The 7 Best Stainless Steel Cleaners to Give Appliances a Polished Finish
Invest in the best stainless steel cleaner for all of your appliances and household surfaces.
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From appliances to sinks and cookware, stainless steel is one of the most popular finishes—and for good reasons. “Stainless steel is a popular material for kitchen appliances, utensils and surfaces because of its durability, resistance to corrosion and sleek appearance,” explains Alicia Sokolowski, president and co-CEO of AspenClean.
Unfortunately, cleaning stainless steel can be tricky. “Stainless steel scratches easily and risks damages if using the wrong cleaning products,” says Sokolowski. This is why investing in the best stainless steel cleaner and learning how to clean stainless steel is absolutely crucial and prevents lots of heartache and money loss in the long run.
The best stainless steel cleaners
- Best overall: Therapy Clean Stainless Steel Cleaner Kit
- Best budget: Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner
- Best wipes: Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner Wipes
- Best eco-friendly: Method Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish
- Best for appliances: Magic Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish
- Best for cookware and sinks: Weiman Stainless Steel Cookware and Sink Clean and Shine
- Best for grills: Bayes Stainless Steel BBQ Cleaner and Protectant
Best overall stainless steel cleaner
Therapy Clean Stainless Steel Cleaner Set
With an average of 4.6 stars with 17,000 ratings, Therapy Clean Stainless Steel Cleaner Kit lands on the top for the best stainless steel cleaner. Like all the other Therapy Clean products, the solution consists of plant-based ingredients and boasts USDA BioBased and cruelty-free certifications. Scented with lavender essential oils, it smells a lot better than other stainless steel cleaners. Most importantly, it makes cleaning stainless steel appliances, sinks and other surfaces a breeze.
It “does not leave a greasy residue behind and goes on smoothly with minimal buffing,” claims professional house cleaner and verified purchaser Chrystal. Use it everywhere including the stovetop, microwave, oven, fridge, toaster, all silver appliances, door handles and knobs, dishwasher, faucets and inside the sink and on countertops. Buy as a set with a bottle of Therapy Clean Stainless Steel Cleaner and a microfiber cloth or buy a two or six-pack and save even more.
- Cleans and polishes multiple stainless steel surfaces effectively
- All-natural formula with little scent
- Certified cruelty-free
- Nearly 18,000 Amazon ratings and a 4.6-star average
- Some reviewers wish the product had more of a scent
Best budget stainless steel cleaner
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner has quite the cult following and with good reason. The budget-friendly product cleans not just dirt, grease, food spills and more but effectively cleans, polishes and protects stainless steel in a single step. The cleaner is also effective on tile floors, countertops, auto interiors, patio furniture, tools and so much more.
- Best inexpensive stainless steel cleaner
- Cleans, polishes and protects stainless steel in one step
- Over 2,300 Amazon ratings with an average a 4.7-star average
- It’s not a designated stainless steel cleaner
Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner Wipes
Cleaning wipes are genius, offering a one-and-one approach to cleaning. Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner Wipes are the top-selling stainless steel wipes for a reason: they work and no rag is needed. With tons of positive reviews, the unscented wipes are one of the best stainless steel cleaners on the market. One reviewer, Dee McBee, who has tried “countless” products maintains that “these sheets are the easiest to use and the shine holds up.” The wipes also erase streaks and handprints, leaving appliances shiny and looking brand new.
- Wipes are more convenient and don’t require a microfiber cloth or rag
- Over 1,400 Amazon ratings and a 4.7-star average
- Wipes tend to be more expensive than bottled cleaners
- May dry out if left open
Method Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish
Method is always a reliable brand for eco-friendly but effective green cleaning products, and the Method Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish is no exception. Formulated with plant-based ingredients with a natural “apple orchard” scent, the solution removes dirt and smudges while shining stainless steel up like new. The bottle itself consists of 100% recycled and recyclable plastic, while the cleaning product is without BPAs, phthalates, silicone and parabens and is certified cruelty-free.
“This stuff is epic! I am blown away,” writes Kesha P., a 5-star reviewer on Grove. “Nothing else works this well so easily. My stainless was disgraceful, and this made it look brand new with one easy application.”
- An eco-friendly stainless steel cleaner that works and smells fantastic
- The bottle is environmentally friendly, made out of recycled plastic
- Some people complain it streaks
Best for appliances
Magic Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish
When cleaning stainless steel appliances there is generally more area to cover, which makes aerosol a wise choice. Magic Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish leaves behind a protective layer repelling everything from dirt and dust to water and fingerprints, keeping appliances clean and sparkling. The product works best for use on refrigerators, sinks, ovens, grills and other small appliances like mixers and microwaves.
With over 4,300 5-star reviews on Amazon, the cleaner and polish is clearly a fan favorite. “It really does take care of smudges, water drops, fingerprints and grease splatter and leaves my stainless steel appliances spotless,” writes verified shopper Nele.
- Aerosol spray makes it easy to clean large appliances
- Removes smudges, water spots, fingerprints and even grease effortlessly
- A little expensive, but worth it
- Aerosols may spray too far
Best for cookware and sinks
Weiman Stainless Steel Cookware and Sink Clean and Shine
Specifically formulated for stainless steel cookware, sinks and flatware, this Weiman Stainless Steel Cookware and Sink Clean and Shine has become a quick hit with Amazon shoppers with over 1,000 ratings, averaging 4.3 stars. The pH-neutral formula quickly cleans, shines and protects without scratching surfaces, eliminating stains, rust, lime, tarnish, soap scum and hard water deposits. “I’ve never seen a product bring such shine to a stainless steel sink,” writes Barbara A. Barclay, a verified Amazon shopper.
Another shopper, Josh S. notes that his children “lit oil on fire” in one of their stainless steel pans. After scrubbing with soap and trying the vinegar hack they purchased the product and the burns “came off pretty effortlessly,” he claimed. “Restored in less than five minutes.”
- Specifically formulated to clean and shine stainless steel cookware, flatware and sinks
- Very popular with Amazon shoppers
- Over 1,100 Amazon ratings and a 4.3-star average
- Hard to find
- Does not remove scratches
Best for grills
Bayes Stainless Steel BBQ Cleaner and Protectant
Because grills and BBQs are generally exposed to more of the elements as they are kept outdoors, finding the right product to clean and protect them from additional environmental factors, including sunlight, rain and snow, is important. Bayes Stainless Steel BBQ Cleaner and Protectant is one of only a few products specifically formulated for this exact purpose. The oil-based formula cleans, polishes and protects the exterior and interior of the grill. This cruelty-free product consists of ingredients without any harsh chemicals.
Five-star reviewer Landon E. says, “It cleaned my grill up nicely and required very little effort on my part. Pretty much just spray and wipe it off. I wish I would’ve bought this sooner. I think my grill would look even better.”
- Highly rated stainless steel cleaner and protectant
- Specifically formulated for grills and BBQs
- Cruelty-free and formulated without harsh chemicals
- Over 700 Amazon ratings and a 4.3-star average
- Available on Amazon and Walmart
- It leaves behind a slight oil residue, but this effectively protects the stainless steel.
What to consider when buying the best stainless steel cleaner
Consider the type of stainless steel surface when buying the best stainless steel cleaner. While some cleaners may safely clean a variety of surfaces, others have formulations for specific types, like sinks, cookware or grills. Sokolowski stresses the importance of checking the manual before cleaning stainless steel surfaces, as they will usually explain what type of cleaning agents to use and those to avoid.
Additionally, some types of stainless steel appliances have a special finish or coating that requires specific care instructions, including brushed or satin finishes that are easily scratched or dulled by abrasive SOS pads or acidic cleaning agents.
Other factors to consider include price and the type of cleaner.
Types of stainless steel cleaner
Stainless steel cleaner comes in a few different forms. The most common include spray bottles, pour bottles and wipes. Pre-soaked wipes may be more convenient for some people since it eliminates the need for rags or paper towels to clean. However, wipes generally cost more than bottles filled with solution. Also, consider making your own homemade cleaners.
How we found the best stainless steel cleaner
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
How often should you clean stainless steel?
How often one should clean stainless steel depends on a few factors, but primarily on the frequency of use. In smaller households without children, you won’t have to clean them as often as in homes with multiple members and children frequently touching them.
Can you use stainless steel cleaner on black stainless steel?
According to Frigidaire, use gentle, non-abrasive stainless steel cleaners “sparingly” when cleaning black stainless steel. Alternatively, they recommend using basic soap and water or two tablespoons of baking soda to one quart of water.
Can you use glass cleaner on stainless steel?
Never use glass cleaner on stainless steel, primarily because many of them contain ammonia and other chemicals that damage stainless steel finishes.
How do you remove stains from stainless steel?
After applying stainless steel cleaner or a DIY mixture, clean the stainless steel by wiping it in the direction of the grain using a microfiber cloth.
- Alicia Sokolowski, president and co-CEO of AspenClean
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