Stainless steel is prone to tarnishing and water marks, […]
Stainless steel is prone to tarnishing and water marks, so polish your steel items regularly to restore its shine. You can polish the surface of stainless steel using water, non-toxic cleaners like vinegar or olive oil, or a specialized steel cleaner.
Choose a vinegar. Certain vinegars can work better than others. White and cider vinegar works similarly on stainless steel, but cider vinegar leaves a more pleasant smell. Use what you have on hand. Cleaning vinegar is best for tough stains thanks to its higher acidity. If your appliance is heavily tarnished, purchase cleaning vinegar.
Check the direction of the grain. Like wood, stainless steel has a grain that will run either vertically or horizontally. Wiping the steel down in the direction of the grain will help you reach the small grooves where dirt or grime can get trapped.
Spray your steel liberally with vinegar. Pour the vinegar in a spray bottle to lightly coat the stainless steel in vinegar. Then, spray the vinegar over the item until the item is thinly covered in vinegar. If you do not want to use a spray bottle, you can moisten a cloth in vinegar and evenly rub the item.
For light polishing, dilute vinegar with water (1/2 cup of vinegar for every quart of warm water). Polish with undiluted vinegar on items with heavy staining.
Wipe the steel down with a soft cloth. Using either a soft cloth or paper towel, wipe the vinegar off in the direction of the grain. This will remove debris from the item and restore its shine. Remember to wipe in the direction of the grain. You don't want vinegar to stay caught in the grooves and cause your steel to fade over time.
Paper towels can leave behind fibers or break off into small pieces. A washcloth will polish the stainless steel best.