How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances | I’m Lovin’ It


Stainless steel appliances are known for their beauty and ability to be a clean surface that resists corrosion and rust.  Unfortunately,  stainless steel appliances are also know to be the source of great grief in many home kitchens, due to their ability to show every fingerprint, smudge and bit of residue left behind from daily use.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances at

(my 16 yo took this picture and insisted I use it! lol)


I’ve had Whirlpool stainless steel appliances in my kitchen for 5 months now.  If you own stainless steel appliances, you may be in the same boat I was in…… losing a battle……..a battle against fingerprints and smudges.  The grimy streaks were winning!

I whined to my friends about the smudges all over my pretty new appliances.  I asked everyone I knew, including Mr. Google, how to clean stainless steel appliances.  I got a slew of answers, from window cleaner to alcohol and baby oil, to simply pure water and numerous specially formulated cleaners.  I tried, a clean dish cloth, paper towels and cloth diapers.

Nothing was working.

I vented my frustrations one day when I was on the phone with Jim,  product manager at Whirlpool, when he told me something that changed my life! He said he uses affresh™ Stainless steel cleaner and a microfiber cloth.  Jim told me he sprays the cloth with  affresh™ Stainless steel cleaner then wipes down his appliances and has had great luck with that method.

 cleaning stainless steel with affresh TidyMom

To be honest, I doubted it was going to work, but figured what did I have to lose?  I already had a bottle of affresh™ Stainless steel cleaner and a clean microfiber cloth.

As soon as we hung up the phone I headed to the kitchen to give it a go.  To my amazement it WORKED!!!

  1. If appliances have visible grime and food, take a clean microfiber cloth and a little warm soapy water to wipe down surface (always wipe with the grain of the stainless steel).  Then take the same cloth, rinse it well and wipe down surface again, removing soapy residue.
  2. Use a dry microfiber cloth and to spray the affresh™ Stainless steel cleaner on the cloth, NOT on the appliance (I usually just give it 2 squirts – don’t saturate the cloth)
  3. Wipe entire surface in the direction of the grain.
  4. Flip microfiber cloth over and buff surface using a little elbow grease until shiny!

I still have to clean them daily, but I have to tell you, I recently hired a cleaning lady to help me out a few times a month and when she walked into my kitchen she said “your appliances look AMAZING! how do you keep them so clean?!”  ….TRUE STORY!

affresh stainless steel cleaner


  1. Do NOT use anything abrasive, such as steel wool or scrubber sponges. These may scratch the finish.
  2. Never clean in circular motion or against the grain.  Always clean stainless steel with the grain.
  3. Never use chlorine bleach on stainless steel.  It will ruin the finish.
  4. Do not allow residue to sit on surface.  Grime, dirt and cleaning products should be removed as soon as possible.
  5. Do not expect stainless steel to look beautiful on it’s own.  It’s going to take a little elbow grease and good daily maintenance to keep it looking shiny.

Not only am I still using the affresh™ Stainless steel cleaner on all of my stainless steel appliances daily, but I REALLY think the key is to use a microfiber cloth (I keep two that are only used on my appliances) and to spray the affresh™ Stainless steel cleaner on the cloth, NOT on the appliance.  I’m now winning the battle with the fingerprints and smudges……and the BEST part….my appliances are clean AND streak free!! (so many other methods would remove smudges, but then left streaks).

I talked to the people at affresh™ and they said they’d be happy to hook up some TidyMom readers with their Stainless steel cleaner!

Win affresh stainless steel cleaner at TidyMom

Giveaway!  3 (three) lucky TidyMom readers will win 2(two) 16 oz bottles of affresh™ Stainless steel cleaner + 1 microfiber cloth

Giveaway has ended.  Congrats to Julie B and Meredith H

How to enter:  Simply leave a comment on this post telling me if you’ve had trouble or success with keeping stainless steel appliances clean.  (as always,  if you are reading this via email or rss reader, you must click over to the blog to enter)

For an extra entry:  You can share this post on pinterest, twitter, google+ or facebook and leave a comment letting me know you shared it (one extra entry per person)

Giveaway sponsored by affresh™. I was not compensated for this post, but I do have a working relationship with Whirlpool – I truly use and love this product and wanted to share!

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. Open to US residents only.  Must be over 18. Giveaway will end on Feb 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm CST. Three (3) winners with a valid entry will be selected at random using Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected. TidyMom and affresh™ are not responsible for lost or undelivered emails.  Prize: 2(two) 16 oz bottles affresh™ Stainless steel cleaner – value ($6.99/bottle) and 1(one) microfiber cloth

WHERE TO BUY affresh™ Stainless steel cleaner

you can purchase affresh products online from Whirlpool and Amazon, or at your local Best Buy, Home Depot, Walmart, and Target.

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I’m Lovin’…….affresh™ Stainless steel cleaner

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Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog,, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+


  1. I left a message on Facebook about Affresh.

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  3. With my two kids… stainless refrigerator has finger prints on it ALL the time. I could so use this!! My kids are 7yrs. and 4yrs. old. So, you know mine needs cleaning!!


  5. we just recently started phasing out our black appliances for ss & i have not been able to keep the finger/paw prints off!

  6. Yes, I always struggle to keep my SS appliances clean….thanks for the tip!

  7. I pinned it!

  8. I have only tried Method -would love to try this product!

  9. If you already had a bottle of affresh, why did you try everything else first?

  10. Just bought our first new fridge and it’s stainless steel. Would love to try this product!

  11. Repinned giveaway on pinterest as well

  12. I find that a little WD 40 does a cheaper and better job!

  13. If you already had a bottle of Affresh in the house why didn’t you try that before all of the other things and before making the call to the Whirlpool guy?

    • I had tried it – but not with the microfiber cloth and I had never sprayed it on to the cloth…….I was spraying it on the appliances directly. —- I had been chatting with Jim from Whirlpool about something else when the topic of how I clean my stainless steel came up – so I didn’t call him looking for a solution – but it’s funny that he suggested something I had already tried, but had not applied it the way he instructed me to……and THAT is why it worked this time, and not before.

  14. Already had it but didn’t use it correctly? No, sounds to me like you’re just shilling for Affresh. Judging by your website, you are getting paid by them to push their product. Not being mean, just don’t like someone thinking the average person is that gullible. I tried windex, worked perfectly!

    • Sorry, but you are wrong . You have it all backwards- I did have a working relationship with Whirlpool – and was frustrated with finding a way to keep my ss appliance clean, so when they suggested I try the Affresh with a microfiber cloth and it worked I was SO excited and wanted to share it with my readers, so I asked if they would be interested in giving some away so my readers could try it as well.

      Today – 8 months after my post, it’s still the ONLY way I clean my appliances. Even when I have a cleaning lady, she is instructed that exactly how I want my appliances cleaned using this method only.

      Windex made my appliances streaky, so it didn’t work for me- but if it had, I would have written about that – I truly love writing about what I use and what works for me…… the only one who is gullible, is someone who thinks I would only write about something because I’m being paid for it. – FYI I was not paid to write this post.

      • Hi Cheryl,
        Thank you very much! I had purchased a bottle of Affresh awhile ago and I thought it was an awful product, because it left streaks across the fridge. I threw it into the back of the closet thinking it was a big waste of money. I was surfing the net trying to figure out what else I could use and ran across your posting. I sprayed the product directly onto the cloth and it worked like a charm. I don’t really mind what people believe, because your post helped me a lot!

        Thanks again. Cheers!


  15. I would love to clean my stainless steel with just water after all the things that I have tried and have not worked….

  16. This may not get posted,but i found a very good product for S/S at Home Deport Magic S/S cleaner not streaks and so sparkling clean

  17. Plain old Pledge works great for keeping all of my SS appliances looking great!

  18. I am wishing I had purchased white appliances! I guess I need to try your suggestions. Windex did not work for me either. I did purchase another brand of cleaner that didn’t work. Maybe a microfiber cloth is key. Hmmmm. Thanks for the info.

  19. I agree that this post feels very commercialized with all of the the Amazon affiliate links and MANY MANY URL’s to the product.

    The sad fact is that these “cleaning” product companies are confusing what is really going on with stainless steel. You don’t need to CLEAN anything, it’s almost impossible to clean stainless steel entirely because there are millions of tiny, micro-scopic pores, cracks, and streaks that make up the surface of stainless steel (that’s how it has a “grain” direction). The streaks and fingerprints you see are what’s left after cleaning the top of the surface and the oils that got there from fingers, etc. are inside the hard-to-reach grooves like hiding in a mountainous valley. All you have to do is fill in the valleys. Olive oil will do this nicely. Think of it like sanding and priming wood. Fill in ALL the gaps with oil and there’s no place for the fingerprint oils to go. Just wipe occasionally with the grain and it’s like “painting” the steel over anew. The only thing is that the olive oil (or any other oil that you use) will attract dust more than raw steel will, but a simple wipe will make it all go away.

    Not only does olive oil work on all of my S/S Frigidaire appliances, but it’s also safe for kids and pets because it’s just olive oil….no chemicals.


    • Hi I really have to agree that this post is sponsored and it screams of it, I happened upon this site because i was considering being a stainless steel stovetop cooker and wanted recommendations for cleaning before committing. I appreciate all the comments in the post with tips from other poster but will not be back to the “Tidymom ” site for advise as it looks way to commercial unfortunately

      • really?………because stil today that method is EXACTLY what I use to clean my ss appliances EVERYDAY. I used it, loved it and wanted to share it…….I then asked the company if they wanted to provide some for my readers…… I contacted THEM, because I loved it and I was NOT paid to write about it.

        I have since tried a few other methods, and nothing cleans my appliances and leaves them streak free like the Affresh and micro fiber cloth do……… I blog to share what works for me, I’m not clear on why that would be offensive to you.

    • I do not earn affiliate money from amazon – this post has one link to the Affresh on Amazon, and one to a microfiber cloth on Amazon…..and one more link to amazon at the end – how is that a ton of amazon links?

      • I’ll be happy to give it a try. My ss fridge is driving me crazy. Especially since we’re remoldeling and the carpentar has been moving it back in forth – with no gloves of course. It seems like the marks and finger prints are now under the surface. I bought some ss cleaner from Lowes, followed the directions (spray on appliance, use microfiber cloth in circular motion with grain, buff when done). Yea, it works great on the areas without a finger print or other marks. Doesn’t seem to remove anything. Thanks for sharing. I’ll give it a try.

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  22. By the looks of some of your respondants, it seems as though some people just want attention. The whole point is that we are looking for answers. It’s great if we don’t have to buy something, but folks, we pay for the things we have and sometimes it takes a bit more to take care of it . Thanks for the tiip!

  23. You don’t have to make excuses to anybody. Some of the comments are so negative. Who cares if you got a little money for advertising? That’s what blogging is all about. For some people, it is their only source of income.
    Anyway, I just got all new stainless steel appliances yesterday. I am anxious to try this. My hubby is checking our local grocery store.
    Thanks so much for your informative blog.

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  25. Wow, TidyMom, I am sure that when others have found something that works for whatever reason, they have been excited to share it with their family and friends. You found something that works, and you were soooooo excited to share the GREAT tip.
    Lighten up, folks.  I know a lot of people have hated stainless steel after they got it because it was always marked up with smudges.  This lady has simply told us about a great way to have the appliances sparkling.  If you don’t want to use it, fine!  But, stop being so mean to her.  Besides, with her great tips, it would be nice if she earned a few dollars for her great tips that can save us time and money AND frustration.
    Keep up the great work, TidyMom.  🙂

  26. I am going to move to a new apartment and there all of the kitchen appliances are made of such stainless steel material and I had no idea how to clean them. So, thanks a lot for the article! You helped me a lot!

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