Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances (Video)

I can always tell who has been in the refrigerator. Its stainless steel doors keep clear record of which grimy hand closed it recently. This is the “half-full” benefit of having all stainless steel appliances in my kitchen. The “half empty” side points out how stainless steel mercilessly exhibits every fingerprint, water spot, grease splatter, or wayward breath that has dared come near it.

When I first moved into this house, I knew it was not built for the likes of me. I can’t blame all the mess on my short ones. I like to cook. I like to cook often. I am a messy cook. The upside is that I have LOTS of opportunities to try out my cleaning solutions.

And so I bought countless products that were supposedly the miracle stainless steel surface cleaners. None of them worked. It took someone outside the family to point me back to the basics: a hot cloth and my Sal Suds All-Purpose Spray. Boy, did I feel sheepish for not figuring it out sooner!

My Sal Suds All Purpose Spray:

1 (1 L) quart water

1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds

In a quart spray bottle, in that order.

The video also shows my beloved microfiber cloths. These are crucial with stainless steel because the little nubblies pick up the grease and fingerprints. When the cloth is hot, it works even faster and more effectively.

I’m coming to appreciate the stainless. It is pretty. And it does encourage me to clean up after myself. And someday it will go out of fashion.

22 thoughts on “Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances (Video)

  1. Hi Lisa,
    I just got my sal suds and Castile soap I mixed up a spray bottle of the sal suds as directed I have a wood covered stove fan I have to admit it is pretty dirty any full of dust and grease I have used the sal suds it just seems to make the dirt roll up, I an using a wet microfiber cloth, any suggestions?

    • Hi Shanon- If your stove fan resembles my stove fan with the accumulation of grease and dust (thanks for the reminder to clean it!), it probably is going to need more than the All-Purpose Spray. There’s likely not enough Sal Suds in that dilution. Are you talking about those metal mesh covers, or the fan blades themselves? If you have parts that you can take off, I’d go ahead and wash them in the sink with hot water and Sal Suds. If you can’t remove them, bump up the amount of Sal Suds in your dilution, or get a scrubby washcloth and put a drop of Sal Suds on it.

  2. WOW!!! There are marks I’ve been trying to get off the front of my dishwasher from steam for years that are nearly gone!! Thanks so much!

    • Hi Babs- Any synthetic material is at risk of melting in the microwave, so wetting the cloth with warm water is the safer route.

  3. Hey Lisa,

    How long can you use the same microfiber cloth for? For example, do you need a new one for every time you wipe down a surface, or can you reuse the same one for a couple days, etc.?


    • Hi Eliot- Microfiber cloths do such a good job grabbing onto dirt and grime, they need to be washed after each use. I purchase them in bulk and wash a bunch of them all at once.

    • Hi Shebia – Yes, it sure can. To use, pre-mix in a squirt bottle with one part soap to 10 parts water. But you might prefer Sal Suds for your dishes. If you have hard water, over time you will notice a film on your glasses and dishes. This is caused by a reaction between the minerals in water and the Castile soap. The film rinses off with a dilution of vinegar and water. Sal Suds doesn’t have this same reaction, which is why I prefer it for washing dishes by hand. Use about 1/2 tsp. in a sinkful of dishes. You might find my blog post about when to use which helpful (with links to recipe “cheat sheets” for use):

  4. Holy smokes. I bought a bottle of Sals Suds yesterday. I am SO impressed. Ive tried everything I could find to keep our stainless appliances looking good. Tonight I grabbed my bottle of all purpose cleaner (with 1 TBSP of Sals Suds in it) Sprayed down the fridge then wiped it down with a hot microfiber towel, following up with a clean dry one. It looks amazing! Took very little time and effort to do so. Really loving this stuff so far. Ive been making homemade laundry soap for some time now and been happy with it but am going to give Sals Suds a try tomorrow.

    • Hi Eileen – Yes, that’s a great thing to do.

  5. Please tell me how to safely use green cleaners for granite counter tops. Also, without streaks or pitting the granite or marble. Thank you.

  6. I had been using Dr. Bronner’s castile soap bars for personal cleaning (shampoo, face wash, body wash, hand soap, shaving gel) and cleaning around the house until I read one of your blog posts which indicated that the bar soaps are superfatted, whereas the liquid castile soaps are not. Thereafter, I switched to using the liquid castile soaps for cleaning around the house. (I prefer the bar soap since it requires no plastic packaging or shipping around water weight. However, using a superfatted soap bar to wash dishes, counters, floors, tubs, etc was redundant.) The liquid castile soap has been okay for house cleaning, but I’ve been thinking that the combination of oil used are still optimized for a personal care product rather than a house cleaning product. Therefore, I was wondering if Dr. Bronner may be considering expanding its cleaning line. Thus far, it appears you only have Sal Suds available as a household cleaner, but, for those of us who prefer castile soaps, I was wondering if you would have any interest in making a coconut oil-based castile soap. I did a quick search on Google and saw that Nutribiotic sells this, but I’m more familiar/comfortable with Dr. Bronner. If not, I may consider experimenting with making my own. Costco sells a large tub of organic virgin coconut oil, and I can buy some KOH online–and I wouldn’t have to feel guilty about shipping around water weight because I’d be making my own liquid soap…which I can store in a glass bottle, too!

    • Helen, I am wondering if you ever got a reply about the possibility of coconut based Castile soaps for cleaning as opposed to the Sal Suds? I am very allergic to sodium lauryl sulfate so I can’t use the Sal Suds for cleaning…

  7. Hi Lisa. I am loving the Sal Suds so much. I’ve been using it for laundry for over 6 months and can’t believe how little is needed, even in large loads. It seems to leave things even softer than they were before cleaning, and I never use a fabric softener so it can’t be that. It’s even removed stains that have been on some of my old cleaning rags for years! It’s the best. But I have been wondering one thing. Why is it described as a “concentrated hard-surface all-purpose cleaner” when it is absolutely terrific used on “soft” surfaces [clothes, fabrics, cloth etc] as well? Just curious. Thanks so much.

  8. I just bought a stainless steel finish refrigerator. I’m fairly sure it’s not steel, but probably an aluminum composite. I keep a bottle of Sal Suds/water cleaner for the bathroom and I tried it with a microfibre cloth and it works miiraculously on the refrigerator.

    BTW Patti, glad to hear you’re using this product to clean homes. Kudos to you You’re clients are lucky.

    • I use sal suds in my apartment in all the rooms I love scent and everything shines. Fan of everything Bonner’s!

  9. I clean homes and use the peppermint castile soap. I mix it the same way and have wonderful results. For anyone having trouble with this you might have to strip old products off first by washing it a few times. Then use my cleaner to maintain, it actually works much better than all those nasty cleaners!

    • I clean homes as well, using green cleaners. I use Better Life products, but Sal Suds is my staple. I love the way it smells. It also has the thumbs up from EWG. I could do away with pretty much everything else… Fit Organic lime, calcium, and rust remover is also really helpful. I love hydrogen peroxide too, especially for kid’s rooms. I’m glad to hear more cleaners are making safer choices.

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