Consumer Reports: Cleaning stainless steel appliances

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We spend a lot of money on kitchen appliances and some people spend a premium for stainless steel. The last thing we expect is for them to rust.

We spend a lot of money on kitchen appliances and some people spend a premium for stainless steel. The last thing we expect is for them to rust.

Consumer Reports reveals that the culprit could be the cleaner you're using.

Why do they call it stainless when the minute you touch it, it gets covered in smudges and fingerprints? You clean and clean but guess what? The product used to get those "stains" off your beloved appliance might cause another blight-- rust.

"One thing people don't know is that certain cleaners, especially those that contain bleach is that it can actually strip away cadmium and other metals that are designed to protect stainless steel," said Consumer Reports Home Editor Paul Hope.

Here are a few do's and don'ts to keep your stainless in tip-top shape.

"One thing you want to make sure to do is clean your stainless steel appliances with a mild soap on a soft cloth and always dry them off when you're done," Hope said.

Don't use disinfectants, abrasives, or cleaners that contain bleach, alcohol, ammonia, or chlorides, all of which can harm stainless.

"Do make sure to check the label on any cleaning products you use in your kitchen. Certain things like grout cleaner containing muriatic acid and even the fumes can cause the finish on your stainless steel to wear down prematurely," he said.

Don't use steel wool or scrub pads. They can scratch the surface.

"Do wipe down your stainless steel appliances occasionally with a stainless steel cleaner. The mineral oil in them can actually restore the protective finish and help them last longer," Hope said.

But don't use a dish rag because it can actually contain food oils and if there's acidic, they can wear away the protective finish.

"Do make sure you know what you're buying. Nonmagnetic stainless-steel appliances which contain nickel and that tends to be more rust-resistant," he said.

Consumer Reports says if you do have rust on your appliances you can use equal parts baking soda and water and rub gently to get it all sparkly again.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2018 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumerreports.org
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