How do you polish stainless steel?
When most people hear the term “stainless steel,” they tend to think that the metal is resistant to rust and corrosion. In truth, stainless steel is exactly as its name describes – stain less steel. While more resistant than ordinary steel, stainless steel is not stain-proof, especially if it is in contact with a heat source for a prolonged period of time, it just stains less often than plain old regular steel. This is why you may notice the stainless steel objects around your home beginning to look a little worse for wear after a while. Luckily, there are a few different methods you can use to polish and clean that stainless steel back to its usual luster and shine.
Polishing Stainless Steel with Water
Sometimes, all it takes is a little warm water to wipe the dullness out of stainless steel objects. Just take a cloth that’s been dampened with warm water and wipe off the object. Then, before the water beads have time to dry, wipe the object with a clean, dry cloth. Shammies work excellent as they soak up the water instantly and can be used to buff the stainless steel at the same time.
Polishing Stainless Steel with Glass Cleaner
If you have a stainless steel object that you are not using in the kitchen, then glass cleaner with ammonia works brilliantly for polishing and cleaning it. This method makes easy work of removing old water spots and built-up grime that has accumulated on your stainless steel. However, once the cleaning is finished, be sure to rinse the object with warm water and dry it thoroughly to remove any chemicals left behind by the glass cleaner.
Polishing Stainless Steel with Vinegar
If you need to polish stainless steel items used in the kitchen, then vinegar can effectively get the job done. White and cider vinegar work equally as well, so whatever you have in your cabinet will do. Just moisten a clean cloth with the vinegar and start cleaning your stainless steel cutlery or other items. This same technique can also be performed using a mixture of olive oil and club soda.
Polishing Stainless Steel with Baking Soda
In a clean bowl, mix baking soda with some warm water until you make a paste. Use a clean cloth to rub the paste all over the stainless steel item and then rinse it with warm water and dry it with a clean cloth. The benefit of using this method is that it does not leave behind an odor, as using vinegar can sometimes do.
Polishing Stainless Steel with Specialized Cleaners
On the cleaning aisle shelves of your local discount mart you will see certain products sold exclusively for cleaning and polishing stainless steel. These are best used if the item you need to clean is highly tarnished or scratched. It’s important to know that not all of these products are safe for use on items that come into contact with food. Those that are will be labeled “food safe.” In addiction, you should only use these cleaners in a well-ventilated area while wearing a filtered mask. Before applying the cleaner to the entire item, try using it on an inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn’t cause any discoloration of the metal.
Stainless Steel Polishing Tips
Never use an abrasive substance to clean or polish your stainless steel as it will scratch easily. The same applies to brushes and scrubber pads. To keep the exterior in tact, you should only clean, polish and dry your stainless steel items with very soft cloths. Avoid using specialized stainless steel cleaners that contain chlorine, as it will more than likely damage the item. Instead, use a cleanser that contains ammonia.