15 Best Stainless Steel Cleaners (Review) In 2021
- The Best Stainless Steel Cleaner
- 1. Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish
- 2. Magic Stainless Steel Cleaner Aerosol
- 3. Therapy Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish + Microfiber Cloth
- 4. Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner Wipes
- 5. Cameo Aluminum & Stainless Steel Cleaner
- 6. Sheila Shine Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish
- 7. Sprayway Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish
- 8. Therapy Stainless Steel Wipes
- 9. CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner Aerosol Spray
- 10. HOPE'S Perfect Stainless Steel Cleaner
- 11. Rejuvenate Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish Kit
- 12. All-Clad Cookware Cleaner and Polish
- 13. Mountaineer Plant-Based Strong Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish
- 14. Cerama Bryte Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes
- 15. 3M Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Aerosol
If you have numerous stainless-steel items and appliances in your kitchen, you will want to keep them as shiny and sparkling as they were when you first got them out of the box. While stainless steel is durable and resistant to rust, it will also show smudges and residue from minerals in your hard water if not wiped clean, destroying that sparkle.
Before you start cleaning your appliances, it is essential to select the right product, so you do not damage the finish irreparably. A soft, dry cloth may be enough for regular gentle cleaning, but you may need something stronger.
Cleaners come in various guises, from instant use wipes to aerosols and powders that you need to mix. We have looked at the best stainless-steel cleaners available to help you restore that your sparkle and shine!
The Best Stainless Steel Cleaner
Pleasant floral odour
Protects black stainless steel
The Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish comes in a pack of two 17-ounce spray cans. This is our choice for the best stainless steel cleaner, and it is convenient, easy to use, and highly versatile. Spray, wipe, and then buff to get smear-free surfaces.
It removes hard water marks, grease, and fingerprints from appliances such as an oven-door, fridge, sinks, or small appliances and repels dust and dirt so your items should stay cleaner for longer. It also has a pleasant floral scent.
Creates a protective coating
Stay Clean technology
Suitable for aluminum and chrome
The Magic Stainless Steel is another aerosol can option. This works to clean all stainless steel items, including refrigerators and cookers and leaves a transparent coat that repels dirt, fingerprints, and dust.
The spray is odorless easy to use with just a wipe with an appropriate cloth, and the product can be used on aluminum and chrome surfaces equally well.
Large microfiber cloth included
Removes streaks and smudges
Easy spray and wipe
Our premium pick for the best stainless-steel cleaner is from Therapy. Their product is entirely plant-based and non-toxic, so it is very safe to use. It cleans all stainless steel appliances and polishes them by leaving a coconut-based shine. This protective shine repels dirt and dust and is non-abrasive.
For best results when cleaning stainless steel with this product you should follow the direction of the grain. The Therapy kit has a pleasant lavender scent and comes with a premium microfiber towel.
Instant use wipes
Works on black stainless steel
Ideal for dishwashers, grills and refrigerators
Another option from Weiman is the Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner Wipes. These cleaner wipes give you an alternative way to clean if you don’t want to use a spray. If you are in a rush then these are a great option as don’t need to wait for any spray to be activated – you just clean the area with one of these wipes and then buff it with a soft cloth.
The pH neutral wipes will easily remove marks such as grease, residue build-up, or fingerprints and leave a protective barrier behind. These can also be used to protect black stainless steel surfaces. With this product, you get two packs, and each pack has 30 wipes.
Pack of two bottles
Works on chrome and steel
The Cameo Aluminium & Stainless Steel Cleaner can also be used on chrome surfaces and comes in a pack of two. This is an excellent option for removing tarnish and fingerprints from items that don’t need regular cleaning.
You can use the Cameo on your stainless-steel appliances and also clean your pots and pans, restoring them to their original shine. Place a small amount of the powder on a soft, damp sponge and buff your items with this. It will remove even stubborn marks and leave you with sparkling surfaces.
No rubbing or buffing required
Works on multiple materials
The Sheila Shine Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish is designed for stainless-steel but also works well on porcelain, fiberglass, and plastic. It has a high chemical content of mostly acetone, so it does have a slightly unpleasant smell.
A small amount of this product is highly effective, and it works exceptionally well to remove stubborn dirt and grease. You just need a soft cloth to wipe it and ensure you follow the direction of the grain on the steel for best results.
No acid or abrasives
No greasy film
No rubbing required
Not suitable for cookware
Our budget pick for the best cleaner comes from the well known Sprayway brand. The Sprayway Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish is designed to clean and polish your surfaces, restoring them to their original shining finish and protecting them from fingerprint smudges.
No rubbing, buffing, or elbow grease is required, just apply and then wipe with a clean, dry cloth. Sprayway Aerosol is only recommended for use on stainless steel and should not be used on pots, pans, or cutlery items.
Easy to use
Protects black stainless steel
The Therapy Stainless Steel Wipes are an alternative to the Therapy Spray and work on both traditional and black stainless steel surfaces. To use these, you simply run one of the wipes across your items and then follow-up with a clean, dry cloth.
As with the spray option, this is non-toxic and made with only natural ingredients and has a lavender fragrance. It may not be as streak-free as the same brand spray, but it works well at cleaning and protecting your appliance and comes in nice looking packaging. The Therapy cloths look more luxurious toiletries than a kitchen cleaner.
Food safe certified
Creates a protective barrier
Simply spray and wipe
The CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner Aerosol Spray removes residue, dirt, and fingerprints from all stainless steel appliances. It is formulated to be safely used on cookware as well as traditional surfaces and is easily sprayed on and wiped off with a soft cloth.
Once marks and residues have been removed, the CLR leaves behind a protective barrier to make your stainless steel resistant to fingerprint smudges.
Polishes and cleans
Self-buffing and polishing
Protects from fingerprints
The HOPE’S Perfect Stainless Steel Cleaner comes in a pack of two 22 ounce sprays and is a polish plus cleaner in one. This cleaner can be applied by wiping it on your surface and then you can walk away without the need to buff it or wipe the solution off. The self-polishing action means that it buffs itself to create a glossy shine which makes cleaning stainless steel a breeze! Once applied, the HOPE cleaner blocks additional fingerprints.
Microfiber cloth included
Foam based cleaner
Gentle buffing required to create shine
Our best value choice for stainless steel cleaners is from the Rejuvenate brand. With Rejuvenate Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish Kit, you get a bottle of foam cleaner plus a microfiber cloth, and it is best used on kitchen appliances, ovens and sinks.
The Rejuvenate stainless-steel cleaner is a wipe-on, wipe-off product that will remove grease and grime while leaving a protective barrier to repel dirt and dust. You can apply it with the included towel and then buff it with a soft, clean cloth, ensuring you follow the grain of the steel.
Designed for cookware
Works on aluminum
Not suitable for non-stick surfaces
The All-Clad Cookware Cleaner and Polish is a powder designed specifically for cook pots and pans, not surfaces. It is made entirely from natural minerals and is a non-abrasive cleaner that removes stains from both aluminum and stainless-steel cookware.
This product should not be used on non-stick interiors of pans but can be used on the exterior and also works well on sinks. You add the powder to a little water to create a paste and apply it with a sponge and a bit of elbow grease. The result is a selection of much cleaner stainless-steel cookware.
Safe for use on cookware and cutlery
Two cloths included
The Mountaineer Plant-Based Strong Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish is a non-toxic solution that comes in a large 16 oz bottle. It is a plant-based formula that is eco-friendly, skin-friendly, and has a pleasant lavender scent.
As it has no toxins, it can be used on cutlery, pans, and stainless steel appliances and surfaces and creates a protective barrier to prevent further marks and smudges. This package also comes with two fast-absorbing microfiber cloths and the cleaning process is simply to spray and wipe away.
Instant use wipes
Highly effective formula
No buffing required
Not suitable for cookware or cutlery
The Cerama Bryte Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes comes in a pack of 35 wipes, and each wipe contains a mineral oil formula to create a protective shine on your appliances. In terms of ease of use, this is one of the best stainless steel cleaning products available as it requires running the cleaning wipe over the surface but no additional materials or buffing.
The wipes promise streak-free, high-strength cleaning and should be used on surfaces and appliances but not on cookware or cutlery due to its toxicity.
NSF certified for use with food preparation products
Works on chrome, aluminum and steel
The 3M Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Aerosol comes in an aerosol container and, when dispensed, forms a non-evaporating foam. This cleans and polishes in one go, without leaving any streaks, and has a pleasant citrus aroma.
It leaves a protective film to reduce fingerprinting and is certified by the NSF for use in meat processing plants, so it is very safe for use around kitchen appliances and cookware. The 3M can be used on chrome, aluminum, and stainless steel and you should apply it with a soft, dry cloth.
Features To Consider With Stainless Steel Cleaners
Amount per Product
For cost-effective cleaning, and to minimize the quantity of chemicals you use in your kitchen, then it is best to choose a cleaner that only needs a tiny amount to get great results. Pastes and creams tend to be the better option if you want the product to last you for a long time. With aerosols and sprays, it is hard to control how much of the product you dispense.
The formula used in stainless steel cleaners will vary from product to product. You will often find they contain preservative agents, phosphoric acid, and citric acid amongst other chemicals.
Several products, for example, the Therapy range, are made from only natural ingredients, and other, non-abrasive cleaners will have less strong chemicals in their formula.
Whichever option you decide, ensure that you only select a formula that is designed specifically for use on stainless steel. Alternative products can be too abrasive, ruining the grain, or will leave unsightly watermarks.
If you plan to use the cleaner frequently, or you have a lot of appliances to clean, then the best stainless steel cleaner for you may be one that is either odorless or has a pleasant scent. Many products with strong chemicals will create a lingering, unpleasant smell, and if you choose one of these, it will be best to keep your windows open for a few hours. Most cleaners that are made from natural ingredients tend to have a relatively agreeable fragrance of lemon or lavender which you may like to use in the kitchen.
Shine & Polish
If you are trying to restore the shine on your stainless-steel appliances, and not just clean them, then it is best to find a product that has polishing properties. The polishing effect will help to smooth out any fine scratches and leave a transparent residue that will help to keep the surface resistant to fingerprint smudges. A microfiber cloth is also necessary to achieve a great shine.
Stain Removal Power
One of the great things about stainless steel is that, as the name suggests, it is hard to stain. However, you will still get water stains, heat marks, and occasional burnt-on food stains on your surfaces. To remove these, you need to source a cleaner that has gentle abrasive properties. If you want to tackle these stains or any discoloration, then choose a product that is designed to clean and brighten, not just polish your steel.
Types of Stainless Steel Cleaners
The best stainless steel cleaners come in various formats. In our guide, we presented products from the four most common types: Powder cleaners, Sprays or Aerosol, Wipes, and Cremes.
Powder cleaners - are mixed with water to form a paste and are recommended if you need to clean a steel sink. If they have the food-grade safety certification they can also be used to clean cookware. Powder cleaners are not the best for large surfaces, like refrigerators, as it can be tough to wipe the paste off.
Sprays and aerosols - are the most popular choice for an appliance cleaner as they are straightforward to apply, even to small joints or awkward shapes. You need to wipe these off after application and occasionally buff the surface with a microfiber cloth, depending on the manufacturer's instruction.
Wipes - tend to be the most expensive cleaner due to their convenience. They score very highly for being easy to use, and in most situations, you don't need to follow up with an additional cloth.
Cream stainless steel cleaners - are also quite common for shining appliances. You need only a tiny amount of the product, but they will need to be buffed on with a bit of elbow grease and then wiped off after a few minutes.
Stainless Steel Cleaner FAQ
Q: Is named brand stainless steel cleaner better than home made?
If you don't like the idea of using harsh chemicals in your house then plenty of homemade options are available when it comes to a cleaner for stainless steel.
White vinegar can be decanted into a spray bottle, applied to your surfaces, and then wiped clean. You should wipe in the direction of the grain with a paper towel or soft cleaning cloth. As vinegar contains a mild acid, it can cut through grease and remove any unwanted residues while also sanitizing. This is a non-abrasive way to clean but will leave you with a vinegar odor in your kitchen, which not everyone will like.
Regular dish detergent is not usually a popular choice for stainless steel cleaning as it may leave water stains on your appliances. However, if you use a non-toxic detergent directly on a damp cloth, and dry the surface immediately with a towel, you will quickly remove and smudges and marks.
Baking soda is one of the best stainless steel cleaners if you don't want to use a chemical product. This method does take quite a bit of time but it gives great results. You need to create a paste with water and the baking soda and then rub this onto your surfaces. There will be a white residue, which is completely normal, and you will have to remove this with a damp cloth before following-up with a microfiber cloth to achieve a nice shine.
As you can see, there are several alternative ways to clean stainless steel appliances if you don't like to splash out on branded products, or want to avoid chemicals. The downside of homemade cleaning products is that they may not always be as effective and often require more time to prepare and apply.
Named brand products also often comes with multiple functions, which you don't get with the more affordable home options. Many of the products we reviewed work as both cleaners and polishers, or as cleaners and protectors from future marks.
Q: Why do you need to clean stainless steel if it's stainless?
Many people like to fit their kitchen with numerous stainless steel appliances, firstly because they look good, and secondly because cleaning them is easy thanks to their 'stainless' properties. However, no material is 100% resistant to marks.
Stainless steel, thanks to its shiny exterior, will attract fingerprint smudges and watermarks, especially if you live in a hard water area. Using a gentle cleanser will help you to remove these marks and ensure the shine remains.
Over time, cleaning stainless steel is also necessary to remove any discoloration caused by heat marks and burnt-on food. Products are available to target such stains, meaning you don't have to scrub for hours without getting any noticeable results.
So, although you may get the odd mark, stainless steel is still one of the best materials for your surfaces and appliances if you don't like regular, tough cleaning.