How to Make Stainless Steel Shine Like Chrome

Last Updated on October 1, 2022 by Ellen Christian

Are you wondering how to make stainless steel shine like chrome? I love the look of stainless appliances but keeping them clean and shiny is definitely more of a challenge than with traditional appliances. Whenever we’re expecting guests, one of the first things I check is that my stainless steel is free of smudges, fingerprints, and messes.

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How to make your stainless steel shine

Make Stainless Steel Shine Like Chrome

I know that they sell commercial stainless steel cleaners but I really prefer to go with something a little more frugal and eco-friendly. As with other areas of my life, I try to avoid toxic chemicals whenever possible. Sometimes, you just can’t. But, when it’s possible, I will always choose something that’s gentler on our planet.

How do you get stainless steel to shine?

You can try shining your stainless steel with plain water and a cloth. If your item is relatively new and you take care not to leave water spots, it will probably work well for you. If you need a little more power, you can use a mild detergent but again be sure to use a towel to dry off water spots that may be caused by minerals in your water.

How to make your stainless steel shine

How to polish stainless steel to a mirror finish

If you have something that’s more of a showpiece and you want to make sure there are no fingerprints left behind, you can use a little eco-friendly glass cleaner. This method would work well on something like a tealight holder. It’s something you could clean once, set on a shelf and then not touch again. No worries about fingerprints. Don’t forget to buff it with a soft cloth to bring out the shine.

How to make your stainless steel shine

Homemade stainless steel cleaner

It’s very easy to make your own homemade stainless steel cleaner for just a few pennies. The first thing you’ll want to do is to clean it and remove any grease or solids by using an eco-friendly glass cleaner like vinegar and water. Just spray the surface and then wipe it down with a paper towel or a lint-free towel.

Once that’s done and the surface is completely dry, you want to put olive oil on a soft lint-free cloth and rub the oil into the appliance going against the grain. Just keep buffing it until it shines. You’ll want to use a micro-fiber cloth to avoid lint.

How to make your stainless steel shine

Commercial stainless steel cleaners

If none of those methods work for you, you may need to break down and use a commercial stainless steel cleaner. This may also be necessary if your item is stained or scratched.  Try to find one that’s as eco-friendly as possible. Be careful what you use it on though. I wouldn’t want to use it on something that came in contact with food but it would be fine for anything decorative. These stainless steel wipes are a quick, easy way to eliminate smudges and fingerprints.

How to clean stainless steel appliances with baking soda

Baking soda can be abrasive so I don’t recommend that you use it to clean your stainless steel appliances. It’s possible that you will leave behind scratches that can give your appliances a permanently dull look.

How to make stainless steel shine

Is brushed steel the same as stainless steel?

Brushed steel is made by changing the finish of stainless steel. It has a more dull or matte finish than traditional stainless steel. Many stainless steel appliances are brushed stainless steel. You will need to experiment when cleaning brushed steel to see which of these methods works best for you.

What should NOT be used to clean stainless steel?

  • SOS or Brillo pads
  • Oven cleaner
  • Any abrasive sponges or scrubbers
  • Bleach products

What method do you use to make your stainless steel shine? Have you found one product that works particularly well for you? Or is there something you’ve tried that’s homemade that really got the job done? Check out a few of my natural cleaning tips.

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