How to Remove Stains From Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a hard metal that resists stains very well. Since people often put their fingers on stainless steel appliances or countertops, though, they do tend to get an occasional oily mark or stain. The trick is to clean the stain as quickly as you can after you notice it. Start with a simple method and move on to more advanced techniques if the basics don't work.

  1. Wipe marks on stainless steel with a soft sponge soaked in hot, soapy water. You can use regular dish washing liquid, and rub both with and against the grain. Dry the surface with a towel.

  2. Moisten a cloth with undiluted vinegar and rub stubborn stains. Rinse the surface when you're done and pat it dry.

  3. Remove streaks or heat stains with olive oil or club soda. Dip a cloth in either substance and rub the stain until it disappears.

  4. Tackle stains that don't respond to natural cleansers with a stainless steel cleaner and polisher like Sheila Shine. Apply the product with a cotton cloth and remove any excess with a clean, dry cloth.


  • Don't use any products that contain chlorine or bleach to clean stainless steel.
  • Avoid steel wool and abrasive cleaners. These products may scratch or damage stainless steel surfaces.
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