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The Ultimate Guide to Achieving a Brilliant Shine on Black Stainless Steel

How to clean black stainless steel for the best shine

Black stainless steel appliances have gained popularity in recent years, offering a sleek and modern look for kitchens. Brands such as KitchenAid, Whirlpool, LG Electronics, and Samsung have introduced lines of black stainless steel refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers to meet consumer demand for stylish, muted black colors that effortlessly complement any kitchen décor.
Both stainless steel and black stainless steel are alloys of iron and chromium with the addition of silicon, nickel and carbon. However, black stainless steel has a black polymer coating that gives it a unique appearance. While this coating can effectively hide fingerprints and smudges, it does not hide scratches. As a result, cleaning black stainless steel requires a different approach than cleaning traditional stainless steel.

The Essential Cleaning Supplies

To get the best shine for your black stainless steel appliances, you’ll need just a few simple items: a microfiber cloth, warm water and soap. Plus, baking soda can be a helpful pantry ingredient for tackling tougher stains and odors.

Cleaning with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a versatile and effective cleaning agent that can be used to clean black stainless steel. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 quart of water.
  2. Wet a microfiber cloth with the baking soda solution.
  3. Gently wipe the surfaces of your black stainless steel appliances.
  4. For stubborn stains or odors, scrub the affected areas with the cloth.
  5. Use a separate towel to dry thoroughly and prevent water stains.

In addition to its cleaning properties, a baking soda solution can also help eliminate lingering odors caused by spills or food residue.

Avoid abrasive cleaners

When cleaning black stainless steel, it’s important to avoid abrasive cleaners or tools that can scratch the surface. Scrubbing pads and paper towels should be avoided as they can leave unsightly marks. In addition, acidic substances such as vinegar and lemon oil, which are commonly used to clean traditional stainless steel, can damage the black stainless steel coating due to their high acidity.
It’s best to stick to mild cleaning solutions and non-abrasive materials. Baking soda is especially good for cleaning black stainless steel because it has a high pH and is not acidic. When mixed with water, its mildly abrasive properties are muted enough to prevent damage to the polymer coating on black stainless steel.

Taking care of scratches

Despite your best efforts to care for black stainless steel, scratches may still occur. Fortunately, many appliance manufacturers offer touch-up kits, such as paint pens, that can help hide these blemishes. These kits are designed to match the color of black stainless steel, allowing you to restore the appearance of your appliances.

Bottom line

Cleaning black stainless steel appliances doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right approach and supplies, you can keep your appliances looking shiny and pristine. Remember to use gentle cleaning tools, avoid abrasive cleaners, and consider using baking soda as a safe and effective cleaning agent. By following these tips, you’ll be able to keep your black stainless steel appliances looking sleek and stylish for years to come.


Can I use vinegar or lemon oil to clean black stainless steel?

No, it is not recommended to use vinegar or lemon oil on black stainless steel as they can damage the coating due to their high acidity.

What should I avoid when cleaning stainless steel?

Avoid using abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, paper towels, bleach, detergents, Bon Ami or other corrosive cleaners. They can scratch or damage the polymer coating.

Can I use baking soda directly on black stainless steel?

No, it is best to dilute baking soda in water before using it to clean black stainless steel. This will help prevent potential damage to the surface of the appliance.

How do I remove stubborn stains or odors from black stainless steel?

For stubborn stains or odors, scrub the affected areas with a microfiber cloth dampened in a solution of baking soda and water. This mildly abrasive mixture can help remove stubborn residue.

What do I do if my black stainless steel appliances get scratched?

If scratches do occur, you can use touch-up kits, such as paint pens, that are specifically designed for black stainless steel. These kits will help hide scratches and maintain the appearance of your appliances.

How often should I clean my black stainless steel appliances?

It is recommended that you clean your black stainless steel appliances regularly to maintain their luster. Depending on use and visible dirt or fingerprints, weekly or bi-weekly cleaning may be sufficient.

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