Stainless steel refrigerators became popular because they are durable and look clean and shiny. However, if left alone, grime, dust, dirt, and fingerprints will cover its smooth surface. If you want it to stay looking freshly bought from the store, you need to know how to clean a stainless steel fridge.
The proven way of keeping stainless steel fridges looking good as new is very easy. Just follow these straightforward steps:
- Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle.
- Spray the vinegar on your stainless steel fridge.
- Get a clean microfiber or cotton cloth and wipe the vinegar from the fridge.
- When all grime, dust, and dirt are removed, and the fridge is dry, dip a clean microfiber or cotton cloth in olive oil.
- Wipe the olive oil on the fridge’s surface along the direction of the grain of stainless steel. This will leave a deep shine on the metal surface.
If the fridge is not wiped dry, hard water will leave stains on stainless steel and other metal surfaces, usually with ceramic tiles, concrete, and masonry surfaces.
Vinegar removes these stains and disinfects the metal surface at the same time. Wiping the metal surface with olive oil once it has dried will make the stainless steel shine.
Read on to learn more about the many ways of cleaning your stainless steel refrigerator, the materials you need, and how you can make it look good as new.
How to Clean a Stainless Steel Fridge?
Many homeowners have found the best way to clean a stainless steel refrigerator. This way only requires the use of common household items and accomplishing straightforward tasks. There are just four items that you will need:
- White vinegar,
- Three pieces of clean cotton cloth or microfiber cloth,
- Olive oil, and
- Spray bottle.
In this method, white vinegar will act as the active cleaning agent. You will need the spray bottle to spray the vinegar on the stainless steel surface of the fridge. Three pieces of cotton or microfiber cloth are needed.
They will be used to apply or dry the vinegar and the olive oil. Once you are finished with the application of olive oil, dry it off with a clean cloth.
You can also use clean paper towels to remove dirt on the fridge, being careful not to leave any lint behind. Olive oil is used to restore the original sparkle of the stainless steel surface.
1. Clean with White Vinegar and Olive Oil
Prepare a spray bottle, white vinegar, microfiber cloth or clean cotton cloth, and olive oil.
Then, follow these steps:
- Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle;
- Spray a little amount of vinegar directly onto the metal surface of the fridge. You can also pour a small amount of vinegar onto the cloth and wipe it on the fridge. Use a non-abrasive cloth if you don’t have microfiber cloth. Anything abrasive will leave scratches on the stainless steel surface;
- Wipe the metal surface. Make sure to follow the direction of the grain of the stainless steel. You can figure out the grain’s direction by looking at the striations on the metal. There will be just one direction on the entire door of the fridge;
- You may need to re-apply the vinegar to remove all the dirt and grime on the metal surface;
- Once the surface is clean, dry it with a non-abrasive cloth;
- Get another clean cloth and pour on it a small amount of olive oil; and
- Wipe this cloth on the clean surface, again following the grain of the metal. The olive oil will leave a shine on the stainless steel surface.
2. Clean with Soap or Dish Detergent and Baby Oil
You will need a clean cloth or towel or clean rags, soap or dish detergent, and baby oil for this method:
- Put some dish detergent or soap on a clean rag or cloth;
- Add some water to wet the cloth and wipe it on the metal surface going with its grain. You may need to wipe stubborn dirt and grime several times to remove them;
- Dry the wet streaks with a clean cloth or towel; and
- Add some drops of baby oil or mineral oil to a clean cloth and wipe it on the metal surface following the grain. You can wipe it forward or backward as long as it is along the grain of the metal.
3. Clean with Baking Soda and Warm Water
Another best way to clean a stainless steel fridge is by using baking soda combined with warm water. You will also need cleaning rags or microfiber cloths for this method:
- Combine the baking soda with water to form a paste. Make enough amount of paste for cleaning the stainless steel fridge;
- Layout some old rags or newsprints on the floor at the bottom of the fridge. This will take care of the accidental spills of the cleaning agent;
- Dip a clean rag into this paste and then gently rub the rag in the metal surface of the fridge;
- There will be some white residues that the baking soda paste will leave behind;
- Dip another clean cloth or rag in warm water and wipe the cloth on the white residues to remove them;
- Once the residues are removed, towel-dry the whole metal surface of the fridge;
- Once the surface is dry, get a microfiber cloth and polish off the metal surface. You can also use a polishing cloth for this; and
- Traces of rust on a metal fridge can also be removed using this method.
4. Clean with Glass Cleaner
If you have a brushed stainless steel fridge, you can use a glass cleaner to make it look fresh again. You will need a glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth.
- Get a commercial glass cleaner and spray some of it in a microfiber cloth;
- Rub the cloth gently on the metal surface of your brushed stainless steel fridge where dirt and grime are present. Do it with circular motions;
- Repeat this procedure to remove all the accumulated dirt on the surface of the fridge;
- Dry the entire surface of the metal with a clean cloth or lint-free towel;
- Polish the whole surface with a microfiber cloth; and
- Do not spray this glass cleaner directly on the fridge because it may leave drip marks on the metal surface.
5. Clean with a Soft Flour Sack
You can also use a section of an empty flour sack to clean a stainless steel fridge. Prepare the following for this cleaning method: soft flour sack, wax paper, and white powder cleaner:
- Cut a few small sections of cloth from the soft flour sack;
- Put a small piece of flour sack in a water container to dampen it;
- Sprinkle a small amount of white powder cleaner on it. You can use Bar Keeper’s Friend or Bon Ami;
- Rub it onto the metal surface of the fridge using circular motions;
- Get another piece of the flour sack and dampen it with water;
- Use it to wipe off the residues of the fridge cleaner until the surface is clean;
- Get another piece of the flour sack and use it to dry the metal surface;
- Once the surface is dry, get a piece of wax paper. Use its waxy side and rub it gently on the surface of the metal. This will protect the metal surface from smudges and fingerprints; and
- You can also use the leftover flour on the flour sack to clean the metal surface of your fridge. But it could be messy;
- Cover the stainless steel surface of the fridge with the leftover white flour. Then get a soft cloth and gently buff the metal surface of the fridge with the flour; and
- Repeat this until all the flour is gone and the metal surface is shining.
6. Clean with Plain Water
If you want to clean your stainless steel fridge with the least expense, clean it with plain water. However, be prepared to do a little more work if the surface has fingerprints and caked over dirt and smudges:
- Warm enough amount of water;
- Get a lint-free cloth and dampen it with this warm water;
- Wipe the cloth on the metal surface of the fridge, again carefully following the grain;
- As you are using the wet cloth, be prepared with another lint-free dry cloth. Use this dry cloth to prevent water drips and spots from developing on the metal surface;
- Once the entire metal surface is clean, dry it off using another clean lint-free cloth; and
- Finish off the cleaning by using a microfiber cloth to remove all the smudges. Polish the entire surface with it until it gets shiny.
7. Clean with Club Soda
Another natural way to clean your stainless steel fridge is by using club soda. You will need a spray bottle for this method and a few pieces of clean cloth:
- Fill the spray bottle with club soda;
- Spray club soda directly onto the surface of the stainless steel fridge;
- Get the dry cloth and use it to wipe down the fridge. Make sure to follow the metal’s grain;
- Get another dry clean cloth or microfiber cloth and dry the metal surface of the fridge; and
- Club soda is effective in cleaning dirty metal surfaces. It also leaves a beautiful shine on the cleaned surface.
8. Clean with Commercial Cleaners
If you don’t want to make the cleaner, you can always use commercial ref cleaners. In fact, there are many stainless steel cleaning products available in the market. You can do a Google search for these products and choose the most appropriate for you.
However, be wary of the contents of these products. Some of them contain abrasive particles that are harmful to stainless steel surfaces. Consumer Reports advises against scouring powders, bleach, steel wool, and glass cleaners, especially those containing ammonia.
Avoid chlorine-based cleaners as well. Don’t use scrubber pads, abrasive sponges, or oven cleaners. Also, read the label before buying a fridge cleaner.
You are also advised to read the user manual of your fridge. If you have already lost it, you can always visit the manufacturer’s official website, and you will surely see some information about how you can safely clean your stainless steel fridge.
If your freezer stops working, see our article on the freezer not working, but the fridge is.
Cleaning Fingerprint-Resistant Stainless Steel Fridge
The most stubborn dirt in stainless steel refs is the fingerprints. This is the advantage of using a stainless steel fridge that is fingerprint-resistant. But it also needs cleaning from time to time.
To clean this type of fridge, you will need the following:
- Mild detergent
- Soft clean cloth
- Warm water
Don’t use the following cleaners in cleaning fingerprint-resistant stainless steel refs:
- Harsh cleaners that contain abrasive particles
- Scouring pads
- Steel wool pads
- Paper towels
- Cleaners that contain chlorine
- Gritty washcloths
- Window cleaners
- Flammable fluids
- Oven cleaners
- Acidic cleaners
The contents of these cleaners may cause scratches on the metal surface. They can also damage the clear coat of the fingerprint-resistant metal surface and make it dull. The manufacturer’s warranty may not cover the damage your ref could sustain if you use the above cleaners.
How to clean a stainless steel fridge door? Here is how you can clean a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel fridge door:
- Wash the stainless steel surfaces with warm water containing mild detergent or soap;
- Wipe the entire metal surface with a clean cloth to remove excess moisture;
- Dry the cleaned surface with a microfiber cloth;
- Use this cloth or several pieces of it to polish the entire metal surface; and
- Ensure that the whole stainless steel surface is dry and shiny before you leave it.
Conclusion: How to Clean Stainless Steel Fridge
Here is a proven method of keeping your stainless steel fridge looking fresh as new. Many homeowners have been following this method for years:
- Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle;
- Spray down the vinegar on the entire metal surface;
- Use a clean cotton cloth or microfiber cloth to wipe off the vinegar from the fridge;
- Once the dust, dirt, and grime are removed, dip a microfiber cloth or clean cotton cloth in olive oil; and
- Wipe the olive oil on the fridge’s surface, going with the direction of the grain of the metal. This will result in a deep shine on the stainless steel surface.
You can also clean your stainless steel fridge and other appliances using the following:
- Soap or Dish Detergent and Baby Oil
- Baking Soda and Warm Water
- Glass Cleaner
- Soft Flour Sack
- Plain Water
- Club Soda
- Commercial Cleaners
- Mild Detergent and Warm Water