9 best tips to get stainless steel looking like new

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Stainless steel appliances and sinks are ideal because they are durable and attractive. This man-made alloy is popular among homeowners because it looks nice, is resistant to water damage and rust, and can increase the value of a home.
But one of the biggest drawbacks of owning stainless steel appliances is that fingerprints and smudges show up very easily and the steel loses its shine over time. Fortunately, if you can suck up the expensive price tag of stainless steel appliances, dealing with the smudges isn't that hard.
Check out a few tips for getting your stainless steel appliances to look brand new.
1. Use lime and salt to clean your sink
Get your sink sparkly clean by sprinkling salt all over the basin, then use a lime half to scrub the salt into the stainless steel. After scrubbing with the lime and salt, dust the basin with baking soda and wash it away with a clean rag. For extra shine, buff your sink with a bit of vegetable oil.
Cooktop Cove
2. Wash with the grain
Like wood, stainless steel has a grain. If you wash with the grain of the steel, you get more of the cleaning solution into the grains so that your steel looks cleaner and shines brighter.
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3. Use cotton fabric
Choose a soft cloth made of 100% cotton. The cloth works better than paper towels or other materials because it doesn't leave lint behind.
 TanyaRozhnovskaya / Shutterstock
4. Clean your stove with baking soda and water
Easily remove baked-on food from the top of your stainless steel stove by gently scrubbing the food away with a paste made from baking soda and warm water.
5. Say no to harsh chemicals
While stainless steel is hardy, it's not bulletproof. Avoid abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, steel wool, bleach or ammonia, as these could damage your stainless steel finish. According to Consumer Reports, you may want to check the manual that came with your appliance to ensure there aren't other specific products to avoid.
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6. Try the K.I.S.S. method
One rule I learned in college that's always stuck with me is K.I.S.S. -- in other words: Keep it simple, stupid. One of the best ways to clean your stainless steel is to go the easiest route and opt for warm water and gentle dish soap. Wash with a gentle cloth, then rinse the soap away with clean water.
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7. Vinegar and olive oil
Use vinegar and olive oil to remove fingerprint smudges and dirt from the front of your stainless steel refrigerator. Spray the vinegar onto the stainless steel surface and let it set for a minute or two. Wipe away the vinegar, following the grain of the steel, then use a little olive oil to buff the steel to a shine.
8. Clean and shine with WD-40
Spray WD-40 directly onto any of your stainless steel appliances. Wipe away the liquid with a clean rag. The solution will clean and shine the surface at the same time. Compact Appliance also notes that this can help protect the surface of your appliances with a coating so it won't be as easy for little ones to leave their fingerprints behind. Note: This should not be used on your stove -- only on dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines to avoid contaminating cooking surfaces.
 Ismail Sadiron / Shutterstock
9. Clean your stove or sink with flour
This method is a bit messy. After cleaning the stainless steel surface with water and soap, coat the surface with a layer of flour and allow the flour to dry. Use a soft cloth to buff away grease and leave your sink or stove bright.
Keep your kitchen clean and free from fingerprints and grease by trying one of these simple tricks! Don't forget to share these tips with your friends on Facebook.
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