The 7 Best Stainless Steel Cleaners 2023


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Jul 03, 2023

The 7 Best Stainless Steel Cleaners 2023

Every item on this page was chosen by a The Pioneer Woman editor. We may earn

Every item on this page was chosen by a The Pioneer Woman editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

We asked the experts, they answered!

There's more to a clean kitchen than wiping down your countertops, scrubbing burnt food particles in your oven, and, of course, mopping up the occasional splash of marinara sauce from your floors. You need to give your stainless steel appliances some love, too. There's a reason why this material is everywhere in your kitchen, from your dishwasher to your refrigerator (and it's even used for your favorite tumblers!): Stainless steel is durable, resistant, and looks pretty darn good, too. That said, finding the right cleaner for your appliance isn't exactly easy. Stainless steel might withstand stains and corrosion, but it's not impervious to scratches or other forms of damage. "If you use the wrong cleaner, you may cause permanent stains or water spots," explains Alex Varela, general manager of a Texas-based cleaning service called Dallas Maids.

When it comes to finding the right formula for your stainless steel appliances, you'll want to think about your cleaning cadence. "Think of your type of kitchen, how often do you cook, and [whether] you use your stainless steel cleaners frequently," Varela adds. "This way, you will know if you need a heavy-duty stainless steel cleaner, or if you prefer something tailored for everyday use." And, of course, you'll also want to factor in price and formula type such as powder, spray, or soap.

But, then what? To help, we tapped a few experts to share their top stainless steel cleaners. Whether you want to give your refrigerator a deep, thorough clean or a simple swipe, these picks will have your appliances shine in no time.

With over 8,000 reviews and a near-perfect score on Amazon—not to mention the brand's "#1 Bestseller" badge—Weiman's Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish is a consistent crowd-pleaser. With a pH-neutral formula, this option cleans, polishes, and protects stainless steel.

In fact, Adam Moore of Paradise Home Cleaning says it's the only stainless steel cleaner his team uses. "What to look for in a stainless steel cleaner is a product that is effective in removing fingerprints, dirt, and grime while leaving a protective barrier to prevent future buildup," he explains. "It has stood the test of time—over 50 years—and remains the most effective stainless steel cleaner on the market."

If you want a stainless steel cleaner that can do it all—clean, polish, and protect—you can't go wrong with Zep's Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish. "Zep is my recommended brand because it is low residue and most stainless steel cleaners leave a lot of residue behind which can leave more dirt," says Chris Willatt, owner of Alpine Maids. "[It] will repel dirt and grime if used correctly by wiping right after you spray."

The cleaning brand has been in the business since 1937, so its formulas are built to withstand the test of time. (In fact, this specific option is also compatible with aluminum, chrome, and other metal surfaces.) Available for under $10, this pick is budget-friendly, too.

If "eco-friendly" is at the top of your wish list, pick up a bottle of Therapy's Stainless Steel Cleaner Kit. "It has plant-based cleaning agents, it's effective, and if you use a spray cleaner, it will last for a long time," Varela says. Therapy's cleaner might be a gentler alternative to harsher formulas, but it still packs a punch. "It goes the extra mile with a natural coconut oil blend that adds a layer of protection without compromising the layers underneath," add Javier and Rebeca Medina, co-founders of Tidy Home Cleaning Services in Houston, Texas.

Smudges and fingerprint marks can happen quicker than you can open your freezer—especially if you have kids in your home. So, doesn't it feel like your stainless steel will be perpetually smudgy? Well, thanks to Sheila Shine's Stainless Steel Cleaner & Protector, it doesn't have to be this way. Not only does this aerosol can give your appliances an easy, streak-free clean, but it also creates a protective layer that resists fingerprints, grease, and other nasty marks.

"[It's] a cleaner that also protects your surfaces to keep them looking new for longer," says Practical Perfection's Michelle Hansen, who credits Sheila Shine as a personal favorite. "This is what the professionals use in five-star hotels!"

The one caveat is that the original Sheila Shine harsh is made with harsher chemicals—and not distributed in some states like California. Don't worry: The brand came out with a low-VOC alternative to give you some peace of mind.

When you think of the stainless steel in your home, you might immediately envision your kitchen sink or dishwasher—but what about your pots and pans? Bar Keepers Friend's Powdered Cleanser has been a cleaning staple mainstay since the brand's founding in 1882—and it's a particularly good option for the smaller items. Simply shake over your utensils or cookware, scrub with a dishcloth or sponge, and rinse!

"This versatile cleaner is gentle on stainless steel surfaces and can also be used on other materials such as porcelain and ceramic," explains Rocky Vuong, owner and director of an Australian cleaning company called Calibre Cleaning. "It effectively removes stains, tarnish, and rust without scratching surfaces."

Though buying a specific stainless steel cleaner for your sinks might feel a tad over-the-top; however, Hope's Perfect Sink Cleaner and Polish is specially designed to make this overlooked area shine—literally. Not only does this formula clean and polish stainless steel, it also works on other materials like cast-iron, acrylic, and composite.

Where there's stainless steel, there's also a threat of rust infiltrating your silvery, shiny surfaces. The good news is that even your stainless steel is a little dingy, hope is not lost. In addition to the typical fingerprint smudges, Affresh's Stainless Steel Brightener is built to tackle rust and yellow areas. All you need to do is use a dry cloth to apply it to your stainless steel, let it sit for a few minutes, lightly scrub, and rinse away! According to the brand, Affresh claims that its brightener is recommended by top appliance brands like Whirlpool, KitchenAid, and Maytag.

Kelsey Mulvey is a freelance lifestyle journalist, who covers shopping and deals for Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, and ELLE Decor, among others. Her hobbies include themed spinning classes, Netflix, and nachos.

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