The BEST way to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

The best way to clean stainless steel appliances - Ask Anna

I love hand prints and fingerprints!  I love seeing my little ones’ hands and fingers at different stages of their growth.  I love seeing how tiny they once were.  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.  And honestly, 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!  And keeping them clean after kids is even more of a problem!  A general wipe down just won’t do with stainless.

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 Pinterest was failing me.  I would sit on the floor scrubbing with the homemade cleaner (you know the one with vinegar and soap) and watch it dry as not only streaks appeared, but all the deep down smudges and stains re-appeared like magic.  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!

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 and she was astounded and asked me how I did it! 

So here’s what you need:

The best way to clean stainless steel appliances - Ask Anna

  • 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)
  • Wax paper

And here is what you do:

  1. 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. 

The best way to clean stainless steel appliances - Ask Anna

  1. 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.
  2. Take a portion of the flour sack that is still dry and dry the surface, making sure to go with the grain of the stainless steel.
  3. 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 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 best way to clean stainless steel appliances - Ask Anna

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 AND 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!

If you would like a little bit more than a peek inside my refrigerator, please stop by Simple.Home.Blessings. today and check out my latest task in my 31 Day Series called Tackling Tasks.  I have got some cute storage solutions for the inside of the fridge!

Am I the only domestic nerd out there?  What is your domestic success story? 

The best way to clean stainless steel appliances - Ask Anna




About the Author

I am Leah, a homemaker mom of 2 little ones, married to an amazing man. I love to find solutions to common household problems and I get more opportunities with my girls. I write about all things related to homemaking over at Simple.Home.Blessings. where I seek to find joy in the everyday and do meaningful homemaking minus the fussiness.

Leave a Comment



  1. This is a great go to, I have had a hard time finding something that really cleans and works well!

  2. Joan Foster says:

    First of all, I love that you love Bon Ami, too. I just bought a case because I can’t believe that some supermarkets haven’t figured out it’s the best and they don’t stock it. Second, I’m so happy to discover how to best clean stainless steel. If this works, you’ll feel smiles coming from the west coast of Canada all day long. Thanks!

  3. I will have to try this.

  4. The two steps on your instructions that scare me are….one I would have thought Bon Ami would scratch the stainless and two that you are rubbing in circles instead of with the grain when you clean it. But I trust you and will try this. I know so many of us have the issue of smudges on our stainless appliances. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Thanks Leah for this great post because stainless, while nice, can be a pain in the rear end to clean.

  6. Hi Leah,
    Thank you for the amazing tutorial. I will definitely try it, because with four kids in our house, I’m constantly wiping smudges off our stainless steel appliances. Before I get started, can you please tell me where I can find flour sack cleaning cloth. Am I the only one who has never heard of such a thing? lol

  7. Will the bon ami method work on SS stoves and even if they have some kind of finishing film on it?

  8. Where can I find a flour sac cleaning cloth??

  9. In one house I lived in I had a huge 4ft wide stainless steel refrigerator and two little kids. The method I used worked equally as well as the one listed here and I think it might be easier. The method I used got all of the greasy fingerprints etc that most cleaners leave behind and there was no streaking whatsoever. Here’s what I did:

    It works best to work on half of the frig at once. With a soft cloth like a tea towel or cotton cloth diaper I first cleaned half of the frig with 409. You might have to clean it a couple times in especially dirty areas. I usually only used 409 on the areas that looked fingerprinted. Occasionally I would use it on the whole thing.

    The frig will be fingerprint free at this point but it will look streaky and smeared. Next with a fresh soft cloth, I then cleaned the entire half with clear Windex. Use a second cloth to dry it quickly. This worked like a charm. I lived there for several years and the frig still looked brand new.

    Note: DO NOT use the blue Windex on stainless steel I have heard it can damage it.

  10. Where do i find the cleaner at? Havent been able to locate this stuff. Just got side by side fridge and already tired of tryin to clean it
    Thank you

  11. Marilyn McReynolds says:

    Thank you so much for the post on cleaning stainless steel with Bon Ami!!! I have tried almost every stainless cleaner on the market over the last six years, and nothing would remove the water spots and streak. Today I tried the Bon Ami… and I have stainless that looks new again!! I may actually learn to like, if not love these appliances now!

  12. Cheryl S. says:

    Anna, would Bar Keepers Friend work in place of Bon Ami? Not sure if Bon Ami is less abrasive. Thank you for this post, I have been struggling with keeping our Stainless items clean!

  13. I clicked through a friend’s Pinterest to your blog. I love cleaning tips and shortcuts. I used to clean houses for a living, so I have a few of my own.

    I have two words for you: Liquid Gold.
    After cleaning with your normal method (ie Windex, Simple Green, 409) polish with Liquid Gold furniture polish. It’s fast and works great!

  14. Help how do I clean the plexi-glass on our standing popcorn popper

  15. You just burst my bubble. I thought I alone discovered the solution last nite. I had the same problem with my fridge. Tried all sorts of products. Last nite I couldn’t stand it anymore and grabbed the BonAmi, sprinkled it on a shami, wet it and made a paste, then gently wiped the bottom freezer which was the worst. (We even thought that the discoloration had something to do with metal reacting to the temperature.) I did exactly what you did, rinsed and dried and could not believe my eyes. IT SPARKLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Susannah says:

    I use WD40 on the stainless steel appliances I clean. Just wipe off the appliance with a wet cloth, dry, and polish with WD40. Works really nice! :)

  17. lina mizzi says:

    I cannot find Bon Ami were I live can I use baking soda instead?

    • I would recommend the Bon Ami because it has starch and soap in it, so it is more than just an abrasive, like baking soda. Have you checked on Amazon? Here is a link: (affiliate link). You will find that the product really is worth seeking out and I haven’t found another product that works as well as this does, naturally! Blessings!

  18. Thank you soooo much!!! The Bon Ami works great!! I had tried EVERYTHING without results until I read your fabulous tip. Thank you again and again and again!!