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Stainless steel can sometimes be a difficult surface to clean. Many commercial-grade stainless steel cleaners contain all sorts of dangerous chemicals or other toxic ingredients. Luckily, there is an alternative.

You can find some basic home ingredients and other safe natural products around the house to make your own stainless steel cleaner. Right in the comfort of your home, you can both save money and save time by not having to go to the local home improvement store or hardware store, by making a DIY degreaser, for example. Also, you should never forget to use your best hand soap to wash your hands afterward.

Are you sick and tired of all the fingerprint marks on your stainless steel appliances like your refrigerator, oven, stovetop, or dishwasher? Here are some ways to make your own homemade cleaner.


How do you clean stainless steel naturally?

Luckily, you do not have to go to the local home improvement store or hardware store to buy an expensive commercial cleaner for stainless steel. There is an affordable and safer alternative. If you are looking to keep your stainless appliances both shiny, clean, and new-looking, this is a great place to start learning how to create your own stainless steel cleaner.

The main ingredient for our natural homemade DIY cleaner is vinegar. First, fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar. Next, spray the solution on all of the desired stainless steel surfaces. Finally, you can wipe them down the surfaces with a soft cleaning cloth or paper towel.


Remember to use soft, gentle movements when wiping with the direction of the grain. A gentle touch goes a long way to prevent scratching or other blemishes on the stainless steel surface.

Cleaning the stainless steel surface

Vinegar is a wonderful natural ingredient that can easily cut through most grease and grime on different types of surfaces. After wiping down the surfaces, you should see a clean and shiny result. Next, you have the option to go over the surface again with a water-dampened cloth. You can just gently pour some water onto the cloth directly and then wipe down the surface. Alternatively, you can use a second spray bottle filled with water and then spray directly onto the surface before wiping it down with the cloth.

The second time around works by using water to get rid of most of the acid in the vinegar left on the surface, so there will not be as much risk of it interacting with the metal over time. Although stainless steel is naturally resistant to corrosion and damage, the added effort of wiping down the surface again with a water-damped cloth is simply for precaution.

How does it work?

Vinegar is not only great as a salad dressing condiment but also as a natural ingredient and product when creating your own homemade DIY stainless steel cleaner.

Vinegar consists of acetic acid, which is a mild acid that cuts through oil and grease left on stainless steel surfaces. Other chemical-grade commercial cleaners are sometimes quite dangerous and expensive. They often smear around fingerprint stains or other oily marks instead of removing them.

Luckily, vinegar is both expensive and all-natural, so it contains no harsh or damaging chemicals that many commercial cleaners found at your local hardware store or home improvement store might have.

Vinegar also has some extremely useful benefits such as being nonabrasive, and effective in cutting grease and sanitizing surfaces. With its natural and safe properties, vinegar is a great alternative to commercial cleaners. It can be safely used around children, foods, and pets.

a person cleaning the stove with vinegar


How to safely use your own homemade DIY stainless steel cleaner?

It is important to be careful when using all types of cleaners — both either homemade or commercial-grade. Here are some tips, warnings, and precautions when using a stainless steel cleaner:

Avoid contact with your eyes when using the DIY stainless steel cleaner. Do not rub your eyes when using the stainless steel cleaner. This could lead to irritated eyes, vision problems, or even blindness. In addition to your eyes, be careful of prolonged exposure of vinegar or the cleaning solution on your open skin.

Keep vinegar out of the reach of children or young kids. Vinegar is acidic and looks a lot like water as a clear, translucent liquid. It is a good idea to keep the spray bottles away from children’s areas or play zones, so a child can not accidentally use the cleaner without your knowledge. Although vinegar is not hazardous compared to chemical-grade commercial cleaners, it is a good idea to keep all spray bottles with similar shapes and sizes away from children in case the child mistakenly grabs the wrong spray bottle.

Use written labels with masking tape or a quick-drying felt-tip pen like a Sharpie to clearly identify and label the spray bottle as “vinegar” or as “stainless steel cleaner”. Especially if young children are around, it is important to label the spray bottles and put them in safe storage away from kids.

Use test cleaners in small batches on small areas of the desired surface. Make sure that the stainless steel cleaner works as its supposed to by testing it on a small surface area as a test before moving onto a larger entire surface area.


Other Alternatives to Cleaning Stainless Steel Surfaces

tho spraying bottles with cleaners

Club Soda

You can put club soda into another spray bottle as another quick and inexpensive alternative to vinegar cleaners. Spray the club soda directly onto appliances and then wipe in the direction of the grain on the stainless steel surfaces. Watch as fingerprint marks and food residue both quickly dissolve and go away. This keeps a nice shine on the surface. Lastly, wipe the surface down clean with a soft, microfiber cloth and make sure that the surface is dry.


Olive Oil

After wiping down the stainless steel surface with vinegar using a soft cloth or a microfiber cloth, you can then use a dab of olive oil with another clean towel. The olive oil acts to polish and bring some shine back to the cleaned stainless steel surface. Be sure to rub softly and in the direction of the grain. The fresh, shiny polish from the olive oil works well to bring the stainless steel surface back to its original state.



For stainless steel sinks, you can first clean the sink thoroughly to remove any dirt, grease, or grime by rubbing a sponge. Next, use flour to cover the entire surface area. You can sprinkle the flour directly on the desired surface area by hand or pour the flour from the package directly onto the desired surface area.

Finally, take a soft cloth and use a circular motion to rub down the sink to bring the stainless steel surface back to its original shiny and clean condition.

Final Thoughts on DIY Stainless Steel Cleaning

I hope you found these simple, home-made and inexpensive cleaning solutions effective. Let me know your experiences and outcomes!

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