Homemade Stainless Steel Cleaners
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11+ Amazing Homemade Stainless Steel Cleaners In 2024

Stainless Steel
Stainless steel appliances have been top-rated in the restaurant industry due to their durability.

Homemade stainless steel cleaners are toxic-free and cost-effective, making them seem more attractive than store-bought options in the long term, especially for people who like to collect stainless steel things.

Let’s count how many stainless steel appliances and items you have in your home. I’m sure the number is much more than you think.

This material is not only long-lasting, corrosion-resistant, germ-resistant but also easy on the eye. In addition, you can always add more coordinating stainless steel items to decorate your house.

With many such items, it’s pretty challenging to take care of them and keep them shiny all the time. Luckily, some straightforward homemade cleaning tips and tricks do wonders to these appliances.

Keep scrolling to find out!

Reliable Homemade Stainless Steel Cleaners You Must Know

Stainless steel items are highly susceptible to dirt and fingerprints during daily use. Therefore, periodical cleaning is essential to maintain their shine.

This is when homemade stainless steel cleaners are needed, thanks to their efficient cleaning effects and inexpensive ingredients. Let’s discover some incredible methods below:

Lemon Essential Oil

Not only does it smell soothing, but the lemon essential oil is also great at eliminating unpleasant odor and disinfecting surfaces. This ingredient is a natural and safe way to clean around your house. Also, it’s an integral part of a homemade stainless steel cleaner which I mention below.

Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil features a fresh aroma and a cleansing power.

What You’ll Need

  • Lemon essential oil
  • Water
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • A microfiber
  • Spray bottle

Step 1: Prepare The Cleaning Mixture

Let’s first fill a spray bottle with 1 ½ cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 ½ cup of water, then add 6 drops of dishwashing liquid and 24 drops of lemon essential oil. Give it a good shake.

Step 2: Apply The Solution

Spray the solution on your stainless steel items and wipe them gently with a microfiber cloth.

Do you know how to make lemon essential oil at home? I’ll show you now!

Watch this video: How to make lemon essential oil at home

Vinegar And Olive Oil

Vinegar can clean and disinfect your items, while olive oil is known for getting rid of grimes, smudges and restoring shine.

You can use any oil in your house, for example, coconut oil, if you run out of olive oil. The best part? Oil also prevents fingerprints from appearing again for a while.

Vinegar And Olive Oil
Olive oil is widely used in homemade cleaning and beauty formulas.

What You’ll Need

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Olive oil (Other oil products of your choice)
  • A spray bottle
  • A dry cloth

Step 1: Create A Mixture

Add 1 part of water and 1 part of vinegar into a spray bottle.

Step 2: Wipe The Appliances

Spray a generous amount of this solution directly onto the items you want to clean. Take a closer look at your appliances and keep the soft cloth going with the grain direction. You can wipe either horizontally or vertically.

Step 3: Rub With Olive Oil

After cleaning it with a vinegar solution, wait a few minutes until the surface is completely dry, squirt some olive oil on the cloth, and rub gently all over the appliance according to the grain direction.

Olive oil can help your stainless steel products shine again.

Watch this video: How to clean stainless steel appliances

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is versatile due to its disinfecting, cleansing, and polishing qualities. Keep it handy because you might use it more frequently than you imagine; for example, you can make a DIY cleaning solution for screens from it.It’s straightforward to find in any grocery store on a health product shelf or drug store.

In addition, cornstarch can help you clean your stainless steel utensils and appliances without streaks and helps to restore a like-new, sparkle look.

Option 1: Rubbing Alcohol And Essential Oil

Wanting shiny stainless steel items with a wonderful smell? This method is what you need.

What You’ll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol or vodka
  • Cornstarch
  • White vinegar
  • Lemon essential oil
  • Orange essential oil
  • Distilled water
  • A spray bottle

Step 1: Create A Mixture

Pour ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol or vodka with ¼ cup of vinegar in a spray bottle using a funnel.

Step 2: Add Cornstarch And Essential Oils

Continue to add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, 5 drops of lemon essential oil, and 5 drops of orange essential oil to the bottle.

Step 3: Add Distilled Water

Add 2 cups of distilled water into the spray bottle. Shake well to mix all the ingredients.

Step 4: Apply The Mixture

Spray directly onto stainless steel appliances and wipe down the surface with a microfiber cloth.

Stainless steel surface and more can be cleaned easily with rubbing alcohol. Let’s find out!

Watch this video: 10 amazing rubbing alcohol hacks

Option 2: Rubbing Alcohol And Distilled White Vinegar

This potent yet straightforward mixture can easily clean the stainless steel around your house. Try it now.

What You’ll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Water

Step 1: Create A Mixture

Blend 12 ounces of water, ½ cup of rubbing alcohol, and ⅓ cup of distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle.

Step 2: Spray And Wipe

Spray a fair amount of this solution on the stainless steel surface and wipe to clean.

Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol can be used to disinfect household items.


A Jar Of Vinegar
Vinegar is a versatile product that you should keep on hand.

It’s a safe bet that you have a jar of vinegar at home that can be used for both cooking and cleaning. I remember applying it on my shirt to quickly eliminate tide pod stains from the fabric.

Vinegar is also a powerful method when it comes to cleaning your stainless steel fixtures, appliances, and utensils, especially discolored pots and pans. Here’s a step-by-step instruction:

What You’ll Need

  • Warm water
  • White distilled vinegar
  • 2 microfiber cloths

Step 1: Prepare The Mixture

Start by pouring 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of warm water in a bottle.

Step 2: Wipe The Household Items

Pour the cleaning solution on a microfiber cloth and wipe appliances following clockwise direction. Use another new cloth to wipe in a counterclockwise motion until the surface dries completely.

Tomato Sauce

Have you ever heard about this cleaning method? It appears so effective that I highly recommend that you give it a try whenever you have any tomato sauce leftover from the last meal.

Its acidity performs surprisingly well to remove rainbow-colored discoloration marks and white calcium buildups on kitchenware, especially pots and pans.

What You’ll Need

  • Water (Optional)
  • Tomato sauce
  • A microfiber cloth

Step 1: Apply Tomato Sauce On The Affected Area

Fill the pot or pan with a lot of tomato sauce to soak the dirty mark thoroughly.

Step 2: Simmer The Sauce

Turn on the heat and keep the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes. Feel free to add water if you want. Skip this simmering step and let the sauce stay overnight if you have time.

Step 3: Rinse As Usual

Wipe off the sauce with a microfiber cloth and rinse with water as you usually do.

Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce is another super-powered pantry-friendly cleaning ingredient you must know.

Club Soda

You might all know that club soda is carbonated water often used as an essential ingredient for many thirst-quenching drinking formulas.

The dissolved gas in club soda works as a temporary surfactant (1), which surprisingly turns into an efficient household stain removal remedy. It’s said that club soda can make an excellent treatment for food stains on fabric. I agree and guarantee that you will see the result in a flash.

Below are simple instructions for a shiny stainless steel fridge, stovetop, or more:

What You’ll Need

  • Club soda
  • A microfiber cloth

Step 1: Apply The Club Soda

Spray club soda all over the appliances. Don’t miss any corners so that you don’t have to reapply.

Step 2: Wipe The Surface

Wipe your items carefully with a clean microfiber cloth to remove any dirt and food particles on them.

Club Soda
Club soda appears useful in terms of cleaning household items.

Hydrogen Peroxide

If you’re in love with homemade cleaning remedies, you might be familiar with the powerful combination of hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar. It can eradicate even stubborn and pesky rust stains from garments. Now, try it on your stainless steel appliances and see how it works:

What You’ll Need

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cream of tartar
  • Water
  • 2 clean cloths

Step 1: Assemble The Solution

Create a paste of 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and 3 teaspoons of cream of tartar.

Step 2: Rub It On The Dirty Things

Apply this paste all over your appliances, utensils, and fixtures. Make sure that you don’t leave any area untouched.

Step 3: Wipe Off The Paste

Allow the paste to dry, then wipe the paste with a damp, clean cloth. Wipe again with a clean, dry cloth until the entire surface is dry.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is an effective cleaner that you can use around your house.

Baking Soda And Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains a high concentrate of citric acid (2), which removes limescale buildups and enhances the cleaning power of soap and laundry detergents. It’s also known as the quickest method to get rid of coffee marks on garments.

In addition, vinegar is excellent for combating water streaks, while baking soda can easily scrub away old stains on stainless steel. That is to say, it’s a safe bet that this method works amazingly for you and your appliances.

What You’ll Need

  • White distilled vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Clean cloths
  • A dry towel

Step 1: Wipe Your Items With Vinegar

Dampen a clean cloth with white distilled vinegar and wipe it all over the surface of your appliances.

Step 2: Prepare A Cleansing Paste

Mix 1 quart of water and 4 tablespoons of baking soda to form a paste and rub it onto the stainless steel items using a soft cloth. Let the paste stay for several minutes, then remove it with a dry towel.

Step 3: Rub With Lemon Juice

Dampen another cloth with lemon juice and rub it to the item to eliminate limescale sticking to the stainless steel surface.

Step 4: Rinse With Water

Flush with a lot of water and wipe with a clean towel until they dry.

Rinse With Water
Baking soda is mild, which appears helpful in cleaning stainless steel surfaces.

Vinegar, Dishwashing Liquid, Baking Soda, And Olive Oil

This is a winning combination of various ingredients you can easily find in your house. Let’s follow my instructions below to achieve the ultimate result right away!

Vinegar Dishwashing Liquid
This solution can kill all stains on the stainless steel surface.

What You’ll Need

  • White distilled vinegar or cider vinegar
  • Warm water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Baking soda
  • Olive oil
  • A spray bottle
  • Clean rags

Step 1: Prepare A Mixture

Mix ½ cup of white distilled vinegar or cider vinegar and ½ cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Next, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid. Mix well.

Step 2: Apply The Cleaning Solution

Spray a fair amount of the cleaning solution on the stainless steel items and wipe with a clean rag.

Step 3: Apply Olive Oil

Pour olive oil on another clean rag and rub it evenly on the utensil or appliances you’ve just cleaned. Buff dry with one more clean rag.

Olive Oil, White Vinegar, Lemon Essential Oil

Wanting a clean and shiny fridge in a blink? This method is right here for you. Let’s give it a try.

What You’ll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon essential oil
  • A spray bottle

Step 1: Get The Mixture Ready

Pour half a cup of white vinegar, half a cup of olive oil, and 20 drops of lemon essential oil into a spray bottle. Move the bottle up and down to combine all the ingredients.

Step 2: Spray And Wipe

Spray all over the stainless steel items with the cleaning solution and wipe according to the grain of the surface with a microfiber cloth.

Olive Oil
Olive oil can buff the stainless steel surface and bring you a shiny look.

How To Clean Stainless Steel Pan And Cookware

Have you ever experienced burnt pan accidents when cooking? Burnt foods? Or discoloration cookware? These methods will give you a helping hand.

Get Rid Of Burn Marks

Burn marks seem to stay permanently on your stainless steel cookware. However, if you know how to deal with them, you can still remove these nasty stains effortlessly.

Baking Soda And Dish Soap

Combine baking soda and dishwashing liquid to form a paste, then apply this cleaning paste all over the burn marks. Allow it to work for a few hours before rinsing your pans and pots with a lot of water and drying on the kitchen rack.

Dish Soap
Dish soap saves your stainless steel pots and pans from burnt marks.

Baking Soda

Apply baking soda on the burn marks at the bottom of your pans and pots. Make sure your cookware is completely dry. Rub the stain with a dry cloth to scrape it off. Add a bit of water if you want. When the burn marks fade, rinse and dry with a cloth.

Baking Soda
Baking soda is a familiar cleaning agent at home.

Boiling Salt/Lemon Juice/Vinegar

This straightforward cleaning option is perfect for the inside of your pan instead of the bottom.

Fill the pan or pot with enough water to submerge the impacted spot, bring to a boil, and add several tablespoons of salt/lemon/vinegar. Let the mixture sit for several hours. Pour all the solution out of the pan and scrape inside with a soft sponge.

Boiling Salt
Boiling salt is a simple yet effective cleaning method.


Cleaning burnt oil from stainless steel pans can be much easier with this familiar drink. Let’s give it a try.

Pour cola into the pan to cover the oily spots. Heat until it boils. After that, turn off the heat and scrub off burnt oil.

Pour Cola
Soda can help remove burn marks quickly.

Lift Burnt Food

Leaving your foods too long on the heat can lead to burnt crud sticking to the inside of the pan. Below are some ways to tackle this type of stain.

Dishwashing Liquid

For tough burnt food, use a non-abrasive scrubber to remove as much food sticking to the stainless steel cookware as possible.

Fill the pot with a soapy solution made from dishwashing liquid and water so that the burnt foods are soaked entirely. Bring the water to simmer, then use a spoon to remove stuck-on food.

Dishwashing Liquid
Dish soap is perfect for cleaning pans and pots.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Fill the pot or pan with a good amount of water, 1 cup of vinegar, and bring it to a boil. The cleaning solution should be high enough to cover burnt foods.

Then, turn off the heat, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and stir well. Empty the pot and scrub well to remove all clingy food foods.

Vinegar And Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda work amazingly in cleaning burnt food on a pan.

Cream of Tartar

Again, create a paste of water and cream of tartar and smear it on the stained area. Let the mixture stay overnight before rinsing and scrubbing the food.

Cream Of Tartar
Cream of Tartar will be great for eliminating burnt foods from stainless steel cookware.

Salt and Lime

Add lime juice and salt into the pan or pot you need to clean and wait for a few minutes. Continue to add salt into the pan. Use a non-abrasive scrubber to scrub away the food. Rinse and pat dry.

Salt And Lime
The combination of lime juice and salt makes cleaning pots easier.

Removing Discoloration

This method is super quick and straightforward, which you can easily follow just by rinsing your pan with vinegar, then rinsing again with water.

For white calcium buildups on your pots and pans, you can fill the need-to-treat pans and pots with 3 parts of water and 1 part of vinegar, then bring it to a boil. Let the cleaning solution cool and wash as usual.

Here are instructions for cleaning your cookware. Let’s explore more.

Watch this video: How to clean a burnt pan or pot

Make Exterior Stainless Steel Grill Look New

After a BBQ party, you might feel disheartened when looking at the grill. However, there’s an easy way to tackle it. Let’s see.

Stainless Steel Grill
Cleaning stainless steel grates soon after each use will be necessary.

Lemon, Lime, Or Orange

Pick one of the above fruits and start cleaning by making a paste of its juice and salt. Rub it onto the stainless steel grates and allow it to stay for 10 minutes, rinse with warm water and quickly dry them with a towel.

For fingerprints and grime, rub lemon slices directly to the affected area.

Vinegar And Olive Oil

Spray white vinegar on the grill and wipe it gently to clean all the grimes and stuck-on foods. After this, add a few drops of olive oil on a clean cloth and pat it on the stainless steel.

Baking Soda

Daub a paste of water and 3 tablespoons of baking soda on the grill grates using a sponge. Make sure you don’t leave any area untouched. Rub gently and flush them with water to remove the baking soda.

Water And A Cloth

Warm water and a lint-free cloth can work wonders for stainless steel grates. Just keep in mind that you should pat them dry to prevent water streaks.

Valuable Tips When Cleaning Stainless Steel Surfaces

Stainless steel is a long-lasting material; however, it stays new only if you know how to take care of it correctly. Below are some common mistakes you should keep in mind to maintain the original condition of your stainless steel appliances.

  • It would be best to never use scouring pads, steel wool, and scrubbers with abrasive materials to sanitize stainless steel appliances because they can cause severe damage to the surface. To be more specific, they will leave unsightly marks and scratches.
  • For a shiny surface, you can wipe your equipment daily with a soft cloth, microfiber cloth, or even an old T-shirt. A paper towel is not advisable.
  • If you don’t want to clean every day, oil can be applied to create a coating that prevents lime buildup, grimes, and fingerprints.
  • Hard water contains many minerals that can stay on the surface of stainless steel items and make unwanted mineral deposits.
  • Chlorine-based products, abrasive cleaners, and oven cleaners are also not good in this case.
  • It’s highly recommended that you wipe according to the grain direction on the appliance’s surface.
  • For stainless steel sink and faucet, you can clean with a vinegar solution or rub it with slices of lemon. Moreover, don’t spray vinegar on the unsealed grout because vinegar can affect its longevity.
  • Before cleaning, remember to unplug small appliances and allow them to cool. For larger equipment, you don’t need to unplug but clean when your heating items have been turned off and cooled down.
  • Cover the sink with a fair amount of flour, and soon it will shine right in front of your eyes.


Don’t hesitate to ask the questions on your mind about homemade stainless steel cleaners. I’m here to help you answer each of them.

Can You Soak Stainless Steel In Alcohol?

You can clean your stainless steel things with alcohol but not by soaking them in this solution. Check out the section “Rubbing alcohol” above to learn how to use it effectively.

Should I Use A Magic Eraser On Stainless Steel?

No, you shouldn’t. Magic Eraser can cause some unwanted scratches on the shiny surface of your stainless steel items.

Is Baby Oil Suitable For Cleaning Stainless Steel?

Yes, it’s. You can rub baby oil on a clean cloth and wipe the stainless steel surface to make it shine again; however, it doesn’t act as a disinfectant.

How Do You Restore Streak-free Stainless Steel?

Yes, you can use a glass cleaner cleaning solution on stainless steel to eradicate all streaks. Besides, you can also apply lemon oil, dish soap, or vinegar to restore your cookware.

Is It Easy To Make My Stainless Steel Dull Shine?

It is super easy to shine on your stainless steel surface. You need to wash it with an all-purpose cleaner, then rub it with rubbing alcohol and apply oil-based products to make it twinkle.

What's A Homemade Stainless Steel Cleaner For The Refrigerator?

Most of the methods above appear suitable for sanitizing a stainless steel refrigerator at home. There’s no need to unplug it when cleaning.

How To Clean And Polish Stainless Steel At Home?

White vinegar and olive oil are a winning combination that helps you both clean and polish your stainless steel appliances effortlessly.

Is It Possible To Use Vinegar To Clean a Stainless Steel Dishwasher?

Yes, you can. You only need to put a dishwashing-safe cup of vinegar in the dishwasher and let it run as usual with the hottest water setting.

How Long Can I Let Vinegar Sit On Stainless Steel?

It’s recommended that you should allow the vinegar to stay on the stainless steel surface in about 10 seconds, maybe a bit longer if the stain is hard to remove. After that, wipe it with a cloth to remove any remaining vinegar.

What's A Method To Make Stainless Steel Necklace Shine At Home?

Combine 2 parts of baking soda with 1 part of water to form a paste. Use an old toothbrush to rub this paste onto the necklace and scrub to remove grimes on it. Flush under running water and wipe dry with a soft cloth.

Is Windex Suitable For Sanitizing Stainless Steel?

Glass cleaners, for example, ammonia-free Windex, can tackle fingerprint marks and other dirty spots on stainless steel surfaces.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Great For Stainless Steel?

Apple cider vinegar is perfect for cleaning your stainless steel bathroom fixtures and items. Remember to apply it onto a clean cloth and use a cloth to wipe off unwanted buildups on your equipment.

Can Coke Remove Dirt From Stainless Steel?

Coke might be valuable to remove tarnish on several metals, but it can cause corrosion for stainless steel items.

Always Keep Your Appliances Shine

Things in your house tell others about you more than your words; therefore, keeping everything clean and tidy, in this case, maintaining the spark of all your stainless steel appliances, is an essential task.

I believe everyone can achieve this goal as easily as pie with all provided methods. The best part? Most of the ingredients I’ve suggested above can be used for various household purposes, so they are worth stocking in your house.

How about you? Do you have anything else valuable to add to the list? Feel free to drop me a line in the comment section so I can reach you as soon as possible.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Homemade Stainless Steel Cleaners


[1] En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Club soda – Wikipedia.

[2] En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Citric acid – Wikipedia.

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Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Home Cleaning Specialist

Expertise: In-depth Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Their Uses, Advanced Home Sanitization, Techniques Expertise in Cleaning and Maintaining, Various Floor Types, Innovations in Home Cleaning Tools

School: American College of Home Economics

Kevin Jones is a seasoned home cleaning specialist with over a decade of experience in the industry. A stickler for cleanliness and organization, Kevin brings a systematic and innovative approach to home maintenance. His expertise ranges from traditional methods to modern cleaning technology, ensuring homes are not just clean but healthy environments too.

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