LESLIE: Tom in Arizona with a question about how to clean stainless steel, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
TOM IN ARIZONA: Talk to me about this thing called “stainless steel” that stains: stainless steel appliances and how you clean them.
TOM: Yeah. Stainless steel and the stains that follow it, right?
TOM IN ARIZONA: Oh, yi-yi.
TOM: Yeah. You know, everybody thinks it’s indestructible and always stays beautiful and silvery looking and all of that. But it is indestructible but it doesn’t stay pretty. It’s used a lot in commercial kitchens for a very good reason: because it’s very, very durable. But if you want it to look shiny like chrome all the time, that’s just not going to happen. So, you’ve got to kind of accept that you’ll always need to clean stainless steel.
It’s like if you have copper – we had somebody that called once and said, “I can’t keep my copper gutters without turning green.” I’m like, “People pay extra for that. That’s called patina. It’s the natural way copper turns.” And with stainless, it’s going to get stained and it’s going to get discolored and you are going to have to polish it probably more than you’d like to. But that’s just kind of the way it rolls.
LESLIE: I mean it definitely is. And it’s interesting because some of the appliances have made that turn towards the non-fingerprinting stainless, because it’s amazing how quickly stainless steel does get fingerprint-y. And one thing I didn’t realize, which I should have before I got my stainless fridge, is that you can’t put a magnet on it. So then it’s like all the fun things you’d put up of your kids, it’s kind of useless. You can’t put any of those things up. And in fact, some now manufacturers are putting a magnetic backing on their stainless so that you can do that.
TOM: That’d be a big problem in my house. I don’t think I’ve seen the refrigerator door since it was delivered.
LESLIE: Right? It’s true but there are special products that are meant to clean stainless steel. It’s important that when you do clean the stainless that you wipe it in the grain of the stainless itself, because you can then scratch it and cause a weird swirling pattern. In my opinion, it’s gorgeous and I think it’s worth the work. So, it’s just something that you’ve got to deal with, unfortunately.
TOM IN ARIZONA: What products would you suggest or process to clean?
LESLIE: The one that I actually like to clean stainless steel actually comes in a wipe format and it’s called Weiman. It’s W-e-i-m-a-n. I know you can get it at Walmart or Bed Bath & Beyond. You can get it in a spray, you can get it in the wipe. I think the wipe just kind of makes it the easiest to deal with. Plus, then you end up with extra liquid at the bottom and you can use regular rags when you’re done. But I think the important thing is use a product that’s meant for stainless and you’ll find that you have good success with it
TOM IN ARIZONA: OK. Is there any type of polish to put over that then to help reclude getting stained again right away?
TOM: I don’t think so because you’re not going to be able to buff this to keep it clean in that sense. So, I think it’s just a matter of wiping it down on a regular basis. It’s more of a maintenance issue, Tom.
TOM IN ARIZONA: OK. Thank you very much.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.