO says

      Did anyone else have good results with this cleaner? I haven’t used it since, because of the mess it made, and then the streaks that appeared a couple of days later, so I’ve been using commercial since then. I guess I’ll try the baby oil/alcohol idea, and then maybe the WE-40. This thread has been silent for a long time. I’d like to hear from those who’ve had success with the powdered cleaner mentioned above, as I still have the amount I made up, and would like to use it, but not if it’s going to end up all over the floor, and then turn streaky. Maybe I’m doing something wrong? Any helpful info would be appreciated. Thanks!

  25. Jenny says

    I just tried this and agree with the other posts that it makes such a mess. I’m also wondering if anyone else saw what looked like lighter spots and darker spots. It makes me think this cleaner actually takes the finish off and maybe the lighter places are where I put more of the cleaner. I’m struggling to find a way to get these off, so any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  26. Marlyn says

    I had tried everything to get my stainless steel appliances clean. We moved and it was like there were fingerprints and hard water drips etched into them. Tried this last night and it worked! Even my husband noticed and said the appliances look brand new. Sure, the paste gets on the floor, but it took maybe 2 minutes to sweep it all up. As far as the streaking/residue issues that others had, what I did is after I wiped the paste residue with a wet cloth, I went over that with a cloth soaked in white vinegar, then buffed dry. I did a fridge, oven, dishwasher, and microwave in about 30 minutes. Well, make that 32 min with th sweeping. ;) Thank you for this!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *