The 8 Best Stainless Steel Cleaners of 2023
Stainless steel appliances are the gold—well, silver—standard in today’s kitchens. Despite the name, stainless steel can in fact get stained and smudged from everyday use, and unless you like the look of fingerprints on the doors of your fridge, microwave, or dishwasher, you’ll want to have the right cleaning products on hand.
A microfiber cloth and a gentle cleanser are the only tools you need to clean stainless steel, says Alicia Sokolowski, President and Co-CEO at AspenClean. “Avoid abrasive cleaners, ammonia, bleach, and abrasive tools like steel wool pads,” she says, as these can dull, discolor, or scratch the surface.
Our top choice for the best stainless steel cleaner is the Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish. Its two-in-one formula makes it easy to clean and shine with one swipe, plus it also comes in wipe form—which makes cleaning your stainless steel appliances even easier.
Here, our list of the best stainless steel cleaners for every cleaning need.
Best Overall Stainless Steel Cleaner
Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Trigger Spray
Who it’s for: People who want an efficient cleaner and polish for a variety of surfaces, including refrigerators, stoves, grills, sinks, and trash cans.
Who it isn’t for: People who prefer a plant-based cleaner.
The Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish is our top choice for its impressive pH-neutral formula that cleans and shines all in one swipe. Just use a soft cloth to easily wipe away fingerprints, grease streaks, and any other residue that might dull the appearance of your stainless steel appliances and surfaces (it even works on black stainless steel).
The formula creates a protective layer to keep smudges and streaks at bay—just spray it on and wipe gently with a microfiber cloth. You can use this pick on stainless steel appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, sinks, range hoods, stoves, and more. On top of being incredibly efficient, this pick is also budget-friendly and comes in a two-pack, so you can keep your kitchen shinier for longer.
- Type: Spray
- Size: 24 ounces
- Surfaces: Refrigerators, microwaves, ovens, stoves, grills, sinks, range hoods, trash cans
Price at time of publish: $16 for 2-pack
Best Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Cleaner
Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Kit
Who it’s for: People who want a gentler cleaner that’s still effective.
Who it isn’t for: People who don’t like scented cleaners.
If you’re looking to ditch chemical-based cleansers in favor of more eco-friendly ones, the Therapy Clean Stainless Steel Cleaner is just right for you. It’s a plant-based cleanser with a pH-neutral, solvent-free formula that also includes coconut oil—but that doesn’t mean it’s less effective. It does the tough work of removing streaks and smudges from your stainless steel surfaces, appliances, and grills.
This cleaner is made in the USA, USDA-certified Biobased, and cruelty-free. Plus, it comes with a light lavender scent that leaves behind a clean, refreshing smell in your kitchen. It’s definitely more expensive than other cleaners, but worth it if you prioritize using plant-based cleaning products.
- Type: Spray
- Size: 16 ounces
- Surfaces: Refrigerators, dishwashers, grills, microwaves, ovens, sinks
Price at time of publish: $25
Best Stainless Steel Cleaner for Appliances
TriNova Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish
Who it’s for: People who want a cleaner that’s powerful enough for commercial use.
Who it isn’t for: People looking for an everyday cleaner.
TriNova bills itself as strong enough for commercial appliances but gentle enough to get the job done without damaging surfaces. The purchase also includes a handy microfiber cloth so you can get cleaning immediately.
This spray banishes grease, smudges, and fingerprints while building a protective barrier to keep streaks from returning. To use this product, just spray, wipe, and buff away. Unlike other formulas, this spray is effective on barbecue grills and other outdoor surfaces, so it’s great for heavy duty usage.
- Type: Spray
- Size: 18 ounces
- Surfaces: Refrigerator, range hood, sink, dishwasher
Price at time of publish: $16
Best Stainless Steel Cleaner for Sinks
Hope’s Perfect Sink Cleaner & Polish
Who it’s for: People who want ultimate shine on their surfaces.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a versatile product for many surfaces.
When cleaning your sink, it should not only look clean, but feel clean as well. Hope’s Perfect Sink Cleaner is aptly named because it cleans and polishes in one step. Whether you installed a brand-new sink and want to keep it sparkling or are restoring the shine of an older sink, this is the tool to have on hand.
This product’s formula creates a water-repellent barrier for your sink to make future cleaning easier. While gentle, it can still remove water stains, water spots, and rust. The best part is you won’t need to use a brush or a lot of elbow grease—the manufacturer suggests using it with paper towels or a soft cloth to clean and buff. This product is also safe to use on cast iron, Corian, composite, acrylic, and vitreous china.
- Type: Polish
- Size: 8.5 ounces
- Surfaces: Brushed stainless steel, cast iron (porcelain), Corian, composite, acrylic, and vitreous china
Price at time of publish: $20 for 2-pack
Best Stainless Steel Cleaner for Stains
Bar Keepers Friend Powdered Cleanser
Who it’s for: People with dirty or dull stainless steel surfaces.
Who it isn’t for: People who prefer wipes or a spray cleaner.
This powder cleanser is gentle yet strong enough to tackle stains and messes in your bathroom, kitchen, and on cookware and outdoor furnishings. While it boasts impressive results, it doesn’t contain bleach, so you can safely use it on stainless steel to clear away rust, mineral deposits, tarnish, and other stains.
In addition to stainless steel, you can also use Barkeepers Friend on surfaces like porcelain, ceramic, copper alloys, fiberglass, Corian, brass, bronze, chrome, aluminum, and more, making this a versatile option for cleaning. It works efficiently in kitchen sinks, cookware, cooktops, non-stone countertops, and more. You can also take on rust stains on outdoor equipment, grills, and even boats, though the manufacturer does recommend testing it first in an inconspicuous spot.
- Type: Polish
- Size: 12 ounces
- Surfaces: Stainless steel, brass, bronze, copper alloys, aluminum, ceramic, porcelain, glass, Corian
Price at time of publish: $7
Best Stainless Steel Cleaner for Stovetops
AspenClean Oven and Stove Top Cleaner Kit
Who it’s for: People who want a versatile cleaning product that’s made with plant-based ingredients.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a less labor-intensive cleaning process.
No judgment if you’ve neglected cleaning your stovetop—AspenClean is the perfect remedy for baked-on grease, residue, and more. This plant-based oven and stovetop cleaning kit is a three-in-one powerhouse. It includes the Kitchen Cleaner in a spray bottle for everyday messes, the Super Scrub Powder to take on deep cleans, and a microfiber cloth.
To use on stainless steel, mix the powder and the cleaner to make a paste. Scrub with a sponge, and then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. It’s a bit more labor-intensive than other cleaners, but the plant-based, biodegradable ingredients make this product worth the extra effort. Plus, these products are also vegan, cruelty-free, and come in 100 percent recycled bottles that are Ecocert certified, so you can feel good about creating a clean kitchen and a healthier environment at the same time.
- Type: Spray and powder
- Size: 22 and 12 ounces
- Surfaces: Stovetops, oven, sinks, pots and pans
Price at time of publish: $30
Best Stainless Steel Cleaner for Grills
Parker & Bailey Grill Cleaner & Degreaser
Who it’s for: People who love to grill and need a heavy duty cleaner.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a mild stainless steel cleaner.
Everyone loves a good barbecue, but no one loves the barbecue clean-up. The Parker & Bailey Grill Cleaner makes that process easier—and is ideal for indoor grills, outdoor grills, grill grates, drip pans, and other tools. Simply spray on this phosphate-free formula to dissolve baked-on grease, oil, and food scraps, and feel free to use a metal brush or scrubber for heavy duty messes. If you’re cleaning a removable grill, you can rinse it with water or wipe it away with a cloth or wet sponge.
This cleaner leaves no residue, so the surface of your grill will remain clean and ready for cooking. You can also use this product on your oven, stovetop, cookware, and any hard surfaces indoors or out.
- Type: Spray
- Size: 24 ounces
- Surfaces: Grill, grill grate, drip pan, grill tools, oven, microwave, stovetop, cookware
Price at time of publish: $15
Best Stainless Steel Cleaner Wipes
Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes
Who it’s for: People who want an ultra convenient way to clean their stainless steel.
Who it isn’t for: People who prefer the eco-conscious option of using a microfiber cloth.
If you want shiny, clean appliances but don’t want to spend time buffing and polishing, opt for these stainless steel cleaner wipes. Weiman’s Stainless Steel Cleaner Wipes have the same gentle pH-neutral formula as the brand’s spray version to clean, polish, and restore the brilliant shine to your stainless steel surfaces.
These wipes make it even simpler to wipe away grease or fingerprints—just grab one and swipe it over the surface. We recommend these wipes for hard-to-get areas like the handles on your refrigerator, stove, and microwave. Each container has 30 wipes, so you’ve got a lot of cleaning power before you need to replenish.
- Type: Wipes
- Size: 30 count
- Surfaces: Refrigerator, microwave, oven, stove, grill, sink, range-hood, trash cans
Price at time of publish: $19 for 2-pack
Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish is our top choice overall because it works quickly and effectively to wipe away any residue or marks. You have the option to purchase it in a spray bottle or wipe form—the latter makes it even easier to stop fingerprints, streaks, and stains in their tracks.
How to Shop for Stainless Steel Cleaners Like a Pro
Many of the best stainless steel cleaners come in spray form, so all you’ll need is a microfiber cloth to wipe and buff dry. There are also wipes and powders—wipes are the most convenient option, as you can just use them and throw them away, while powders are a bit more labor-intensive but make up for it by being extremely versatile (and sometimes more eco-friendly).
While you can use most stainless steel cleaners on a variety of surfaces, always check the manufacturer’s guidelines first and do a spot test in an inconspicuous area.
Some of the products on our best stainless steel cleaners list are all-purpose, meaning you can use them on every type of stainless steel surface. Other products are specifically designed to clean stove tops and sinks, so it’s better to use them as intended. Some products can tackle the toughest stains, but if you’re looking for something light for daily use, shop accordingly.
You’ll want to be careful with any cleanser you use on food prep surfaces, so many people prefer to use gentle and plant-based ingredients for stainless steel cleaners. This is a totally personal preference though—just make sure the product you use is pH-neutral. If you need something to cut through tougher stains, a heavy duty cleaning product is a more efficient way to get your stainless steel sparkling in no time.
Questions You Might Ask
Are other cleaners safe to use on stainless steel?
According to Sokolowski, “a glass cleaner and glass microfiber cloth are excellent for adding extra shine to stainless steel. It will also remove fingerprints and spots without leaving any streaks.” As a general rule, avoid using harsh abrasive cleaners, steel wool, and bleach cleaners on stainless steel.
How often should you clean stainless steel?
Stainless steel only needs a monthly cleaning unless it’s dirty, says Sokolowski. “Be careful not to overwash it with too much water or leave it wet for too long as this can cause water spotting or erosion,” she says, though you can wipe down smaller appliances after each use. A dry microfiber cloth is best for cleaning stainless steel.
Remember to go with the grain—yup, like wood, stainless steel has a grain. Look for the striations on the surface of your appliance and wipe in that direction, beginning at the top and working your way down. You can even use a steamer to sterilize stainless steel, as long as you avoid any brush attachments.
How do you remove stains from stainless steel?
Aside from putting Barkeepers Friend to work, here’s what Sokolowksi recommends for removing stains: “Mix equal parts natural dish soap, baking soda, and water to create a paste. Apply to the stain and gently scrub with a sponge or old toothbrush. For really stubborn stains, you can use vinegar and warm water. Wipe dry afterward with a dry microfiber cloth.”
Take Our Word for It
Barbara Bellesi Zito is a freelance home and lifestyle writer from Staten Island, NY. She researched stainless steel cleaners based on the quality of their ingredients, ease of use, and results. For expert advice on what to look for when shopping for the best stainless steel cleaners for your home, Barbara consulted Alicia Sokolowski, President and Co-CEO at AspenClean.