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“How to” is just to give our knowledge on things that are happening to us, and might help someone else to learn from our mistakes.

How to Unstain your Stainless Steel Appliances

How to Unstain your Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances have become a staple for most homeowners in the last couple decades. I personally love the look of stainless steel. It matches well with almost any combination of counters/cabinets and it’s just overall aesthetically pleasing. Aside from the neutral look, it is also non-porous, unlike other plastic appliances, which means it is easier to clean and is germ-resistant. Also since stainless steel is so popular, it is very easy to coordinate other kitchen appliances to the same finish. For example, all my kitchen accessories are stainless steel, from my larger appliances like my fridge and double oven to my smaller appliances like my toaster  and stand mixer. Even my trash can rests in a stainless steel container . If taken care of properly, the finish is very durable and will last for years.

With all that said, I must say that stainless steel should really be named “nearly stainless steel.” As much as I try to clean everything appropriately, life happens! For example, lots of messes happen around the trash can and I noticed little brown rust spots in some areas on my stainless steel bin. The stainless steel cleaner did nothing to remove them, but the spots were on the back of the trash can so I didn’t mind too much. Then came the day that my 7-year-old wanted to help me clean the kitchen… 

We were having a party in a few days and I was preparing the house for guests. My daughter asked if she could help me clean up. It’s such a rarity I almost fainted. As soon as the shock wore off, I handed her the bottle of kitchen cleaner and told her to spray down the counters and wipe them off with a sponge. After I was finished loading the dishwasher, I went upstairs for a while. When I came back down, she told me she had cleaned everything. “Great job!” I said. And I rejoiced in knowing that I have a little helper after all.

The next morning my husband came to me horrified and asked what I had used to clean the outside of the fridge? I told him that I hadn’t used anything new and I actually hadn’t cleaned it for a while. I went to the kitchen to see what he was talking about and my entire refrigerator was covered in rust! I didn’t know what had happened, but I tried cleaning it with the normal stainless steel wipes I use and they didn’t help anything. At this point, I was ready to cry. The fridge was only a few months old and we had spent good money on it! At that point, I noticed that my double oven had rust spots, too. What in the world was going on?

All of a sudden, something clicked. I asked my daughter if when she cleaner the counter tops did she also clean the appliances? She said that she had. I tried not to be mad, she didn’t know, but I did explain to her to her that the spray for the kitchen was not to be used on the appliances. She felt very bad and I told her we could try to fix it together.

I used my trusty friend Google to try to find out if anyone else had been unfortunate enough to have this same problem. Luckily for me, I found a few different solutions. Many called for lemon, but I didn’t have lemon and I wanted to try to use things already in my house. I wanted to get this taken care of now. Finally, I came across the easiest solution on a manufacturer’s website: Baking soda and water.

The instructions were simple.

  1. Take equal parts baking soda and water, mix them together to make a paste.
  2. Rub the paste on the stainless steel with a microfiber cloth, going with the grain.
  3. Rinse the baking soda mixture off the stainless steel with water.


My suggestions for afterward:

     4. Wipe with your normal stainless steel cleaner/polish  going with the grain.
     5. Polish the surface in a circular motion with a microfiber cloth  to add back shine.


Voila! It should be back to new! You will need to keep rinsing the cloth of the baking soda off because it will start to clump. Also make sure to rinse ALL the baking soda off the appliance before using the cleaner. Otherwise, spots will look dull. Let me say, this would be super easy for a small area, such as the rust spots on my trash can, but for my entire fridge and double oven it took a while. No complaints though because it did worked wonders!


Let me know if you try this and how it works for you!