If any of you have been in the house buying or selling industry for the last 5 years, you know that every Realtor will tell you, “You can not sell a house without Stainless Steel appliances!” Which my immediate response to this is, “whatever”. However, despite my disdain the truth is, stainless steel is hot, just like having gray walls and painted furniture is hot. Almost every house we clean has all three of these elements.
I don’t want anyone to think that I am bashing stainless steel, when it is clean and new it looks amazing. But when time has had its way with your beautiful shiny surface it starts to look well, bad. Water marks that don’t get wiped off immediately leave spots you can not remove. If grease or cooking oils get on it they also leave residue that I, professionally, have not been able to get off. Scratches are easy to come by. The stainless steel repair kits do not work. I’ve used the Rejuvenate Brand and it left the surface I was working in worse than when I started.
Despite my rant 🙂 I am not here to tell you to throw out your stainless steel appliances. If you are perfectionist like myself, there are ways to keep your appliances looking nice, it will just take a little more time than normal.
We have all seen the stainless steel polish in the grocery stores. I have found two that work and that I use in many of our clients homes.
The first is a product from Home Specialties.
We use to be able to find this in your local store but it suddenly became scarce. If you want this one you have to order it online. It does a great job but it’s pretty oily. All polishes are going to be oil based so you have to careful where you spray it or you could end up sliding across the room like Tom Cruise in Risky Business.
The second product is from Sprayway
This product is easier to find around town and is my preferred polish.
There are certain steps that will get you the best results.
First: Wash the appliances surface. These products DO NOT clean the surface. They are not antibacterial. They don’t really “clean” the appliance, despite what the can says.
Second: Once you have cleaned all the finger prints and what not off, dry it. This will help with water marks and keep you from getting blemishes that wont come out. The surface must be completely dry and your towel must be dry before you apply stainless steel product to your appliances. This is true for every stainless steel product. If your towel or surface is damp, the product will leave a streaky film.
Third: Apply the product to your towel, not the surface. Remember Risky Business? Then use the towel and go with the grain wiping it until the surface appears uniform. If you use too much product you’ll end up with what looks like greasy drip marks and dust and pet hair may collect on it. If you use too little you’ll have areas that look shiny and then areas that are dull because there wasn’t enough product to go around.
Fourth: If you see a finger print, don’t try wiping it with a wet towel after you applied the product. You guessed it, it will look streaky.
Because of this fourth fact, I have had a lot of clients request that we not use a stainless steel product at all. This has become my preferred method. All you do is wash and dry. Drying is the key. Not to mention this saves you time and money! So whether you want to use a polish or not, the key is always washing and drying the surface. This will give you the best results. I hope your appliances shine like a diamond!