How To Clean Black Stainless Steel For The Best Shine

After black stainless steel increased in popularity several years ago, brand-name appliance companies didn't take long to ramp up production. KitchenAid, Whirlpool, LG Electronics, and Samsung launched lines of black stainless steel refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers to satisfy consumers' desire for stylish, muted black colors that easily complement any other items or colors.

Both stainless steel and black stainless steel are made of an alloy of iron and chromium; they may also contain silicon, nickel, and carbon. However, black stainless steel has a black polymer coating, which has its pros and cons. While it can easily hide fingerprints and other smudges, it doesn't hide scratches. This means it needs to be approached differently from traditional stainless steel when it's time to clean. Fortunately, you only need a microfiber cloth, warm water, and soap to make your black stainless steel shine. 

One option is one of our favorite pantry ingredients: baking soda. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of water and wipe your surfaces with a microfiber cloth. Another benefit of cleaning with a baking soda solution is that it will remove any lingering odors from a previous spill. With either method, take another towel and dry everything down; this will help prevent water stains.

Never use abrasive cleaners on black stainless steel

Cleaning black stainless steel may not be difficult, but it's important to remember that anything from scouring pads to paper towels can leave scratches. Therefore, using the gentlest cleaning tools is essential. Vinegar and lemon oil, known to make stainless steel sparkle, can damage your black stainless steel because of their high acidity. Likewise, avoid using anything like bleach, detergent, Bon Ami, or other corrosive cleaner products; they risk scratching or damaging the coating. In extreme cases, they may tear the polymer coating and expose the steel underneath.

Unlike vinegar, baking soda has a high pH and is not acidic. Mixed with water, its mildly abrasive qualities are dampened enough to avoid causing damage to polymer coatings on black stainless steel. A universally beloved product for those who prefer natural cleaning products, baking soda is the answer for everything from cleaning your coffee maker to making glass pans crystal clear. However, this ingredient shouldn't be used directly on black stainless steel appliances or counters; always dilute it first.

Despite doing your due diligence to care for black stainless steel appliances and surfaces, accidents may still happen. Luckily, many appliance companies sell touch-up kits, such as paint pens, which will help disguise those scratches.