You can’t beat a stainless steel appliance when it’s clean for a sleek, modern look. The stainless steel surface is easy to clean with the right products. We ranked the top stainless steel cleaners based on their effectiveness, convenience, and affordability, so you can choose the one that will shine the most.
With Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish, you can easily clean stainless steel with a sponge or lint-free cloth. It’s also affordable and readily available in supermarkets.
Here are the best cleaning agents for stainless steel, ranging from deep cleansers to eco-friendly alternatives.
Our Top Picks
8 Best Cleaning Agents for Stainless Steel Reviews
1. Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Trigger Spray
You can use this top-rated cleaner to clean stainless steel surfaces easily, from fingerprints on your fridge to stuck food in your sink. Its versatility makes it stand out from other cleaners on the market. It can be used on dishwashers and ovens, silverware and cookware, and even dishwashers.
Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner cleans your items, but it also adds a protective coating that prevents fingerprints and dirt from returning. In addition to being effective against grease, the finish is also streak-free and protective, so your items will remain sparkling for a long time. Grease is not only dingy in your kitchen, but can also cause other problems.
Buying in bulk is a budget-friendly option if you expect to clean stainless steel items regularly.
2. Pledge Stainless Steel Cleaner Spray
The aerosol spray from Pledge is easy to use, cost-effective, and highly effective, so it’s a great choice. It leaves a shiny finish after cleaning stainless steel surfaces, including appliances and grills. Instead of providing a protective barrier, it removes dirt, grime, and other buildup.
Pledge’s signature lemon scent is overpowering to some, while others love its familiarity. For those with allergies, it is important to note that Pledge uses chemical fragrances. The product is quite powerful, so it might not be suitable for those with chemical or scent sensitivity.
3. Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Kit
The Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner Kit is made from plant-based ingredients and essential oils, but it still packs a powerful cleaning punch. Coconut oil cleans and polishes, while lavender essential oil adds a natural scent to the product.
This spray cleaner is a great option for cleaning kitchens and other areas where food is prepared because of its safe ingredient list. You will need a cloth to buff the surface with most spray cleaners. Therapy recommends a microfiber cloth for best results. While this spray cleaner is more expensive than some others on our list, you can buy it in larger quantities to save more.
4. ZEP Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish
Another aerosol spray, the Zep Stainless Steel Polish is easy to use without worrying about drips and streaks. Spray on, buff into stainless steel (with grain), and the finish will shine. In addition to removing water spots, fingerprints, smudges, and discolorations, this spray can also be used for chrome and aluminum surfaces. It can also prevent corrosion and rust.
This is an ideal spray for appliances, but not great for cookware. Although the ingredients are safe, it is important to scrub the product off before using your cookware. It has a strong chemical smell, despite being technically unscented.
5. Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes
Our top pick, the Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner, also comes in wipes. These convenient wipes clean and polish, just like the spray, plus add a protective layer so fingerprints and grease won’t accumulate. With its wipe-applied application, this cleaner can be used easily on refrigerator handles, which need special attention in the kitchen.
There are 30 wipes in each container, so it’s convenient, but not the best value. One wipe can clean multiple appliances if they’re not too dirty. Consider buying these in bulk for a better value. The wipes can also be purchased in a combination kit with the spray to save time and money.
6. Goo Gone Grill and Grate Cleaner Spray
Despite the fact that grills can require heavy-duty cleaning, they should still remain safe for food preparation areas. The Goo Gone Grill and Grate Cleaner complies with that requirement. This spray destroys cooked-on food on the interior grates as well as built-up dirt from the grill’s exterior. This choice also has a degreaser that can be used to clean up food spills. The instructions in Goo Gone’s instruction manual explain how to use it on many standard grills.
In case you are unsure, try cleaning a small area with this cleaner before using it on your entire grill surface. It isn’t safe for faux stainless steel or aluminum.
7. Bar Keeper’s Friend Superior Cookware Cleanser & Polish
With Bar Keeper’s Friend, you can apply it directly to stainless steel cookware and scrub away to reveal a sparkling clean finish. A convenient powder cleaner, it is a favorite among professionals and home cooks alike. It includes a cleaner and degreaser, making it our favorite cookware cleaner. If you’ve tried regular dishwashing detergent, you should try Bar Keeper’s Friend cookware polish and see what clean really looks like.
Not just stainless steel cookware, but glass cookware, grills, and sinks can also be cleaned with this cleaner. It removes rust stains, lime deposits, and baked-on grease. You will need a sink and sponge to use it. Although it is the best choice for cookware, appliances and larger items are difficult to apply.
8. CLR Spotless Stainless Steel Streak-Free Cleaner
This CLR spray cleaner is easy to use on stovetops and grills; plus, it’s safe for so many stainless steel surfaces that it can serve as a one-stop shop for all of your cleaning needs. You can use it to remove grease, food, and grime from cooked-on surfaces. Spray the formula on, let it sit for a minute, then wipe off any excess.
It does leave a protective barrier, which can help prevent future problems. However, its capacity is on the smaller side.
What to Look for in a Stainless Steel Cleaner
There are three types of stainless steel cleaners: spray, wipe, and liquid. Which type you choose depends on how you apply it. Sprays are the easiest to use, but they require an extra cloth.
It is easy to use wipes, but they are more expensive and often sold in small quantities. Liquid cleaners are more difficult to apply, but they can be purchased in bulk. Many stainless steel cleansers can also be used on other surfaces.
Consider how you plan to use a stainless steel cleaner and what types of items you want to clean. Do you want to clean your refrigerator’s fingerprints, or do you want shiny cookware? Some stainless steel cleaners are specially designed to clean cookware. Other cleaners can be used on everything from appliances to grills to cookware and others are all-purpose cleaners.
Cleansers use chemical ingredients in their cleaning formula, especially if they have a scent. For those with skin or scent sensitivities, an all-natural plant-based cleaner may be a better choice, even though all products on our list have been approved and monitored for ingredient safety by regulatory authorities.
How do you clean stainless steel?
The best cleaning method and cleaner to use on stainless steel is to keep it streak-free and repel dust. The best cloth to use with spray cleaners is a lint-free cloth. Maryland-based cleaning expert Arryn Wilmington recommends using clean microfiber cloths for all of your cleaning needs. “You can use one cloth for everything from cleaning glass to wiping down surfaces,” she said. Keep track of which cleaners you’ve used with them and wash them in hot water between uses.” Check out our stainless steel cleaning guide for more tips.
Can you use stainless steel cleaner on black stainless steel?
The majority of stainless steel cleaners should not be used on stainless steel with a finish, including black stainless steel. Whenever a cleaner claims to be safe for black stainless steel, test it on a small area before applying it to your entire appliance. For best results, clean black stainless steel with warm water and a microfiber cloth.
How do you remove stainless steel cleaner buildup?
There is a possibility of leaving a residue behind after cleaning and polishing stainless steel. This is especially true for products that provide a protective barrier against future fingerprints and smudges. It is a good idea to wipe down your stainless steel surface with diluted white vinegar if this residue begins to build up. This cuts through the finish and removes any residue. To test this, place it in an inconspicuous area first.
With the Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish, you can not only clean, but polish your appliances as well and create a protective barrier.
A good budget choice, Pledge Stainless Steel Cleaner Spray, is a spray that offers great results at a reasonable price. It does, however, use chemicals and fragrances that some might find overpowering.