how to: naturally clean stainless steel (before & after)

Stainless steel appliances in the new house had me more than excited. But within a couple days of moving in, thanks to a matchbox car being gouged up and down the fridge door, seeing {and hearing!} those first few scratches were painful. Then came the fingerprints, handprints and licks {from our dog…oh who am I kidding, my boys too} and by the end of the first week I had the sad realization that keeping my fridge, dishwasher and stove looking new was going to be a never.ending.battle.

I tried a bunch of eco-friendly cleaners, glass cleaner, soap and water but nothing was making the cut – they left my fridge either filmy, streaky,  dull or all of the above. I didn’t want to turn to a brand loaded with chemicals even though I’m sure it’d burn the smudges off,  so I went to the internet for solutions and I came across an unexpected tip: Use baby oil.

Oil? On steel? Say what? Since baby oil isn’t exactly eco-friendly and I have none in the house, I turned to my pantry for the natural alternative: olive oil.

Read on mamas for the how-to:

Watermarks from the water & ice dispenser, fingerprints, yogurt {I think}…

– a wet cloth

– a soft dry cloth

– olive oil

Start by wiping down your fridge with a wet cloth to remove any dried on food from tiny hands. I found dried on tomato seeds. *sigh*.

Next, grab your olive oil and a soft cloth. Old baby facecloths or prefold cloth diapers you’re not using work perfectly.

Pour about 1tbsp onto your cloth and start buffing. Finish it by rubbing up and down with the grain. Try not to cringe at the scratches on your fridge…you won’t notice them {much} when you’re finished.

See??!! The olive oil buffs out every little watermark, smudge and streak.


Now stand back and fall in love with your stainless all over again.

No, your fridge won’t feel or look greasy and it’s a cinch to spot clean. Just keep your cloth handy and quickly run it over any noticeable smudges {no need to add more olive oil}. I give it a “good clean” about once every 4 days.  You can even run your cloth over the water dispenser…the olive oil will remove marks on plastic and make it shiny again. This post was sponsored by EasyApplianceParts.

About Amanda

Amanda Robinson is the eco-chic, green living, fitness loving mom behind Natural Mommie. Since 2009, Amanda Robinson has been the source for moms to learn how to bring more balanced green beauty, eco-friendly, sustainable, organic products into their homes without being too “crunchy” or “granola”. Amanda is passionate about design, wellness and inspiring moms to make more eco-friendly and healthy choices without having to trade in their stilettos for Birkenstocks. In addition to Natural Mommie, Amanda is also the owner and designer behind Top Knot Style - a beautiful collection of handmade oversized luxury knitwear.

95 thoughts on “how to: naturally clean stainless steel (before & after)

  1. so interesting how this works for some and not for others. here’s my story. always willing to try most anything natural, i wanted to give this a shot cuz what we all CAN agree on is stainless can be a witch (oops, did i misspell that?). since my olive oil is very expensive, i wondered if the grape seed oil that had been sitting around for months would work. oil is oil, right? (well, food oils) anyway, IT DID A FABULOUS JOB! what a great way to put those questionable oils that have been sitting for a while to good use. try them all! thanks for the excellent tip!!!!

  2. WD-40 works great. Spray it on soft cloth., buff away. Beautiful!

  3. WD-40 works great! Spray on soft cloth and buff away. Beautiful!

  4. I bought my Bosch dishwasher a few years ago and almost immediately I had water streaks on it that I couldn’t remove. I tried every cleaner under the sun and finally decided to live with it…this very expensive messy looking dishwasher. Today, after years of living with it I thought I’d search the web again. I tried vinegar first which did nothing for it. I then went back and found your post….IT WORKED! I was so happy that I posted to my neighborhood moms Facebook page to let all of them know. Thank you so much for helping make my dishwasher beautiful!

  5. I’ve been using lemon oil on my new Whirlpool stainless steel appliances for a year, and it works beautifully! Leaves a nice smell too.

  6. What can I use to make my dingy looking oak cupboards look like new again?

    1. Okay, I do this. After you get the grease off, 1 cup vinegar, 1tablespoon blue dawn and the rest water in a spray bottle (experiment with proportion according to how greasy doors, etc. are.) Dry them with cotton rags. Then, take a drawer to walmart, etc. to match STAIN and just restain. You may want to take off the cupboard doors and drawers handles too.

  7. YES, I just used it and it is a keeper! and eco friendly and cheaper and if you don’t wear gloves the olive oil is good for your nails and hands.

  8. Will this work on stainless steel appliances that came with stickers saying do not use stainless steel cleaners.

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