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Clean Stainless Steel

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Stainless steel kitchen Adrianna Williams/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Stainless steel is known for its ability to be a clean surface that resists corrosion and rust. Because of this stainless steel is a popular choice in kitchens and bathrooms. If you've had stainless steel around in your home for very long, you know that it has the potential to live up to its name. Dirt, dust and grime, however, put stainless steel at risk for corrosion and rust. Luckily, it responds well to cleaning, as long as certain rules are followed. In general, you want to start with the basics, and work your way up from there as needed.

1. Water and a cloth.

Routine cleaning can be accomplished by using warm water and a cloth. This is the least risky option for cleaning stainless steel, and honestly just plain water works to clean in most situations. Dry with a towel or cloth to prevent water spots. This is really important, since minerals in water can leave marks on stainless steel. Wipe in the directions of the polish lines for best and most beautiful results. Microfiber cleaning cloths can be a great option to use when cleaning stainless steel because they do a great job of absorbing all of the water without scratching the surface.

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2. Mild detergent, (dish washing liquid) and cloth.

For cleaning that needs more power, mild detergent and warm water can do a great job without damaging your stainless steel. A drop of mild dish detergent and warm water is often all you need to get tougher dirt off of your stainless steel. You can start with a small sink of warm water with a few drops of dish soap. You can also have a small drop of dish soap on a cloth. Add warm water to the cloth and rub the dish soap to suds up your cleaning cloth. Wipe down the dirty area. After you've finished washing away the dirt, make sure you rinse the surface thoroughly to prevent staining and spotting. It is important to towel dry to prevent water spots which can be caused by minerals in water.

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3. Glass cleaner for fingerprints.

Fingerprints are one of the biggest complaints about stainless steel, but can be taken care of by using glass cleaner or household ammonia. Personally, I prefer glass cleaner. No matter what you decide to use, spray the cleaner on a microfiber cloth. You can spray directly on the stainless steel, but may end up with drips, or wasting a lot of cleaner that wasn't needed. Wipe the stainless steel area gently in a circular motion to remove the finger print. Repeat as needed. Rinse thoroughly and towel dry. There are some newer types of finishes for stainless steel that resist fingerprints You may consider this a necessity if your pint-sized helpers leave their mark on your stainless steel appliances.

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4. Stainless Steel Cleaner.

If you have had staining or scratching, or need to polish your stainless steel, a stainless steel cleaner may be a good option. Some of these cleaners and polishes can help minimize scratching and remove stains. They also can polish surfaces nicely. Read the directions on the stainless steel cleaner and test in an inconspicuous spot. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and towel dry.

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The keys to keeping stainless steel stainless is proper care and maintenance. With just a little bit of effort, your stainless steel will staying looking amazing for a long time to come.

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