How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances Frugally

How to clean stainless steel frugally

The Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

I recently moved into a home with stainless steel appliances and I love it! Pretty and shiny…until the kids touch it. No worries though, I’ve found that cleaning stainless steel can actually be pretty easy.

At first, I was using a cloth with soapy water, then wiping with water to rinse, then wiping the appliance dry with a microfiber cloth (always wiping with the grain, of course).

This worked fine, but I really wanted an easier solution..something I can just spray on and wipe off, easy enough for everyday cleaning. I tried one that involved vinegar, water, and Dawn, and it was okay but I managed to find an even better solution…

Before and after cleaning stainless steel

Cleaning Stainless Steel with Vinegar!

Oh, the many uses of cheap, simple vinegar! You probably already have some already. If you don’t, you should get some. A lot of the household cleaner recipes we like include distilled white vinegar. Plus, there are so many other uses for vinegar!

Right now, a gallon of Great Value brand vinegar at Walmart is around $2.39. Or you can buy the 2-pack of Four Monks brand vinegar gallon jugs at Costco for about $3.50. Cheaper than a gallon of milk and it will last a lot longer too! (But don’t try to drink it.) 😉

Cleaning Stainless Steel: Always go with the grain of the steel. Do not use abrasive or harsh cleaners. Dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

I usually don’t polish with the oil and I am still satisfied with my results. (The pictures in this post are from when I used vinegar only.) By the way, the vinegar smell disappears once the vinegar is dry!

Cleaning stainless steel appliances with vinegar

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that not all stainless steel is created equally. Some cleaning products work better on certain stainless steel appliances than on others.

For my stainless steel appliances, vinegar works great! In fact, my search stops here for now. I’m not even going to bother trying any more DIY stainless steel cleaners. None of them are as simple, easy, cheap, and they probably won’t work much better.

If vinegar doesn’t get the job done for you, here are some other options you can try…

Feel free to share your favorite tips & products for cleaning stainless steel in the comments!

Also, here’s an easy way to clean your stainless steel sink!

Sources: Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest pg. 181, CleanMama

Do-it-yourself stainless steel cleaner recipe

Types: Cleaning, Adult
Categories: Frugal, Inside The House, Natural, #StayHome


  • I definitely need a stainless steel cleaner! We’ve bought a fridge, dishwasher and oven that are from stainless steel and after using them for a month now I see that I will need a better cleaner to take care of the limescale and greasy fingers stains. I will try the vinegar spray! Thank you for sharing!

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