How Do I Remove Tarnish From Stainless Steel?

Although stainless steel is extremely strong, it isn’t indestructible and over time may become damaged from exposure to harsh conditions and the elements. Over time this can result in its surface becoming dull or discolored resulting in dulled or discolored spots on its surface.

To prevent tarnish from stainless steel items, regularly clean with a gentle solution and follow one of these methods to remove it:.

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Soap and water

Stainless steel appliances can succumb to tarnishing over time, but the process for revitalizing them using household supplies should be simple. Avoid harsh abrasives and chemical cleaners which may scratch and contribute to rust; use DIY methods like baking soda paste or vinegar solution instead for stubborn grime and streaks.

Begin by applying warm, soapy water or using an appliance cleaning product like Grove’s Affresh(r). Moisten a clean cloth or sponge with this solution and wipe in the direction of steel’s grain for effective cleaning. Rinse and dry thoroughly to avoid scratching surfaces – always use a microfiber cloth!

If the stainless steel is particularly grimy, more aggressive tools such as an abrasive scrubber or steel wool pad may also be necessary for tough spots. Just be sure to clean away any residual abrasive material since this could scratch and dull its finish.

White vinegar combined with water can also help remove tarnish from stainless steel surfaces, quickly and effectively cleaning it before wiping off with a soft cloth in the direction of grain. You could also soak cutlery for quick and effective cleaning before rinsing and drying before storing away.

Streaks on stainless steel surfaces can be caused by various factors, including wiping against the grain or not using enough cleaner to dissolve greasy film, or not buffing enough. To minimize streaking on stainless steel, always use a soft, lint-free cloth rubbed against its grain to rub across metal’s grain before buffing with microfiber cloth for an added shine. Lemon oil works particularly well as an additional finisher; baby or olive oil work just as well if needed; for best results use lemon oil once every month or twice per month until seen a difference! You’ll notice it instantly!

Baking soda

Stainless steel makes an elegant addition to any kitchen, yet its shiny surface can be damaged easily by everyday items and activities such as spilled liquid or fingerprints. Baking soda is an economical and effective cleaner which can be used on many surfaces such as appliances and sinks – even water marks may stain it if left for long enough! Usually water spots and fingerprints can be easily cleaned off with damp cloth wipe down, while more stubborn stains require further scrubbing power from more aggressive cleaners such as baking powder cleaner.

Sodium bicarbonate is a gentle abrasive that can easily remove grime without harming stainless steel’s chromium coating. Simply sprinkle baking soda liberally onto any areas with debris, dampen a sponge with vinegar, and scrub to help loosen food debris that has adhered to it. After scrubbing, rinse and dry the area to complete this non-toxic chemical reaction that breaks down food debris stuck to its surface.

Make a paste out of baking soda and water to tackle more stubborn marks and buildup on stainless steel surfaces. Start with a small amount of baking soda, slowly mixing in water until it reaches a thick consistency, before using this paste to scrub at any stains along the grain of metal in order to prevent scratching and continue until all stains have come off – then rinse your stainless steel and dry it using a cloth!

If blemishes on your stainless steel are hindering its appearance, a stain removal product specifically tailored for this metal will be needed to get rid of stains. Avoid harsh abrasives that could scratch it such as scouring powder; instead use soft cloth and hot water to eliminate it.

To prevent rust and tarnish from building up on your stainless-steel cookware, regularly scrub it with warm water and soap or detergent. A microfiber cloth or non-scratch vinyl scrubbing pad are both excellent ways to avoid scratching the surface; wipe against the grain of the metal to reduce streaks; or try giving it a quick rinse with some cooking oil to maintain peak condition of the steel surface.


Vinegar can be an effective natural household product to use when trying to remove stains on stainless steel cookware and other items, including household odors. Vinegar contains acetic acid which breaks down oils, films and tarnish on metal surfaces. Furthermore, using vinegar deodorizes items quickly by neutralizing unwanted smells.

Begin by rinsing the item with water. Next, dampen a cloth or paper towel with white distilled vinegar, using soft fabric (non-lint free is preferred) so as to prevent streaking. Finally, wipe in the direction of stainless steel grain to ensure any residual vinegar residue has been completely removed.

Repeat this process as necessary to keep your items looking new and shiny. Just be sure to always rinse your item after each cleaning to eliminate any residue from cleaner that could potentially harm stainless steel surfaces.

Baking soda mixed with water makes an effective natural solution for removing tarnish: simply apply this paste using a clean soft cloth and leave for several minutes before wiping off with dry cloth. For stubborn spots that still refuse to come off, steel wool or sandpaper may help as they have more aggressive cleaning abilities than regular cloth alone; just be sure that when using something abrasive like these gloves must always be worn to prevent scratching of stainless steel surfaces.

Add food grade essential oil to your vinegar spray if you prefer, to give the cleaner an appealing scent and to mask some of its strong vinegar scent. Be sure to label your spray bottle, since vinegar is an acid that could potentially do damage. It is wise to first test out this method on an inconspicuous area before applying it on large or built-in appliances; be sure to turn off heating elements, light fixtures and exhaust fans prior to beginning this cleaning method on a stove top or refrigerator.


Stainless steel appliances and utensils may be highly resistant to rust, but that doesn’t mean they won’t become dirty over time. Heat stains, streaks, and tarnish can quickly form on stainless steel surfaces; once set they may prove challenging to remove. Luckily, lemon juice is one of the best natural cleaning products on the market and can quickly restore your stainless steel appliances back to their former glory.

Lemon juice’s acid can effectively remove many types of stains from metal surfaces, including rust and corrosion stains. Furthermore, it serves as an effective degreaser and an alternative to commercial cleaners which contain harsh chemicals that might damage stainless steel. Pour some lemon juice on a damp cloth and rub it across your stainless steel’s surface before rinsing and drying it afterwards with a towel.

Use this same approach to clean silverware or cooking knives, with particular attention paid to corners and crevices that might be difficult to access. Pour some lemon juice onto a soft cotton cloth and rub it all over your silverware or knives until all rust and corrosion have been lifted from their surfaces, leaving them shiny and free of tarnish.

Lemon juice can not only serve as an effective metal cleaner, but can also help eliminate unpleasant odors in your refrigerator. Simply place several slices on a plate in the fridge, and they’ll absorb any unpleasant odours – leaving your fridge fresh and smelling great!

Lemon juice and baking soda can also be combined to remove small rust spots from stainless steel sinks or cutlery, using equal parts lemon juice and baking soda to apply directly onto them and let sit for at least an hour before rinsing and drying with a towel. For larger rust spots, an equal mix of salt and vinegar may penetrate deeper to penetrate and remove it without scratching your stainless steel surface.