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stainless_steel_stoveIf you have ever owned any stainless steel products, you know how beautiful and appealing the look can be. Stainless steel appliances give a renovated kitchen that POP! it needs, while steel also makes for a very durable cookware product that never disturbs flavors, yet guarantees a balanced heating of foods. It also resists corrosion and rust – a bonus for the steel fans!

While some may disagree, I find stainless to be a pain to clean. Not so much of a pain to eschew using our stainless set all together, but enough of a pain that we had to learn the dos and don’ts of dealing with it.  (Yes, we’ve scratched some of our appliances before and it is not a good feeling!)

Here are some quick and easy tips for cleaning steel and maintaining that fresh metallic look:

Clean with water and a cloth.
 Microfiber cloths are the best option to use when cleaning stainless steel because they absorb all of the water. It’s also a safe product to use to avoid scratching steel surfaces. You’ll want to avoid paper towels or any cloth or towel with a rough surface intended for non-stick cookware. This especially includes steel wool! When drying, dry along the grain to avoid water spots. If you clean or dry aggressively against the grain with regular scouring pads, you will leave marks on your appliance or pan, so be sure to take it easy.

Only use a drop of dish soap. 
For most cases, a drop of mild dish soap and warm water is all you’ll need to clean a pan or pot, so don’t over-think it! Just be gentle. Alternatively, using white vinegar as a cleaner has also been proven to work. Try it out – that stuff is like magic!

Glass cleaner is your friend.
 Fingerprints on stainless steel is one of the biggest complaints and it’s a valid concern! No matter how careful you try to be, fingerprints will always end up on your fridge. Use spray glass cleaner on a microfiber cloth to get the job done. Wipe away the fingerprint using soft circular wipes. There are newer finishes of stainless steel that are fingerprint resistant, so if you are buying new products be sure to do your research and seek those out.

Keep a stainless steel cleaner on hand. If you need to remove stains or scratches from your stainless steel, using a steel cleaner is a great option. Read the directions on the cleaner and be sure to test the product on an unnoticeable location, just in case. Even if you aren’t trying to remove a stain or hide a scratch, stainless steel cleaner or glass cleaner will help your appliance shine. As always, rinse the area thoroughly afterwards and towel dry.

Stainless steel can be finicky, but with a little TLC, stainless steel will keep your kitchen looking sleek and stylish for years to come.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for top real estate tips and trends.