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How to Clean Sometimes Not-So Stainless Steel


Sometimes stainless steel doesn’t quite live up to its name. That durable material can stand up to tough corrosion and rust, but over time those little blemishes and grime can build up—and stick around. 

What a sad-looking kitchen when your stainless steel appliances, sinks and cookware look dulled out. How can you create inspired culinary masterpieces (or, you know, just a tasty dinner) in a kitchen that’s looking seriously lackluster? Get your kitchen bright and shiny again with these natural methods to clean your stainless steel sinks, appliances and cookware.


Hard water spots and age can leave your stainless steel sink looking lifeless. Give it a good scrub with a mixture of baking soda, lemon juice and just enough water to form a paste. This gooey paste will remove stuck-on food and surface stains.

Next, polish the shine back into your sink using two kitchen favorites—olive oil and vinegar. Take a dry cloth and dampen it with a small amount of olive oil. Rub the oil over the surface of the sink until it gleams. Then wipe off the excess oil with a cloth doused in white vinegar. Check out that instant shine!


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From the Organic Authority Files

As objects that get handled often, stainless steel appliances can quickly start to look grungy. Fill a spray bottle with one part white vinegar and one part water. Squirt the mixture onto your appliances and rub it in using a soft sponge or cloth to erase smudges, fingerprints, streaks and grime. Don’t use abrasive scrubbers, as they can create fine scratches in stainless steel.

You could also use club soda to buff your cloudy appliances to a fresh sparkle.


Whether your stainless steel pots and pans gleam with a polish worthy of the queen’s silverware or look simply grunged out doesn’t really matter as far as cooking goes. But they sure look a whole lot prettier shined up when you’re slaving away at that stove.

Keep your cookware looking fresh with a few simple steps.

  • Remove stuck-on food by shaking a few tablespoons of baking soda in the bottom of the offending pan. Next, add a few tablespoons of white vinegar. The bubbly mixture will free up caked-on bits so you can easily scrub them off.
  • Keep pots and pans glistening by cleaning them regularly with white vinegar. The vinegar will remove grime and streaks.
  • If you’re a perfectionist, use table salt, a sponge and some elbow grease to scour away the black build-up on the bottom of your pots and pans.

image: drugfreedave

Follow Kirsten on Twitter @kirsten_hudson

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