Most new stainless steel appliances do not have any protective coating or finish on them. Many stainless steel appliance manufacturers recommend the use of a stainless steel polish which contains a mineral oil or similar oil to remove fingerprints and smudges and hide any blemishes. This mineral oil coating also protects the surface and adds a shine. Note: that the shine is slightly darker or slightly lighter than the original shine due to the different way light reflects off the protected surface.
The best way to apply a stainless steel polish is to spray or pour directly onto a soft cloth. This is instead of directly spraying onto the vertical surface of the stainless steel appliance.
The 1st reason that spraying onto a soft cloth is best is that it eliminates the problems of spraying onto a side surface (such as painted wall or wallpaper which could be damaged by the mineral oil) and the problem of the spray falling onto the floor surface (such as wood or tile which could become slippery to walk on).
The 2nd reason that spraying onto a soft cloth is best is that one can easily saturate the cloth so that more polish can be applied to a smaller area. That will reduce “streaking” or what the surface looks like when there is not enough polish to fully cover an area. This is a specific problem when applying polish for the first time.
Originally, the brushed finish stainless steel surface has a large, dry surface area. Thus, more polish is required the 1st time to completely cover the entire surface for a streak-free shine. Using a polish like Cerama Bryte Stainless Steel Polish which has a high strength formula of mineral oil will make this 1st application easier and quicker.
For large stainless steel surfaces such as refrigerators, it is best to start applying the polish to a 1’ x 1’ area. Apply the polish in the direction of the brush lines and keep applying the polish until there are no streaks, just a uniform shine. Then use the same technique for the rest of the appliance.
It is also important to use a quality soft cloth to apply the stainless steel polish. We recommend a microfiber cloth which effectively holds a larger amount of polish and provides an even coating for a great shine. The microfiber cloth is also best for removing food deposits, grime, fingerprints and smudges.
There may be benefits to keeping that microfiber cloth as a dedicated stainless steel polish cloth for future cleaning. When the cloth appears dirty from removing food deposits and grime, it can be washed (separately) or thrown away.
Future cleanings will depend upon how often food deposits, grime, fingerprints, and smudges appear. Or until the surface appears streaky – which is caused by the air drying the mineral oil from the surface. How often that streakiness occurs depends upon how much sun and airflow the appliance receives. More sun and more airflow will cause the mineral oil to dry.
At these times, using the dedicated soft cloth with additional polish will make cleaning easier and quicker.
Heavy grime or food deposits: It may be necessary to use another soft cloth with a solution of warm water and dish detergent to remove the excess. After that step, it will be necessary to re-apply the polish to that area to blend in with the shine.
Water deposits: If the appliance gets water deposits from a water dispensing unit, it will be necessary to apply vinegar on a soft cloth until the deposit is removed/dissolved. After that step, it will be necessary to re-apply the polish to that area to blend in with the shine.
Rusting: One of the reasons this may occur is that the stainless steel surface has completely dried so there is no polish to protect the surface. It will be necessary to apply vinegar on a soft cloth until the rust is removed/dissolved. After that step, it will be necessary to re-apply the polish to that area to blend in with the shine.
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