I love the look of stainless steel appliances, but if you have kids or pets in the house, you know how quickly they can get marked up. Even though these appliances are made of steel, they are not impervious to scratches. However, there are ways to remove those scratches without making the area look worse.
Are They Really Stainless Steel?
Before you start treating the area, you need to make sure that you actually have stainless steel appliances and not appliances that were clear coated or simulated to look like stainless steel.
One quick way to check whether the appliance is stainless steel is to see if it holds a magnet. If it does not, then you don’t have stainless steel. If you see rust, the appliance is not true stainless steel. After the appliance is clean, it will have a very shiny appearance, almost mirror-like, if it is stainless steel.
Removing Scratches from Stainless Steel
Now, I speak from experience, this can sometimes take multiple efforts if the scratch is deep. But they do come out.
The first thing you will need to do is clean the area that is in need of repair and dry thoroughly. Some of the items you will need are:
- Lint-free cloths
- Soft-bristled toothbrush
- Non-abrasive cleanser
- Whitening toothpaste
- Sandpaper (varying grits)
- Sanding block
- Stainless steel polish
If you do not already have these items in your house, you can purchase a stainless steel repair kit from Amazon for about $20.
Light scratches should come off fairly easily:
- Mix cleanser with water to form a paste
- Dampen cloth and apply paste solution to scratch and firmly move cloth back and forth over affected area
- Use a clean damp cloth to remove paste to see if scratch has been removed
- Repeat the process until scratch is gone
If that does not work after repeated tries, use the same process but substitute the toothpaste for the cleanser.
For deeper scratches:
- Wet the sandpaper and keep it wet while working on the stainless steel
- Wet the scratched area of the appliance
- Using a very light touch, work the sandpaper back and forth over the scratched area following the grain of the stainless steel
- If, after a few minutes, the scratch is still there, move to a heavier grain of sandpaper
- Once the stain is gone, use a lighter grit to buff the area out
- Wipe clean with damp towel, then use dry towel to dry the area off
- Apply stainless steel cleaner to bring back up the shine
If you have never done this before, I highly encourage you to purchase the kits rather than use guesswork with home products to fix the scratch. This will ensure, as long as you are following directions, that you do not ruin the stainless steel appliance.