9 Best Stainless Steel Cleaners of 2020
Keep stainless steel devices clean and smudge-free can seem like a thankless job. Just when you finally make it look perfect, someone reaches for a snack in the fridge, loads a glass into the dishwasher or tosses a frozen pizza into the microwave and in no time your kitchen is full of fingerprints.
By doing Good Housekeeping InstituteWe have rows and rows of stainless steel dishwasher, Refrigerators and Areas, Cupboards full Stainless steel cookware and stainless steel sinks in every lab so we know a thing or two about how to keep this metal clean. When testing stainless steel cleaners in the Good Housekeeping Cleaning LabWe go through the halls in search of as many surfaces that are sprayed with fingerprints and grease as we can find in our institute laboratories and test kitchens. And if our devices have no markings, we add some.
We check how well each product removes grease, food, and dust, how clean or messy it is to use and how easy it is to polish without streaks. Before and after cleaning, we measure the gloss with a measuring device and evaluate how well a protective coating that the cleaner leaves can withstand new fingerprints. As with any cleaning product, we check the label for clarity of instructions and any safety warnings that may be required due to the ingredients.
Here are the best stainless steel cleaners after our tests:
Best stainless steel cleaner overall: Magic stainless steel cleaner & Polish aerosol
Best stainless steel cleaning wipes: Weiman stainless steel wipes
Best stainless steel cleaner for cookware: Brillo Cameo aluminum and stainless steel cleaner
Best stainless steel cleaning cloth: Weiman stainless steel cleaning and polishing cloth
Best stainless steel cleaner for grills: Rock Doctor stainless steel cleaner & preservative
Best drip-free stainless steel cleaner: CLR stainless steel streak-free cleaner
Best stainless steel cleaner for stains: Affresh stainless steel brightener
Best plant-based stainless steel cleaner: Therapy stainless steel cleaner + polish
Best No-Buff stainless steel cleaner: Hope’s Perfect Stainless Steel Device Polish
Do you really need a stainless steel cleaner?
Devices require gentle, non-abrasive cleaning agents to avoid scratches and to maintain the protective coating of the manufacturers. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive, so it’s great for cleaning stainless steel sinks, cookware, and even removing coffee scraps from a stainless steel thermal carafe or Travel mug. For the routine maintenance of stainless steel front panels, however, we prefer products that have been specially developed for this order, such as those recommended by us. They are not abrasive and often have a protective coating to keep the devices clean for longer.
We recommend using baking soda if there are tiny rust spots on the front of your fridge or dishwasher. This means that the factory-applied coating has been damaged and the exposed metal underneath is starting to rust. In this case, apply a paste of baking soda and water to the areas with a soft cloth. Quickly rub in the direction of the grain, then rinse it well and polish it dry.
Best stainless steel cleaner overall
Stainless steel cleaner & Polish aerosol
This aerosol was in our test for how quickly it got rid of greasy splashes and oily fingerprints without streaks. It was very easy to use and left our fronts shiny and with very little residue for polishing. And because the formula applies a transparent protective coating when applied, we have found that it helps to ward off new fingerprints or at least make them less visible.
Best stainless steel cleaning wipes
Stainless steel canister wipes (pack of 2)
Pre-moistened and easy to use, Weimans wipes do a quick job Cleaning hard-to-reach areas, e.g. B. behind the handles of the device and around the toaster buttons. They are the perfect size for quick touch-ups and for cleaning and shining small appliances, dishwashers, microwaves and stoves. After wiping, just polish with a microfiber cloth to shine. The protective coating they leave also helps repel dust, fingerprints and dirt.
Best stainless steel cleaner for cookware and sinks
Cameo aluminum & stainless steel cleaner
No matter whether it is heat stains in a soup pot or leftovers that have been burned onto a pan, Cameo Cleaner is up to the challenge. This gentle grinding powder quickly cuts through dirt and polishes stainless steel and aluminum cookware to a shine without scratches. Mixed with a little water, a thin paste forms that adheres to deposits to get rid of them, but is still easy and clean to rinse off. It also works wonders on stainless steel sinks.
Best stainless steel cleaning cloth
Cleaning and polishing microfiber cloth made of stainless steel
A good stainless steel cleaner only does half the job. You’ll also need a great cloth to remove dirt and debris and polish the surface without streaks. Weiman’s fabric has a dual function – one side cleans while the other polishes. Soft ribs on the cleaning side move and gently lift the dirt without scratching while the polishing side removes streaks. This Good Housekeeping Seal star wipe is large, absorbent and machine washable and dryable to be used over and over again
Best drip-free stainless steel cleaner
Stainless steel cleaner
This aerosol CLR formula is released as foam and stays where you spray it. Particularly helpful on vertical surfaces, we found it good that we did not track any drops on the front of our dishwashers and that they did not drip onto the floor when we cleaned the angled control panels of the devices. CLR did a great job removing markings and the spray was easy on handles and knobs.
Best stainless steel cleaner for grills
Stainless steel cleaner & protective agent
Outdoor grills are often overlooked when cleaning and require additional muscles to look optimal when guests arrive. In our tests the Rock Doctor formula quickly cut through a greasy, dirty film on our test kitchen grill and left the control panel shiny and streak-free with minimal wiping. Also suitable for indoor units, after using Rock Doctor on a blunt dishwasher door, we actually saw our own reflections and couldn’t damage them with fingerprints no matter how hard we tried.
Best stainless steel cleaner for stains and rust
Stainless steel brightener
Despite its name, stainless steel can stain. Scratch your fridge or dishwasher and in a short time you will see tiny rust spots on which the protective coating has been damaged. In high heat, a stainless steel hob or pan may turn yellow or change color. Affresh is a clear liquid specifically formulated for these brands, not a normal cleaner or streak remover.
Simply apply something to a dry cloth or paper towel and dab the stain off. Let it rest for a few minutes and then wipe or scrub gently towards the grain. Finally rinse with water or a damp cloth and dry. Affresh has completely removed or significantly brightened some very old puzzle tracks on the front of a microwave in our GH cleaning laboratory in just one application.
Best plant-based stainless steel cleaner
Stainless steel cleaner & polish
With over 2,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, it’s safe to say that therapy is a consumer favorite. We not only found that it brightened and lit up a very streaky stainless steel freezer door. Herbal ingredients include a blend of lavender and vanilla essential oils – it smells amazing while you’re using it –and coconut oil to give a protective shine. A 16-inch square microfiber cloth for cleaning and polishing is included in the kit.
Best no-buff stainless steel cleaner
Perfect stainless steel-stainless steel polish
If you are in a hurry to clean up a lot of stainless steel, Hope’s is the best choice. It is The self-polishing formula dries quickly, without streaking and without additional polishing that some cleaners have to give a shine. And it only works with a paper towel – no additional towels are required. Hope’s is our go-to place to shine our stainless steel backsplashes during photo shoots, and it’s from the same company that makes our favorite window cleaner.