The Only Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner You’ll Ever Need

The Only Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner You'll Ever Need - Put a little olive oil on a piece of soft paper toweling (I use Viva brand) and start rubbing it into the stainless. In no time at all you’ll begin to see the difference.
This post includes affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.Today we’re getting the house ready for winter. That means lots of organization and packing up outside and lots of deep cleaning inside. I wanted to share a cleaning tip today many people don’t know about.

If you have stainless steel appliances, you’ve undoubtedly struggled with keeping them fingerprint and streak-free. You may have also forked out tons of money on products that claim to clean stainless only to be left with more streaks than you started with. This happens to me with windows and mirrors too. Sometimes I go through about a stack of newspapers or paper toweling and a ton of cleaner before I’m really happy with the end product. Talk about frustrating.

I know you didn’t necessarily click through to this post to listen to me rant so I’ll quickly get to the point. The secret to spotless stainless steel appliances is right in your kitchen. May I introduce you to my bottle of olive oil. This, my friends, is the answer to your stainless steel cleaning prayers.

The Only Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner You'll Ever Need - Put a little olive oil on a piece of soft paper toweling (I use Viva brand) and start rubbing it into the stainless. In no time at all you’ll begin to see the difference.
Take a look at the BEFORE photo of my oven below. If you look closely, you can see all the fingerprints and streaks. Ick. And if you have children with sticky hands or pets with wet noses, you know what I’m talking about.
 The Only Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner You'll Ever Need - Put a little olive oil on a piece of soft paper toweling (I use Viva brand) and start rubbing it into the stainless. In no time at all you’ll begin to see the difference.
Here is a closer shot. See what I’m talking about?
The Only Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner You'll Ever Need - Put a little olive oil on a piece of soft paper toweling (I use Viva brand) and start rubbing it into the stainless. In no time at all you’ll begin to see the difference.
Put a little olive oil on a piece of soft paper toweling and start rubbing it into the stainless. In no time at all you’ll begin to see the difference. Don’t take my word for it. TRY IT! These pictures are definitely not doctored. If you do anything today, do this. You will be amazed. This is what the end product looked like.
 The Only Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner You'll Ever Need - Put a little olive oil on a piece of soft paper toweling (I use Viva brand) and start rubbing it into the stainless. In no time at all you’ll begin to see the difference.
I even did my dishwasher. So, congratulations and you’re welcome. You will never have to invest in another commercial stainless steel cleaning product again. Do you have other cleaning secrets many people may not know about? Share them here so we can all make our lives a little easier. Who doesn’t need that these days?!
The Only Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner You'll Ever Need - Put a little olive oil on a piece of soft paper toweling (I use Viva brand) and start rubbing it into the stainless. In no time at all you’ll begin to see the difference.
The Only Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner You'll Ever Need - Put a little olive oil on a piece of soft paper toweling (I use Viva brand) and start rubbing it into the stainless. In no time at all you’ll begin to see the difference.


  1. I am amazed at how fast this works! I like to use natural cleaning products like vinegar, baking soda,etc. I have 4 grandchildren ages 6,4,2,and 13 months. It gets hectic when we are all together. I don’t have to worry when my little ones help me tidy up! Keep on blogging!I

  2. Ruby, it is incredible isn’t it? Sounds like you have your hands full with your wonderful grandchildren. How wonderful. I’m sure they love to help you out around the house. It’s great to get the little ones involved. Thanks so much for your comment. It’s messages like yours that definitely inspire me to keep doing what I love to do! Have a wonderful day!

  3. Doesn’t the oil go rancid after a while? Olive oil is known for spoiling quickly even in a sealed bottle…

    • You can also use WD40 – which is what it is made for. Don’t know how the price may compare – if you are using old olive oil, that may be cheaper.

    • KinaMonster says:

      You can use any oil, but olive oil will only go “bad” after quite a while, and you are very likely to (hopefully) re-clean your appliances before then.

      I use olive oil as a wipe on ‘finisher’ for any stainless I clean with my white vinager/water mix spray.

      -Spray on your cleaner
      -Wipe the area
      -Dry the area (A cloth or paper towel both work)
      -Then pour a teaspoon of oil either on the flat surface of the stainless steel appliance or right on the towel
      -Rub in the oil around the entire surface of the stainless
      I usually do all the stainless things at once to make it easier. If you do this once a week your kitchen (or whatever room) will sparkle and shine.

      (try this same process w/ a stainless sink but use some baking soda first to scrub it, then start the rest of the steps…works like a charm.)

  4. Hi Judi, you only use a small dab on a piece of paper toweling. I’ve never run into any problems. I did have a couple readers tell me that they use baby oil with similiar results. You could always try that too! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

  5. This is my favorite way to clean and shine stainless steel. I usually wipe it down with soap and water first to get the big chunks then the oil.

    Angela @Angela Says

  6. Any oily material (or liquid car wax) will work. I personally like to clean with a stainless cleaner and then use an oily material (I have to old bottle of pledge revitalizing oil that smells orangy….love it !)

  7. what do you mean by paper toweling?

    • You can buy paper towels at any major retailer. I like the Viva brand for helping clean the stainless steel. It’s softer and non-abrasive.

  8. This post came just at the right time – HUGE thank you! jane

  9. I’ve been using lemon oil on my stainless and it works the same way. Amazing. You could add some lemon essential oil to the olive oil to make your kitchen smell amazing while cutting through even more dirt and grime.

    • Oooh, Brenda, I love the idea of lemon oil and would love the fresh smell as well. Thanks for the tip!

    • Just for reference, that so called lemon oil you run into around town is just mineral oil with a lemon scent. You could buy a bottle of mineral oil for around a buck fifty and add your preferred essential oil for the effect you’re after.

  10. Thank you!! I will be trying this in the morning. I love my stainless appliances but for the life of me cannot seem to find a cleaner that does a good job….I am anxious to give this a try.

  11. We just bought a stainless steel frig and we were told not to use paper towels on it. They recommended using a micro fiber cloth. It works great!

  12. Any ideas on how to keep laundry whites white. Looking for a natural solution/home remedy. Would appreciate any helpfuls. Thanks.

    • Sheila, have you ever tried adding 1/2 cup baking soda to your washer with your clothes? It can serve as a natural whitener.

    • The best cleaning method I have ever found for whites is Laundry detergent (I use cheer), 1/3 cup borax, and 1/3 cup of dawn dish soap (cuts body oils). My sheets never looked better!

  13. Leigh Anna says:

    What about cleaning the cabinets closest to the stove which for me get very oily/greasy? Commercial products do not work!!

    • Leigh Anna, have you ever tried a little Soft Scrub on a warm, wet rag? Just try some on a little corner of one of your cabinets to see if it helps any. Have you tried a magic eraser? My mother-in-law actually hangs flour cloth dish towels from her cabinets to protect them when she uses her frying pan!

    • Dawn dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda mixed will clean anything and make it sparkle. Works for me anyway.👍

    • It comes off easily with a little vegetable oil on a paper towel. Cleans up that sticky gunk really fast!

  14. Any natural product that makes towels smell fresh again? I love ours, but they’re beginning to retain a definite odor, even after washing. THANKS SO MUCH!

    • Jan, wash the towels on a hot cycle with no detergent – just 1 cup vinegar. If they’re still a bit smelly, follow this step up with one more hot cycle mixing in a 1/2 cup baking soda this time with nothing else. Remember to wash like colored towels together so there is no color transfer. Good luck!

    • This smell is from using too much soap. Sara’s solution is correct. In the future, use less soap. For a full load of towels I use a fourth of what is recommended on soap instructions.

      • Thanks for sharing this. I have washed my towels over and over with the hottest setting on my washer, we even have the steam and sanitizing settings. I couldn’t get this smell put which to me kind of smells like old oil like a cooking oil that’s old. Never had I even thought it was from using too much soap ! I had even tried an extra rinse cycle on them. Next washing I am doing this !! Also some one was asking about whitening laundry. We have the worst ever hard water that has iron and calcium. Even my hair turns red after time and I have to use a product I get from the beauty store to strip the iron out of my hair. I found a product on amazon.Com that I absolutely love. The very first time I used it I washed an old quilt that I love and use it daily. I had forgotten how white it actually was at one time lol. This stuff does work ! If your clothes are really dingy looking use a full scoop as directed and then every few washes just use a half scoop (scoop is included) if using on color clothing I recommend mixing it in a small cup of water before adding to the wash just so it doesn’t set on the clothes and mixes quicker. It’s called Charlies Soap “booster & hard water treatment” it’s made of natural minerals this stuff really does work. There are other laundry detergent made by the same brand that’s great also and it’s all natural no smell to it. Thanks for sharing about the stainless cleaner I will be trying this. I have both little sticky hands and a lot of wet noses lol.

    • I’ve noticed that if I wash my towels in hot water in the washer and not use any fabric softener, I no longer get smelly towels. It took me a long time to figure it out. Also, if you have a quick dry cycle on your dryer, use that when drying your towels.

  15. We just upgraded to stainless steel appliances and already there are tons of smudges and prints on them. I’m looking forward to trying the oil on them! Thanks!

  16. hi Sara. found your blog and ideas. will def use this one. I have a ss sink that is hard to clean even with ss cleaner. must be the type of sink, dunno as I never had this orob before. so will try the oil and see if it works. ta for the tips.

  17. hi Sara, i know how hard chemicals are on hands, nose and lungs. thanks from me hugs

  18. I use it on my kitchen sink too at least once a week.

  19. Jennifer says:

    i have a black granite sink and I use the olive oil on it also. Looks brand new after rubbing in some oil.

  20. will this work on a black stove & fridge :o)

  21. Sandy Jones says:

    I tried this and it looked fantastic at first but then all these brown spots formed on my appliances after a few days. It was the worst on my dishwasher. I think the heat from the dishwasher cooked the olive oil on the surface. I even used Bertoli olive oil. I had to scrub the surface with a Magic Eraser and a special stainless steel cleaner to get the brown spots off.

    • Wow, Sandy. That’s never happened to me. I really only use a VERY small amount of olive oil – a dab covers both of my stainless appliances. Do you think you maybe just used a bit too much?

  22. Any ideas of how I could make dispensable stainless steel wipes with this oil method?

    • No, I’ve never tried that. However, you’ll find it’s super quick to grab a soft paper towel or rag, dab a little of the oil on and get to cleaning. If you choose the rag method, you’ll be able to use it over and over.

  23. hi, I was wondering if using oil on your stainless will produce even more fingerprints when applied? It would seem like it would?

    • Lacey, remember you’re just using a very small amount. You shouldn’t be coating your appliances with the oil. When using just a little bit, it shouldn’t be greasy or show fingerprints more so than before.

  24. Using baby oil from a dollar store is a much affordable version … try it – ideal results!

  25. Going to try this! We just bought a stainless steel refrigerator and it already is icky with finger prints.

  26. Love this idea…and it looked great…until my Golden Retriever came into the kitchen and licked off all the EVOO. It now looks worst than before. Oy! Great idea for non-dog owners though! <3

    • Julie, we have a golden, too, however she seems to leave it alone. Baby oil will have the same effect. I wonder if your golden would leave the baby oil alone?

  27. I’ve actually used Olive Oil and don’t like it. It will eventually leave a sticky residue that is difficult to get off. The first time you use it, it’s great once buffed off, but it builds up. I prefer to use a special stainless steel cleaner purchased from the grocery store.

  28. We haven’t tried the olive oil, but we tried regular Pledge furniture polish. Makes the appliances look brand new. Spray it on and after a few minutes, just wipe it off. Works way better than the 3-4 different stainless steel cleaners we have under the sink!

  29. I have used baby oil for years on my stainless steel. It is cheaper than olive oil and has no smell. It only takes a tiny bit on a cloth. Just another thought. 🙂

  30. I use e-cloths (found online) microfiber cloths to clean and polish my stainless steel appliances. Just get a regular e-cloth damp to clean off the grime and use the polishing (glass cleaning cloth) to dry and shine. No cleaners and it works great! The cloths are fairly inexpensive.

  31. Yeyyy!!! I must have spent a fortune on stainless steel cleaning products, but NO MORE!!! Olive oil it is!! It can even handle my seven year old son’s fingerprints when he is using the microwave or my ten month old baby daughter’s little “paws”, who really enjoys seeing her reflection on the double oven! And since I live in Greece, the olive oil comes from my own olive trees!! It’s a win/win for me!! Thanx again!!!

    • A comment all the way from Greece! I’m so happy the olive oil is working for you – and the fact that you have your own olive trees is quite possibly the coolest thing ever!

  32. Maria stipeck says:

    I use baby oil, it works like a charm and I love the smell when cleaning.

  33. Maria stipeck says:

    I use baby oil it works fantastic and love the smell when cleaning.

  34. It is my understanding that olive oil can turn rancid after a while. I have used mineral oil with good results.

  35. crafty.grandma says:

    Hi, I was using olive oil on my stainless steel frig until one day it started to cry! Yep! it formed streaky tears right down the front. I used it maybe once a month to keep it shiny….To get rid of the tears I had to wash it down – water – a drop of dawn – and vinegar. However, I did not spray it on but rather dipped my cloth in my sink with this combo in it and washed all my appliances. It took a few washings but it finally stopped tearing yellow tears. My frig is near the patio door through which the sun also comes in …..I am pretty sure that the heat of the sun made it melt….I keep my curtains closed at all times but some days it is so hot during the sum that I can feel the heat on the fridge! Paper towels leave little fragments behind especially those that claim to be recycled. A woven cloth saved for washing/polishing the appliances does the trick. and if you must wash it – DO NOT USE softener –

  36. How about Black Appliances ?
    The stove top never gets completely streak free !

  37. Christine says:

    You are absolutely right. My plumber gave me this tip a long time ago when installing the new stainless faucet. A tiny bit on a paper towel and it leaves a beautiful finish which does not get greasy or buildup at all. Thank you for sharing a great tip with others.

  38. I use Orange Glow Wood Cleaner available at Home Depot this is the my miracle worker and it smells ah-mazing! Just be sure to place a bath towel or bathmat on the floor before spraying the appliance so your floors don’t become a slip n slide surface! Good luck and happy cleaning!

  39. But will it not make the surface oily ? more prone to sticking dirt and also , a bit slippery to handle when opening and closing ? and if you leaned on them ( tired cooking meals) you may get stains on your clothes ( esp. from tall objects like refrigerator )

    • You only need a tiny bit on your toweling or rag. A little goes a long way. I’ve never had any problems with dust or oil stains on clothing.

  40. I’ve not tried the olive oil trick, but I think I would use mineral oil if I did. I have had good luck with baking soda on my stainless appliances. It cleans without scratching and takes off tape residue after I had grandkids’ art work taped to the refrigerator☺️

    • Great tip, Julie! Thank you!

    • I use baby oil myself, just the teeniest amount rubbed on…I do notice that over time pet hair from my five cats will start to stick to it a little, then it’s time to redo it. Always trying to keep on top of those “kitty tumbleweeds” that like to gather in corners. LOL.

  41. Commercial Cleaners are toxic and can cause Cancer, etc. My daughter got Cancer after super cleaning my son’s house when he got Ill. Her sister helped her and also got Cancer. My son and his sister died a year apart, but the clean freak caught hers in time and is now a Happy Grand Mother. It’s what we EAT, DRINK and Breathe that makes us sick!!!!! Just use Natural Cleaners… They WORK!!!!!

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