The 4 Best Ways To Get Fingerprints Off Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is popularly used in kitchen appliances. Its shiny finish has become synonymous with modern kitchens, making them a must-have for many homeowners. Stainless steel is so popular because it is resistant to rust, durable, and, as the name hints, it is hard to stain. However, this material's biggest downfall is that it is susceptible to being covered in fingerprints. This can be difficult to avoid when you need to touch your fridge, microwave, or oven to use the appliance. Stainless steel is also susceptible to smudges, water spots, and streaks.

To keep your stainless steel appliances looking brand new, you should regularly clean and polish them. Polishing is the most important step because it will add shine and buff out fingerprints. There are many different homemade recipes and cleansers to use for this purpose on stainless steel surfaces. However, Consumer Reports recommends avoiding any harsh abrasives, bleach, or steel wool on this material; this is to prevent the stainless steel from being scratched. Here are the best ways to get fingerprints off these appliances.

Dish soap and water

The easiest way to clean fingerprints off of stainless steel is with products you probably already have in your house. For this easy cleaning method, all you need is two soft towels, water, and mild soap. Dish soap is a neutral soap that's already in many people's homes, and microfiber cloths are the best to use since they prevent scratches. Kitchn used a mixing bowl to combine the cleaning solution. They filled it more than halfway with water and added a couple of drops of soap. Once the soap is dissolved in the water, take one of the towels, submerge it in the water, and ring out any excess water.

Then you can use the wet cloth to wipe down your stainless steel surfaces. The next step is crucial, so you don't create water spots: Before the water has a chance to air dry and create spots, use the dry towel to wipe the cleaning solution away. After this, your stainless steel is ready to be polished.


A homemade recipe for cleaning fingerprints off of stainless steel involves white vinegar. Vinegar is often used in homemade cleaning recipes because it kills bacteria and can cut through grease. There are two methods of using vinegar on stainless steel surfaces. For the first technique, you need to pour some white vinegar onto a microfiber cloth and then use that cloth to wipe down the stainless steel. After wiping the surfaces dry, all that's left to do is polish them.

For the second approach, you need to pour white vinegar into a spray bottle and then spray it onto the stainless steel. This method also allows you to dilute the vinegar or add essential oils like lemon or lavender. If you choose to use the second technique, there is another variation to the recipe where you add a couple of drops of olive oil to the vinegar so you can clean and polish your stainless steel surfaces at the same time (via Life-N-Reflection).

Commercial products

You can purchase many different commercial products to clean fingerprints off of stainless steel if you would rather not make your own cleanser. Many cleaning brands have products specifically for stainless steel surfaces; these come as sprays or wipes. However, these cleaners and polishes can become pricey compared to other methods.

Commercial products like window cleaners aren't labeled as stainless steel polish but work great at removing fingerprints and adding shine, according to Compact Appliance. To use a window cleaner, spray it onto a microfiber cloth and then buff it into the stainless steel surface using circular motions. Then rise the surface with a wet cloth and dry it. A bottle of window cleaner is only a few bucks, and there are even more other products that work just as well without a hefty price tag.

Bar Keepers Friend is another good commercial cleaner for stainless steel, Expert Home Tips says. To use it, dampen a cloth and pour a small amount of powder onto the fabric. Then wipe the stainless steel surfaces clean and rinse them off. The final step is wiping the surface with a dry towel to prevent water spots.

Olive oil

Olive oil is a common household ingredient that works well to remove fingerprints from stainless steel and make it shine. If you don't have access to olive oil, baby oil will also work. This method won't clean any dirt or grease off of stainless steel surfaces, but it will polish them. It is best to do this right after using a cleaning method to cleanse your appliances.

Pour a few drops of olive oil or baby oil onto a microfiber cloth. Then look at the stainless steel grain; you will want to polish in the grain's direction, so check for which way the light lines in your surface move, Compact Appliance explains. According to them, the grain most commonly goes up and down on stainless steel appliances. Next, buff the olive oil on the surface, and finally, use another clean microfiber towel to wipe away any extra oily residue.