How To Clean a Stainless Steel Cooktop
You probably have stainless steel appliances all over in your kitchen - stainless steel fridges, dishwashers and ovens which come to you in glorious mint condition, sparkling with a pristine gleam that is sure to stand the test of time. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, and you are often met with lackluster cooktops thanks to grubby fingers, water drips and occasional accidents, and you have no idea how to clean a stainless steel cook top.
To add insult to injury, the only way to restore the stainless steel seems to be those harsh chemical cleaning products advertised all over the media - promising to return your stainless steel appliances to their shiny robot-like origins. Needless to say, they are too expensive and potentially too toxic for a toddler-filled house.
Worry not, for here we are to save the day. The whole process is in fact pretty simple and shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes.
The Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances
Understand the grain of your cooktop
Much like wood, steel tops also have a grain. Grain refers to the very faint striations that are often detected as general ‘roughness’ if stroked in a certain direction. Oftentimes, though, the grain can also be detected by observing the vertically or horizontally running streaks. Normally, an entire sheet of steel will have a unidirectional grain.
Also, most appliances have other steel plates attached - these include handles and knobs. They may have a different grain, so watch out for that when you start cleaning.
Technically speaking, your appliance won’t be ruined if you don’t clean along the grain depending on what you are using, but it’s usually easier to cause scratches if you don’t follow the grain. The dirt may also sink deeper into the tiny invisible crevices of the grain. For the optimal shine, it’s best to go along with the grain.
Gathering your supplies
In order to get underway cleaning stainless steel appliances, you are going to need a few tools in your arsenal. Ensure you get the best stainless steel appliance cleaners you can get, not that they cost much anyway. They may just be lying around your house.
- Non-abrasive cleaning rag (preferably % cotton)
- Dish soap
- Baby oil or any other mineral oil (like olive oil).
- Paper towels (optional)
The actual cleaning process
Mild soap can be quite loveable and is really amazing for fighting off stubborn grime off of dishes, and stainless steel appliances. This is where the actual work begins; cleaning excess oils off the steel, and makes the next step even more enjoyable and rewarding.
- Apply a small amount of the mildest (and most effective) soap you can find to your cotton rag. Rinse the rag with a small amount of water - just enough to make it damp, not wet.
- Gently wipe along the grain of your appliance until the stubborn stains disappear. Fingerprints are usually extra stubborn, and you may need to go over them a few times more.
- When you are thoroughly finished and satisfied with the old, new pristine gleam, dry any wet water marks with a paper towel.
This is the part where you see all your hard work finally pay off.
- Dab a very small amount of mineral or baby oil on your second rag. A few drops of oil are usually more than sufficient for the whole process.
- Just like you did in the steps before, follow the grain of the steel appliance and move gently in either direction.
- Finish the polish, enjoying the optimal results thanks to your persistence, in what is the best way to clean steel appliances.
You're done with the cleaning of stainless steel appliances
The last step is to actually sit back and enjoy looking at the now spotless steel equipment.
General tips to clean stainless steel appliances
At this point, your stainless steel should once again be stainless.
Don’t forget to toss that rag in the washer!
Maintaining The Clean Stainless Steel Cooktop
Now that you know how to clean a stainless steel cooktop surface, and are the proud owner of a clean-as-new appliance, you should know how to maintain it.
- When scrubbing the surface of the cooktop, always ensure you clean along the grain. As with wood, scrubbing in the wrong direction will create unwanted and unpleasant scratches.
- Wipe and clean up spills as soon as you notice them, if you take more time, you are only giving it time to settle in the grain.
- Clean the cooktop frequently, if not, at least wipe it down with a damp towel. This will prevent grease and dust buildup that will make cleaning more difficult.
- If you ever find yourself in the inevitable stain conundrum (we all know they aren’t really stainless), first try getting rid of it with salt, but ensure you’re gentle. If it can’t come off, resort to other means.
You can follow the same procedure for your steel furniture or infrared sauna unit too and make it as good as new. It is so easy to clean your stainless steel appliances. Try it!