Best way to clean stainless steel appliances (and keep them clean)

Let’s get this up front – I am not sponsored in any way by Pledge or SC Johnson. This is a totally unbiased user review by someone who stumbled onto great advice.

I could not keep the stainless appliances looking good

The house I moved into came with new GE appliances. While the French door refrigerator is really pretty, the noise from it is enough to drive me insane so I called GE to have it checked out.

I thought my stainless steel appliances looked terrible. A neighbor had told me a repairman said to use WD40 – I thought that was a gross idea, tried it on a spot and didn’t like the result. I read a blog that suggested all you needed to have gleaming stainless was water and a microfiber cloth. Maybe so, but that method was extremely work intensive and didn’t last 5 minutes. I tried stainless steel cleaners and the appliances still didn’t look nice. It annoyed me every time I walked in the kitchen. I wanted to know how to clean stainless steel appliances!

Anyway — I asked the GE repairman if he had any suggestions for cleaning them. Oh boy, did he.

Pledge on stainless

He asked if I had a can of Pledge. I did. He told me he’d do the right side door of the refrigerator. These were his recommendations for cleaning all your stainless steel appliances. This includes refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, microwaves, coffee makers, etc. If it has stainless put Pledge on it.

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  1. I suggest you run your hand over the surface of the appliance before so you know how stainless steel feels without Pledge.
  2. For appliances with a large amount of stainless and no glass (refrigerators and dishwashers) put towels down on the floor to protect it from spray. I learned this the hard way when I oversprayed Pledge on hardwood at my previous house and both me and the dogs would almost slip and fall every time we walked on that spot.
  3. For smaller appliances and appliances with glass, spray a heavy coating of Pledge on a cloth and apply to the stainless. The other option is to spray Pledge directly on the appliance and spend some time cleaning the Pledge off the glass. I applied it to a cloth.
  4. For large appliances: spray Pledge on heavily and swirl it around really getting into the stainless. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to soak in. You don’t need to worry about the grain of the stainless. He suggested wiping it heavily in circles so that it really gets into the surface.
  5. Use an old t-shirt to thoroughly remove the heavy coating of Pledge. Again, don’t worry about the grain of the stainless and wipe in circles, changing to clean areas of the cloth until all the Pledge is removed.
  6. Now run your hand over the stainless. It feels like satin. It’s wonderful.
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Left door coated with Pledge

After doing this to my refrigerator it was absolutely gorgeous. Best part is that it takes minor touch-ups once a week with Pledge to clean up the splatters from the ice maker/water dispenser in the door and the messy fingerprints on the handles. I live alone and am the only person who cooks in my kitchen – I can’t figure out what idiot keeps grabbing the refrigerator door handles with slop all over their fingers…

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Pledge on Corian

The GE guy said Pledge is also great on Corian and did a small area. I have since Pledged the living daylights out of the countertops in the kitchen and both bathes. You really have to feel the surface before and after. There is a rough drag when you pull your fingers across the surface before. When you coat them with Pledge everything slides effortlessly across the surface.

Corian will need to be re-coated more often since you’re constantly wiping your counters down, but it even makes that easier since stuff seems to stay on top of the Pledge. I went hog-wild and did the entire kitchen and both bathrooms. The Corian looks awesome.

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I am SO glad I asked the GE repairman the question and really appreciate his information.

Follow up: I’ve been using Pledge to clean my stainless steel appliances for over a month and I’m amazed how clean they are staying and how easy the once a week touch up is to keep them looking great. If my water/ice dispenser on the refrigerator didn’t splatter so much my fridge would look perfect all the time.



Best way to clean stainless steel appliances (and keep them clean) — 26 Comments

  1. Wow ! I just got a beautiful Thermidor stainless steel slide in oven and dishwasher ! I was wondering how to keep it “pretty”. I’m going to try this tomorrow, might do the corian counters too. Thank you, Stacy

    • I know stainless steel finishes can vary — the Whirlpool refrigerator I had before this GE didn’t fingerprint. I hope the Pledge works well on your Thermidor.

    • Did it work on your Thermidor? I have them too and I’m worried to ruin them cuz they were so expensive. Please let me know your feedback on the pledge

      • My refrigerator was a GE. The Pledge should be removable. Try it on a small area (maybe the side?) to see how it works. If it looks good then complete the job.

  2. When you said to swirl it into the stainless before letting it sit, what did you use to swirl it? A cloth? Your hand? I need specifics 😊

    • I just used my hand in circular motions until I felt the Pledge was worked into the grain of the stainless well and then let it sit for a few minutes before buffing it off. Let me know if you need more specifics.

  3. I just saw your blog for cleaning stainless steel. I have a dishwasher that is always nasty looking even though I clean it all the time. This is the first thing you see when you enter my home as I live in a raised ranch and the kitchen is at the top of the stairs. I am definitely going to try this on all my stainless. I bought stuff to clean stainless–it cost big bucks but does not do a BIG buck job. Gona pledge all my stuff now.

  4. I used on one door of my Viking 48″ “double wide” to compare. Unfortunately WD 40 side still seemed to work better on Viking. I also tried on my undercounted ice maker (whirlpool). I won’t say it looked better than WD40 but it looked as good on that Stainless. So I believe it may be the type of stainless on each brand that influences the individual outcomes. Thanks for sharing though!

  5. Thank you so much for this post. I have been hating my appliances and ready to get rid off them since I couldn’t get them to look nice. I used your method on all of them, LG fridge, Kenmore dishwasher, KitchenAid oven and Sharp microwave. It’s been a week and they still look clean, I can’t believe it :). Even my husband keeps saying they look brand new.

  6. Anyone with a ice maker on out side of the refrigerator, I use a flexible popcorn tub, put it under ice maker pinch it partway closed, and I never get crushed ice or cubes spitting anywhere but in the flexible tub.

  7. I use Olive oil and water. It’s all natural, cheaper and leaves a amazing shine. I add olive oil to shine everything in my house except glass. Fill a spray bottle with water, add 2 TBS. Olive oil.

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