Here’s How to Clean Stainless Steel

With our modern households and appliances, it’s likely you have stainless steel in your kitchen at this very moment. Whether it’s a pots and pans for cooking, a refrigerator or even a stainless sink, that shiny surface is made from the same material. And stainless steel looks best when it’s clean and free of smudges and fingerprints.

We get it—kitchen cleaning can be a hassle. But we know lots of easy ways to fight fingerprints and keep stainless-steel appliances looking nice and shiny.

Methods for Cleaning Stainless Steel

Cleaning stainless steel doesn’t have to be a hassle—you may already have what you need in your kitchen cabinets. These methods make it super easy to make your stainless steel gleam.

How to Clean Stainless Steel with Dish Soap

First up, it’s our trusty kitchen cleaner—dish soap! All you need to do is put a small drop of dish soap on a microfiber cloth, then add a splash of warm water. Wipe down the stainless steel, rubbing with the grain of the metal. Then rinse it off to prevent staining and spotting from soap residue. Lastly, towel dry the metal.

To clean the microfiber cloth afterward, toss it in the wash with other lint-free fabrics and dry it on low or no heat. Or, if your dryer doesn’t have those settings, let the cloth air dry.

How to Clean Stainless Steel with Glass Cleaner

If you have stubborn fingerprints that can’t be wiped away by dish soap, grab a bottle of glass cleaner. Spray a little bit onto a microfiber cloth, and as always, rub in the direction of the grain of the steel. Rinse and towel dry the metal to prevent any spots.

How to Clean Stainless Steel with White Vinegar

If you haven’t used white vinegar to clean, you’re missing out on a cheap, easy solution. For stainless steel, just spray a little bit of distilled white vinegar on a microfiber cloth and rub in the direction of the grain. This method will get rid of especially stubborn grime and fingerprints in a jiffy!

Vinegar, however, is a bit more acidic than other cleaners, so while you can use it for sinks as well as cookware that’s been discolored due to heat, be more careful about appliances. Test it out on a small corner of your appliance to make sure there won’t be any problems.

How to Clean Stainless Steel with Stainless Steel Cleaner

Can’t remove that grease no matter what? You might want to grab a bottle of stainless-steel cleaner. These specialty cleaners are made for hard-to-tackle stains, and they won’t leave any marks on your appliances or cookware. Just grab a microfiber cloth, spritz on a little cleaner, then rub in the direction of the grain.

What to Avoid While Cleaning Stainless Steel

When it comes to stainless steel, there are a few things you should definitely make sure don’t get anywhere near it. These include:

  • Abrasive tools: it might be tempting to use steel wool or a metal brush to get rid of particularly stubborn grease or dirt, but these can scratch your stainless steel and increase the possibility of rust.
  • Bleach or strong cleaning solutions: These can damage and stain your stainless-steel appliances, leaving them pitted.
  • Dirty sponges or cloths: Always make sure you’re using something completely clean on your stainless steel. Other cleaning solutions or bits of debris (like crumbs) can scratch and discolor your steel.
  • Hard water: This might be difficult if not unavoidable, but if you can, try not to use hard water while cleaning as it’ll probably leave water stains behind. Distilled or filtered water is your best bet.

By Amrita Thakkar and Melony Love for Taste of Home©

Source: Here’s How to Clean Stainless Steel (

How to Clean Your Really Grimy Windows

Because you probably need to

Access to natural light can make or break a space. But before you move into the apartment with southern-facing gems, make sure you know how to clean windows. There’s a lot of research that suggests having plenty of access to sunlight is good for your health and happiness, but grime, buildup, and otherwise dirty windows can be a buzzkill when you’re trying to bask in that afternoon glow.

Learn how to clean your windows in no time.
Photo: matspersson0/Getty Images

Dishes get scrubbed, clothes get washed, and floors get mopped, but all the while, windows hardly ever get cleaned. And that’s probably why your openings to the outside world are covered in a layer of dirt and maybe a few smudges, too. Thankfully, you don’t have to live with this obstructed view for long, because you’re the grownup who’s about to learn how to clean the really grimy windows of your home. Make this part of your spring-cleaning ritual and your windows will be clear and perfect in time for all that summer sunshine just around the corner. Below are simple cleaning tips so you can clean your windows like a pro.

Grab your supplies

No matter what type or how many windows your home has, your artillery of window cleaning products will be pretty similar. However, you do have a few options for how you stock your supplies. At a minimum, you’ll want some kind of cleaning solution and a way to wipe the windows until they sparkle.

For a DIY window cleaning solution:

If you’re all about that DIY life, we’ve got just the thing for you. Combine two parts water with one part white vinegar in a spray bottle and you’ll be all set with a homemade window cleaner. You can also combine warm water with a few drops of dishwashing soap if you prefer.

For a hassle-free store-bought cleaner:

If you’d rather go the store-bought route, there are plenty of commercial window cleaning solutions or sprays, like Windex, on the market, and many will work really well for your window washing. Just try to avoid glass cleaners that are ammonia or alcohol based, as these may leave streaks or light films that attract more dust down the road.

Wiping supplies

Whether you’re going the DIY or store-bought route for the cleaning solution, the best way to wipe down your windows is with a clean microfiber cloth or wipe. This is key for streak-free windows. Squeegees can also work well if you’re putting lots of water on the windows—just avoid paper towels as they can leave lint films all over your glass windows. For outside windows, grab a broom just in case there are any cobwebs or sticks on the window frame that may need to be knocked down.

Another simple trick: It’s never a bad idea to place a bath or beach towel underneath the window before getting started. This will catch any excess water, drips, or spills and keep you from making another mess while you try to clean.

For the inside of windows

Once you’ve got your cleaning tools, it’s time to do some minor prep before you get started on the actual cleaning. Similar to sweeping your floors before mopping, you want to get rid of any dust or particles on the glass before you go in with wet products. Gently wiping a dry microfiber cloth, a lint-free cloth, or a duster across the glass should do the trick. Don’t forget to dust the frame and windowsill while you’re at it.

Next, spray your solution, then take your microfiber cleaning cloth and wipe in Z-shaped motions to dry and clean the windows.

If you need more cleaner than a spray bottle can give, use a plastic bucket with warm water and a few drops of dish soap (or your vinegar solution) and a squeegee to wipe up soapy water with long, even swirls starting from top to bottom.

Don’t be surprised if you need to do more than one round of cleaning, since dirt may have been on your windows for years. Take your time, and enjoy how meditative that sweeping squeegee motion can be.

For the outside of windows

Exterior windows often get dirtier than the inside panes since they’re exposed to rain, dirt, and other elements. To get rid of water spots and other stains, start by rinsing the window down with your hose. Mix your vinegar or soap solution in a bucket, then use a sponge mop or microfiber cloth to go over the glass. Rinse again with the hose then use a squeegee to dry the window. It’s best to start from the top of the window with the squeegee blade angled toward the bottom.

Lastly, remember that window screens should be cleaned, too. Spray soap and water on them, and they’ll dry naturally.

For high-rise or apartment windows

Don’t think that just because you live in an apartment or other building with high-rise windows you can’t have glistening windows like everyone else. Start by seeing if you can remove your panes from their frames. If so, then all you need to do is pop them out, line them up, and scrub them down.

It can be an acrobatic feat to clean windows that can’t be moved, and no one is asking for you to scale a building so that yours can gleam. Instead of stretching your arms to wipe down tilted windows, or trying to figure out how to manage others that can’t be moved, opt for this gliding cleaner to remove dirt with ease. A strong magnet keeps the outer piece in place as you move it across the pane, making for an almost effortless process. Just make sure you buy the right one for the thickness of your windows.

If you don’t feel safe cleaning your windows solo—or you’d rather use that time on something else—that’s not a problem. Either ask your neighbors or landlord if there’s a professional cleaning service nearby that you can hire, or seek out that pro yourself.

Article by Kelly Dawson and Katherine McLaughlin

Source: How to Clean Windows Safely & Easily | Architectural Digest | Architectural Digest

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