I love hand prints and fingerprints! I love seeing my four little ones’ hands and fingers at different stages of their growth. Seeing how tiny they once were is such fun! We do lots of art projects with our hands, giving me ample opportunity to soak up the memories and keep them forever.
BUT, what I don’t love is the fingerprints and hand prints I keep finding on various hard surfaces in our home. I have wiped down walls, doors, windows, etc. Really I didn’t have a problem with cleaning them up. But before we were parents, we purchased all stainless steel appliances for our kitchen.
I say before we were parents because we might have thought twice after, even though we love the look of stainless steel. The only problem is keeping them clean! Keeping them clean after kids is even more of a problem! A general wipe down just won’t do with stainless.
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A Pinterest-Worthy Problem
I love to find solutions to household problems. And I am not afraid to try other people’s tips to see if they work (don’t you just love Pinterest?) But in this case – the case of the stainless fingerprints – Pinterest was failing me.
I would attempt scrubbing with the homemade cleaner (you know the one with vinegar and soap) and watch it dry. Not only streaks appeared, but all the deep down smudges and stains re-appeared like magic. Fail!
I would think I had a clean surface, only to discover it was exactly the same as it was before only streaky!
I even tried the flour trick and what I got was a big mess on the floor and stainless steel that looked the same.
So I thought about it…a LOT! I dreamed about it! I would wake up inspired to try something new and still…the same streaky, deep-set, messy results. Ugh!
Our budget simply wouldn’t allow us to run out and purchase new appliances. And I knew I couldn’t live with the mess!
A Pinterest Worthy Solution to Clean Stainless Steel
Then I figured it out! And let me tell you: THIS IS THE BEST WAY to clean stainless steel appliances! Do not be fooled by the other imitators. You will be amazed at the results. I brought my mother-in-law (yes!) over the other day to look at my dishwasher after I cleaned it with this technique. She was astounded and asked me how I did it!
So here’s what you need:
- Bon Ami cleanser (it is dye-free and chlorine free, and it is cute)
- A flour sack cleaning cloth (as soft as you can find)
- a clean microfiber cloth
- Wax paper (I buy these in bulk and use them all the time in my kitchen)
And here is what you do:
- Dampen a small section of your flour sack and sprinkle the dampened area with Bon Ami. Apply to your stainless steel in circular strokes over the entire surface.
- Dampen another small section of your flour sack and wipe the stainless steel surface clean, wiping in the direction of the grain of the stainless steel.
- Use the microfiber cloth to dry the surface, making sure to go with the grain of the stainless steel.
- Cut a sheet of wax paper and rub the waxy side over the entire surface of the stainless steel.
This process works best when you work quickly, taking small sections at a time (for our French door refrigerator I worked on each door separately). And don’t forget the inside of the doors on your appliances. They are the parts that get the messiest!
The results are amazing! I literally did a celebratory jig when I finally cracked the code for cleaning our appliances. They look like we just took them out of the box! Bonus: the wax paper helps to prevent smudges and fingerprints for a little while (not forever). The deep-set stains are gone and there are absolutely NO streaks!
The Follow-up for your Clean Stainless Steel
This process doesn’t take all that long to do. But it is not the simplest solution to quick cleaning.
I’ve got you covered here too. For quick cleaning – in between deep cleanings – use this simple tip to get your Stainless looking showroom ready.
If you would like a little bit more than a peek inside my refrigerator, please stop by check out my latest task in my 31 Day Series called Tackling Tasks. I’ve got some cute storage solutions for the inside of the fridge!