QUICK TIP: How to Remove Water Spots from Stainless Steel Appliances

If you have stainless steel appliances, especially a refrigerator with an ice and water dispenser, you’ve most likely experiences those water spots and drips that seem impossible to wipe away with normal methods.  This ‘issue’ has come to light recently in our house with the endless water bottle filling and lots of water drinking (not complaining) but it seems like there are water drips down the front of the refrigerator all the time.  Case in point:


I use this method for cleaning my stainless steel appliances and I am still using that method but for removing those stubborn hard water spots, this trick is my favorite method – it works every time!  I simply wipe the appliances clean with white vinegar and then I polish the water spots as needed as a second step.

Here’s what you need:

  • olive oil
  • paper towel for application (you can use a microfiber cloth, but the oil will stain it)
  • soft microfiber cloth to buff and polish

Follow these simple steps:

Fold a paper towel into fourths. Apply about a quarter-sized amount to your paper towel – squish it into the paper towel so it isn’t just on top.

Start at the top of the appliance and apply WITH the grain of the stainless steel and from left to right.

Wipe away any excess with your paper towel

Buff with a microfiber cloth

Admire your no-spots or streaks appliance


How to Clean Your Kitchen Appliances in Under an Hour

This is a great method for deep cleaning all your appliances quickly, seasonally, spring cleaning (are you doing my spring cleaning challenge?), or just a cleaning whim.  Feel free to split it up and do one appliance at a time, but the magic in the method is that you can thoroughly deep clean ALL your kitchen appliances quickly.

Ready?  Make sure you have about an hour to dedicate to this job – it’s frustrating to be mid-project and have to stop.

GATHER a couple cleaning supplies – castile soap or dish soap, white vinegar, a scrub brush or old toothbrush, all-purpose, non-toxic cleanermicrofiber cloths, and bar mop towels or cleaning rags.
FILL your kitchen sink with hot, soapy water.
OVEN – If you have a self-cleaning oven, you can run that option, but because it’s a smelly job it is best done after a quick clean up of food on the interior and with the windows open.  If you don’t have this option or don’t want to stink up the house, heavily spray a non-toxic degreaser or all-purpose cleaner in the interior of the oven and shut the door, letting the cleaner work on the grease.  Once you’ve treated your oven, you’ll want to clean the stove top – here’s how to clean a glass stove top and a gas stove top.
MICROWAVE – take out the glass plate in your microwave and put it in your sink.  Spray the interior of your microwave with non-toxic, all-purpose cleaner OR put a bowl of water and lemon/lemon juice in the microwave and run it until the water boils (3-5 minutes).   Let the cleaner or steam do its job.  Here’s a post with the full instructions for this method.
DISHWASHER – do this after you have run the dishwasher and its ‘clean’ and empty.  Remove the racks, spray the edges with cleaner and wipe clean.  Check the trap at the bottom for any food or blockages and clean out the filter if your dishwasher has one. Put a cup or two of white vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher and run a normal wash cycle.  Here’s a post with very specific instructions on how to clean your dishwasher if you’re interested.

REFRIGERATOR – throw away anything old or expired, take the rest of the contents out of the refrigerator and take out all removable drawers and shelves.  Put the drawers and shelves in the soapy sink and let them soak.

  • Mix up 1 teaspoon of dish soap (or my favorite, Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Orange castile soap), 1 teaspoon baking soda, and about 4-6 cups of warm water.
  • Wipe down the shelves with a well rung out microfiber cloth, bar mop or dish cloth.  Repeat until all shelves and drawers have been wiped clean.  Dry if necessary.
FINISH UP – go back and wipe and dry the microwave tray and the refrigerator drawers and shelves.  Wipe the interior of your oven after the self-cleaning cycle has completed OR if you used an all-purpose cleaner, you can use a non-toxic scrubbing cleaner or baking soda to clean and polish.
SPRAY and WIPE the fronts of your appliances – I like to use microfiber window/glass cloths on my stainless steel appliances for a streak-free shine.  Here’s a post with more details on my favorite method.
That’s it!  In an hour of active time (if you run the self-clean option on your oven and run your dishwasher, it will take a little longer, but that’s time that you aren’t doing any cleaning), your appliances will be spring cleaned!

Have you purchased my new book, Simply Clean?  It’s complete with quick cleaning checklists and guides and it will change the way you clean in the best possible way!

The Ultimate Natural Cleaning Resource

The Ultimate Natural Cleaning Resource - Your Guide to DIY Cleaners, How-Tos, and Helpful Tips via Clean Mama
I’ve covered A LOT of natural cleaning topics over the last year or so, I even had a book published all about natural and organic cleaning.  Scroll down to see the categories and posts.  Make sure you pin the post for later!   Don’t miss the new FREE calendar for January!  It’ll get you in the mood for cleaning up your space!  If you like this post, check out The Ultimate Guide to Simple Organizing.


Appliance Cleaning Guide

Appliance Cleaning Guide via Clean Mama

I’ve written a lot of posts about cleaning appliances and a top question from readers is how to clean appliances.  We want to know the quickest, easiest, and safest way to clean them, so today I’m rounding up all of my methods in this post.  Check it out and give your appliances a quick clean today!

  • Did you know that this one ingredient is all it takes to clean your stainless steel appliances?
  • Help your dishwasher work as efficiently as possible with this simple method.
  • Clean your washing machine to like-new status, no matter whether it’s top or front loading. No chemicals, no bleach!
  • No need for stinky cleaners or toxic chemicals with this easy DIY oven cleaner.  Works quickly to remove baked on gunk and grime.
  • Clean out all those crumbs, drips and spills in your freezer with this simple cleaning method.
  • No need to dread cleaning out your refrigerator when it is as simple as this!
  • Quick clean your major kitchen appliances in under an hour!  Includes a free printable to get you started in a hurry.
  • Steam clean your microwave and leave behind nothing but clean with this method.  Smells great, too!

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

 how to clean stainless steel appliances - clean mama

Stainless steel appliances have a sleek look until they are covered with fingerprints and streaks.  If your house is anything like mine, they are covered in the latter more than they have that sleek showroom look.  We recently bought a new refrigerator and I thought that my favorite stainless steel cleaner was perfect for all of my appliances until I grabbed it and tried to clean the new refrigerator.  Epic fail.  Streaks galore.  So this had me wondering about the best way to clean stainless steel appliances and what the best products are to use.

First of all, different companies use different grades and types of stainless steel which may need to be cleaned differently or may work better with different brands of cleaners.  I can attest to this in my home because different products work on each stainless appliance.  This is why I set out to find something that worked on all of my appliances.

What’s the best way to clean stainless steel appliances?

Apply to a microfiber cloth and clean quickly.  Don’t let the cleaner dry on the stainless before buffing it in to the surface.  I recommend using a microfiber cloth that is designed to be used on stainless steel.  This is my favorite one from Casabella.

casabella stainless cloth

When applying cleaner you need to wipe your cloth in the direction of the grain of the stainless steel.  This is because dirt can get trapped in the grain of the stainless and it will be and appear much cleaner this way.

apply cleaner and rub with the grain of the stainless steel - clean amam

Find a product or method that works on YOUR stainless steel appliances.  I’ve found 4 products that work the best on my three different brands of stainless steel appliances.  For my appliances the Weiman cleaner and polish works the very best on all of my appliances.

4 stainless steel cleaners to try - clean mama

YOU ALREADY HAVE IT  – White Vinegar – apply directly to cloth and wipe in the direction of the grain of the stainless steel and clean with microfiber cloth.

CLEANER AND POLISH – Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish – spray on cloth or appliances and wipe in the direction of the grain of the stainless steel and clean with microfiber cloth.  Buff with a clean, dry cloth.

PRE-MIXED NATURAL CLEANER – Seventh Generation Stainless Steel Cleaner – spray on cloth or appliances and wipe in the direction of the grain of the stainless steel and clean with microfiber cloth.

CLEANING CONCENTRATE – Branch Basics  mix up 100:1 – spray on cloth or appliances and wipe in the direction of the grain of the stainless steel and clean with microfiber cloth.

Other products and ideas to try:

club soda – spray directly on appliances and wipe in the direction of the grain of the the stainless steel and clean with microfiber cloth.

olive or baby oil – apply to a cloth and wipe on already clean appliance to buff and protect against fingerprints and smudges.

window spray – some swear by this technique – if you can’t get your stainless clean you might want to try this.


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