clock menu more-arrow no yes

The 5 Best Stainless Steel Cleaners (2022 Review)

Refrigerators, microwaves, sinks, grills, and other appliances are often made from easy-to-smudge stainless steel. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best stainless steel cleaners to help you find the product that’s right for you. The products included in this article are available at various retail stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

stainless steel cleaner Courtesy Nano Towels

Most modern kitchen appliances, such as refrigerators, microwaves, and toasters, are made from stainless steel. While easy to clean, stainless steel requires frequent maintenance, as it frequently picks up fingerprints and other smudges. To help you select the cleaner that’s right for your kitchen, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best stainless steel cleaners on Amazon. Here are our top five recommendations.

Top 5 Stainless Steel Cleaners


Best Wipes: Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes

For those looking for a quick, convenient way to clean stainless steel products, these wipes will do the trick. They come covered in a pH-neutral solution that works on all types of stainless steel surfaces and appliances, including grills, countertops, trash cans, microwaves, and range hoods.

Key Features

  • Wipes
  • Two 30-wipe containers
  • Streak-free formula

What Customers Are Saying

Customers said that these wipes were easy to use and effective on multiple appliances. Reviewers also liked how they didn’t have an unpleasant smell. However, those who didn’t like this product claimed that the wipes sometimes left behind streaks and dried out quickly.


Best Plant-Based Cleaner: Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish

Made with natural coconut oil, this plant-based cleaner is an environmentally friendly option for cleaning your stainless steel appliances. After cleaning and shining your appliances, it leaves a protective barrier that helps fight off future fingerprints, dust, oil, and smudges for days.

Key Features

  • Spray
  • 16-ounce bottle
  • Solvent-free, pH-neutral formula

What Customers are Saying

Those who were happy with this product liked that it was simple to use and came with a microfiber cloth. They also appreciated how little spray they needed to use to get a thorough clean. However, those who were unhappy with the cleaner claimed that the liquid sometimes left streaks or smudges and that the bottle leaked easily.


Best For Sinks: Hope’s Perfect Sink Cleaner and Polish

Stainless steel sinks can be tough to clean, but this product does the work for you with its water-repellent formula that removes rust stains and water spots. It both cleans and polishes for a one-stop solution to maintaining your kitchen sink.

Key Features

  • Liquid
  • Two 8.5-ounce bottles
  • Water-repellant formula

What Customers Are Saying

Customers who were pleased with this stainless steel cleaner said that it had a pleasant scent, effectively eliminated acid stains, and left a shine. However, displeased customers claimed that they had to use a lot of the liquid to get their sink clean, which meant that they ran out of the product sooner than they expected to. Others didn’t like that it was more expensive than other similar sink cleaners.


Best Aerosol Cleaner: CLR Spot-Free Stainless Steel Aerosol Spray Can

Packaged in an aerosol can, this cleaner works simply by spraying onto your appliance. You follow up the spray with a cloth to wipe the area. This cleaner removes dirt, dust, fingerprints, and smudges from all stainless steel surfaces and appliances in your kitchen, including grills, fridges, and dishwashers.

Key Features

  • Aerosol spray
  • 12-ounce bottle
  • Spot- and streak-free formula

What Customers Are Saying

Those who liked this cleaner said that it worked quickly and was effective at removing fingerprints. However, some customers were unhappy with this product because it had an overwhelming odor and left a film on appliances.


Best Reusable Cleaner: Nano Towels Stainless Steel Cleaner

If you’re tired of purchasing more stainless steel cleaner every few months, this cleaning towel is the solution for you. It’s reusable, cleaning your steel appliances for years to come. It only needs water to eliminate smudges and fingerprints, and once you’re done using it, you can hang it on a hook from the built-in loop.

Key Features

  • Towel
  • 7 by 16 inches
  • Double-sided design

What Customers Are Saying

Satisfied customers said that this towel was convenient, dried quickly, and required minimal effort. However, some unsatisfied customers said that it didn’t leave a shine. In fact, it sometimes left streaks.


Buyer’s Guide

From microwaves to stoves, stainless steel is a common material in the kitchen. Read our guide below to learn how to choose the right cleaner for your appliances.

Appliance or Surface

Not all stainless steel cleaners work on all stainless steel appliances and surfaces. For example, some liquid cleaners have an abrasive formula that can scratch delicate items, such as cookware. Check the label on your stainless steel cleaner to determine if it’s the right fit for the items you need to be cleaned.

Application

Stainless steel cleaners come in many forms, including:

  • Pre-soaked wipes
  • Sprays
  • Liquids
  • Reusable towels
  • Creams
  • Powders

Each form is just as effective as the next one, so it comes down to personal preference. For example, maybe you are environmentally conscious and want a reusable option.

Scent

Some cleaners have powerful smells, especially if they’re made from harsh chemicals. Too harsh of a scent can cause headaches, especially if the cleaner is used in a small area. If you’re sensitive to smells, look for a cleaner with an odorless formula, weak scent, or floral or fruity scent.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clean stainless steel?

Check the instructions on your cleaner to determine the best way to use it. Generally, stainless steel cleaners are applied onto the surface or onto a cloth or paper towel and gently rubbed. Once the surface is clean, wipe the product away with a new cloth.

How do you remove scratches from stainless steel?

The method for removing scratches from stainless steel depends largely on the size of the scratch. Small scratches may be fixed by rubbing a small amount of non-abrasive compound into the surface. However, larger scratches may require a scouring pad and more elbow grease. Even then, you might not be able to fully eliminate them.

How do you maintain a stainless steel finish?

Find a product that’s specifically designed for maintaining stainless steel finishes. Some cleaners may also polish your steel, cutting down on the number of products you need. Alternatively, some household items, such as baking soda, vinegar, and flour, can be effective at maintaining polished stainless steel.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.