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msrose

I hate my stainless steel appliances!!!

msrose
10 years ago

When I bought my house a little over a year ago, it had black appliances. I had to buy a refridgerator, so I went with stainless steel since I loved the way it looked in so many kitchens that I've seen on here. I have not been very happy with it, but I recently got a new dishwasher and went with SS again, because I felt like I had to since I wanted my appliances to match and my original plan was to replace everything with SS. I'm hating SS even more now that I have two appliances with it, so what will it be like when I have all four? I have to do acrobatics to close my dishwasher without getting fingerprints on it. I use my foot to lift it up high enough that I can close it with my hip! I can't expect my teenage son to do that, so it has fingerprints on it from when he touches it. I'm always lecturing him about not putting his dishes in the dishwasher and now I almost wish he wouldn't. I've been using Weiman SS Cleaner & Polish and Stainless Steel Magic and I thought it worked pretty good at first, but all of a sudden I have some fingerprints underneath the handle area of the fridge and what looks like water streaks at the bottom and I can't get the off. I put so much polish on it trying to get it off that it was smeary looking from that. I read an old post that mentioned a mixture of alcohol & water, so I tried that. I got the polish off, but the fingerprints/drips are still there.

I have a couple of questions. First, would it look bad to have a SS fridge and black appliances everywhere else? The dishwasher was actually a late Christmas gift from my mother and she paid to have it installed, so I would feel really bad if I exchanged it for another one and she was out that money. She's very frugal and will often try to install things herself or pick things up to avoid paying a delivery charge. I will probably end up keeping the DW for that reason, but if I get up the courage to exchange it, what do you think about the mixed appliances? I am having a problem with the rinse aid dispenser leaking, so I contacted the mfg and they're sending a new cap to see if that fixes the problem. I thought if it happens to not fix it, maybe I could tell Sears I want to return it and then get a black one and have it reinstalled at their cost since there was a problem. Of course, they might think I'm making up the rinse dispenser problem just to get a different color. Here's pictures of my kitchen, so you can see what you think:

Here's some picture from the previous owner with all black:

1. Do you like the SS or black better in my kitchen?

2. Would it look okay to you if the fridge was the

only SS appliance.

3. If I stick with my plan to go all SS,do you have any suggestions for cleaning it? I even tried to gently rub it with my scrubber pad and it still looks the same. I'm wondering if it's permanently discolored or something.

I know metals don't have to match, but I just replace all my doorknobs with ORB and I'd love to have an ORB faucet with a Siligranite sink one day, so I'm thinking now that I should have just stuck with black. One reason to stick with SS though is if I ever decided to paint my cabinets white, it would look better. I have no plans to do that anytime soon, but if my cabinets started to look worn somewhere down the line, I might then.

Comments (132)

  • CindyMac
    7 years ago

    My appliances were new in 2007. After trying various cleaning methods I've settled on 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol for the KA fridge and Bosch DW. I use a baking soda paste to clean the stainless steel riser behind my range.

  • happilady
    7 years ago

    Off topic- I have that same Kitchen Aid dishwasher, just got it a couple of months ago and I find it very hard to put tall drinking glasses in it. I've had 4 break so far while washing I put them on the top and they wobble around.


    I've started putting plastic glasses between them or use sponges to make them stable but it's a pain. Do you or anyone else have this same problem?


    I also was getting streaks on it that wouldn't come off. I read here to use Bon Ami and it does work but I'm not loving the stainless.


    I think just haven't the fridge in stainless and the rest black would be fine. To my eye black and stainless go well together just add some other stainless touches like a paper towel holder, coffee maker, canisters.


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  • handmethathammer
    7 years ago

    I had white appliances for years and years, and I hated them. They always looked stained. My flat top electric stove looked like crap most of the time with brown stains around the burners that took 30 minutes or more of scraping and buffing to get them out. The handle on my refrigerators (more than one, as we had several white refrigerators....spouse was reluctant to move to SS), turned a yellowish hue. No cleaning product could cure that. It was age and oil or whatever.

    We moved into a place with SS appliances. I may have hugged the fridge when we were looking at this place, much to my spouse's chagrin. To my credit, some of my friends and family have also embraced my fridge. It is pretty cool! That SS refrigerator and the dishwasher are the worst for fingerprints, but I can clean them up in 30 seconds if someone is coming over, instead of the scrubbing of that flat top stove and the yellowish wear on the white fridge handle that could never be cleaned.

    My SS gas stove has a lot of black surfaces, which seem equally challenging to keep clean. The SS microwave is not an issue, and looks way better than my old white microwaves, which always had brown burn stains.

  • Katharine Hall
    7 years ago

    msrose I'm glad to hear your update. Someone earlier in the thread mentioned not letting our belongings own us. I agree! So I'm glad to know that you've decided to let go of caring as much. It must make being in the kitchen more pleasant. :-) Cat_mom, I like the idea of the alcohol & lavender oil cleaner. Should I get SS, that's what I'll use. Thanks!

  • tibbrix
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I loathe the SS trend, and I hope it ends soon. Not sure when we decided our homes need to be commercialized and industrialized, but nothing for the home is made to the standards that the stuff is for restaurants, etc. Only reason I got a SS fridge is because I rent my house out to travelers and I know Americans have become persnickety about such things, so I felt I had to have the sink and range, that were there, match the fridge. DW that was there is black, but the range (and new fridge) are actually SS and black, so it could stay.

    In no time, my new fridge had rust marks on it, shadows, and I followed al directions to take care of it. But every mar shows up on SS, and I think it constantly needs attention. I hate it.

    I have found, though, that the best product to use on SS is DW-40 (learned about here on GW!). Wish I'd known that from the start, because I think it creates a barrier between the SS and dampness in the air, so maybe those rust blotches would have been avoided.

  • Gracie
    7 years ago

    There's different qualities of stainless, so they clean differently. I have a Miele DW and never have to use any type of cleaner on it. I wipe it with a microfiber sponge and dry it. My Electrolux fridge is also easy to clean, but it does get the occasional fingerprint. I use a tiny drop of Dawn on a sponge as fingerprints are oil-based. There's no sloppy kids in my home, so I imagine I'd have to do the whole fridge regularly if there were. My stove is GE, and that shows drips marks, which are a little harder to remove. Right now I am using Hope's Perfect Stainless on it, but I think it has a little bit of an oil base, so I use it sparingly. I did not like the oily stainless wipes I've tried in the past. I think they attract dust. My bugaboo SS appliance is the chimney hood, but it's because I need to get on a stepstool and wipe in one direction on three sides. Fortunately, it's just dust.

  • tinam61
    7 years ago

    2-3 years ago we bought new appliances and went with SS. Didn't take me long to realize I hated them. I had never been crazy over the look, but we try to keep things updated. I had almond, which I loved, but is hard to find and I guess outdated. After about a year or year and half of the SS appliances my husband insisted we buy something else. He didn't want me to be unhappy for years to come with what we had bought. Believe me, I tried all kinds of cleaners. Last fall - around labor day - there were some great appliance sales and we were able to purchase the full kitchen for not a whole lot more than a fridge would cost us (we still needed to replace our fridge). We donated the SS appliances and were able to use that on our taxes, which was also a plus. We bought white, which I never thought I'd go with, but the quartz counters are shades of almond, white, etc. so it works. Much easier to clean and keep clean - and I am happier with this choice.


  • MagdalenaLee
    7 years ago

    Someone here recommended a very good quality micro fiber cloth, Norwex. It's the best thing ever. Just get it damp and it cleans SS, Granite, Glass with no streaks.


  • misforminkGW
    7 years ago

    I was quite concerned about the upkeep before we bought stainless. So far I've only ever had to use a wet microfiber cloth. Hoping it's always that easy.

  • susanlynn2012
    7 years ago

    I have no problems cleaning my GE Café Gas Range, my Zephyr Range Hood and my LG FD Refrigerator as they all have that brushed easy to clean stainless steel that looks clean most of the time. My KitchenAid dishwasher that is the top of the line and takes magnets is so difficult to clean and I dislike the mirror finish on it for this reason. I never knew there was a difference until I bought this dishwasher.

  • dedtired
    7 years ago

    I've had my SS for more than ten years and I love them. So easy to keep clean. They look like new. I don't get it that so many complain.it's my black range that hate. It shows ever smudge and speck of dust.ugh.

  • susanlynn2012
    7 years ago

    CindyMac, thank you for the suggestion of the 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol for the KA stainless steel finish as it is not perfect but so far better than anything else I tried.


  • CindyMac
    7 years ago

    Susan, I use the rubbing alcohol for weekly maintenance, usually just around the handles on the fridge and dishwasher. In the past I've had to use a baking soda paste to do a thorough cleaning, but that hasn't been necessary for a couple years. I don't remember who suggested it in the first place, but I'm so grateful to have finally found something that works.

  • Alma Kee
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I haven't read all of the comments but I think the kitchen would look much better if it was updated from the 1980's Oak by painting them with the Rustoleum white or espresso color. Rustoleum has a special product that doesn't require you to strip the cabinets. Just be sure to also paint the inside of the cabinet doors. Once you have the cabinets painted then take a look at the nice backsplashes available at Costco and add a little bling to the kitchen. As far as the color of appliances, best to go with all stainless versus mixing colors. PS Take a look at hoosiergirl's nice photo to see how nice the white kitchen looks.

  • gramarows
    7 years ago

    Used several ss cleaning product on my ss fridge some years back and had splotches I just couldn't get out. In desperation I tried BKF, rubbed with the grain with a bit of dishsoap and like magic it looks like new. I read through this entire thread, likely to avoid packing, and saw others had tried BKF, too.

  • Katharine Hall
    7 years ago

    susanlynn2012 thanks for being specific about the brands and how their stainless is to care for. That's exactly what I need to hear. So by now I know that the very pretty Kitchen Aid appliances' glossier SS finish and mirror-finish trim will require way too much work for me!

  • susanlynn2012
    7 years ago

    Katherine, when my KitchenAid dishwasher was first installed at the end of September 2009, I was wishing I had the matching refrigerator as I thought I liked the look better with the glossier SS finish. But when I bought a new gas range and Range Hood in December 2009, I had learned my lessen and wanted an easy to clean stainless steel and now regret buying the KitchenAid dishwasher as it is so difficult to keep clean.

  • susanlynn2012
    7 years ago

    Gramarows, what is BFK?

  • sushipup1
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think she means BKF, Bar Keepers Friend.

  • pokyhoky
    7 years ago

    Ditto the microfiber cloth and water. When we bought our SS fridge, I had my kids put their fingers on all the models in the store. There is definitely a difference between each brand!

  • dollfanz
    7 years ago

    yes to Pledge. It works

  • tinam61
    7 years ago

    Pledge did not work for me. Perhaps it works only on certain SS finishes.


  • CindyMac
    7 years ago

    What a beautifully refurbished stove! I considered having my O'Keefe & Merritt redone, but after 25 years of use I was ready for something new when we remodeled.

  • shandea16
    7 years ago

    I hate my ss fridge. Clean it all the freakin time. The white dishwasher and stove I hardly have to touch. They need to be replaced but idk which way to go either :(

  • zorroslw1
    7 years ago

    There is a trick to getting the fingerprints but especially the runs off SS appliances. It took me quite a while to figure it out. I used Weimans stainless steel sheets, the best I have found. At first I was wiping the runs and fingerprints with the SS wipes and rubbing and rubbing to especially get the runs out. I finally realized that to make the runs and prints disappear, don't rub hard with the dry cloth. It is rubbing the polish off and then the run shows. With the dry cloth, wipe gently and the polish will cover the runs and prints.

  • patty_cakes42
    7 years ago

    It's been my experience that all SS cleaners are oily and attract dust like a magnet, and fingerprints are another story! I can't imagine Pledge working over a long period of time since it will build up with continued use, and the one problem will lead to an even bigger problem.

    I've been using Windex over the last 7 years about once a month, with touch ups when necessary. Once or twice a year i'll use Bon Ami since it's a cleanser specifically for SS. My parents had a SS range top, wall over, as well as sink, and it was the only cleaner my Mother ever used~SS wipes, etc. had not been 'invented' yet. When the house was sold 40+ years later, those appliances still 'sparkled and shined'!

  • lmckee6
    6 years ago

    I hate stainless steel. I had a stainless steel sink in a previous house & I refused to have one in this house when we built it. They always look awful. I have had a composite sink in this house for 10 years and have been very happy with it. Easy to clean and easy to keep looking good. But when we decided to put in granite countertops, the salesgirl convinced me that I had to have a stainless steel sink. I only went along with it because we're putting the house on the market later this year and stainless steel seems to be de rigueur. The countertops & sink were installed yesterday and I already hate the sink. I read the care directions for it. Basically, they said I had to wipe the sink completely dry EVERY time I use it. Are you kidding me? But even that isn't good enough. You must first clean it with a stainless steel cleaner and THEN wipe it completely dry, otherwise, it will still look terrible. If there are stainless steel appliances in my next house I will get rid of all of them and put in anything else. I've had black appliances for 10 years and they still look great. Like my composite sink, I find them easy to keep looking good with little effort on my part. I will replace the appliances in this house with stainless steel ones only for resale - and only as I'm walking out the door and the house goes up for sale. I'm told that people won't buy a house unless it has stainless steel appliances. Whatever. "Stainless" steel is a misnomer. It requires constant care to keep it from looking awful alI the time. If you google it, there are pages and pages of "how to clean stainless steel appliances." I can't figure out why everyone is so crazy about stainless steel. I don't find it esthetically pleasing. It looks utilitarian and cold to me. Okay. I've had my say. For those of you who like stainless steel ... more power to ya! I hope you enjoy cleaning all the time.

  • Lisa G.
    6 years ago

    This is an OLD post but if I can save anyone some hassle. I got a KAYWOS cloth and it's amazing. Just wet it and it cleans a lot of things, inc stainless and glass beautifully. I got mine from a dealer, but website is www.kaywos.com

  • kristyamjad
    6 years ago

    I know this an old thread. I hope to save even one person from the SS nightmare. Unless you get Frigidaire smudge free, you will be cleaning, scrubbing and wiping night and day. Black isn't much better. SS is the devil in my opinion. I love white. It's easy to clean and doesn't show smudges and fingerprints too much. I have had all colors and white is my choice over and over again.

  • mrsshayne
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    When I got all new appliances I was elated to get SS, but I couldn't afford the fancy high end brands so I went with Frigidaire Gallery Series and the sales guy mentioned how they have some patent so finger prints don't show, and 5 years later, I'm still really happy with mine. I hardly ever clean them and overall they look fine. My biggest worry is a dent.... Now those are hard to hide.

  • aputernut
    6 years ago

    So easy to clean stainless & more just pour pure Alcohol in a spray bottle, spray and wipe with a paper towel and OMG look at the shine! I use it on mirrors, glass and so much more.

  • CindyMac
    6 years ago

    Yup, rubbing alcohol is your friend if you have stainless appliances. Pretty amazing!

  • Amy Richcreek
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Old thread, but you could always keep the dishwasher and have the door "wrapped" in vinyl like they do for cars. Should be easy and minimal cost. Tell MIL that you appreciate/love her gift, didn't want to change, and just wanted to try out the look. You could always keep the DW and swap out the door.

  • arkansas girl
    6 years ago

    I had sworn that I would never have SS appliances but ended up with a SS dishwasher because I was limited because of the position of the dw so it couldn't have a handle or I wouldn't have been able to use my drawers and cabinets to the side of it. It only came in white or SS. White would not go with almond at all so SS it is! It's not too bad, mostly I just ignore the smudges because you would drive yourself crazy trying to keep it so shiny. At first it had sticker smudges (stickers that shipped with the unit) that would not come off but simple Dawn and water took that off, at the recommendation of Maytag. My BIL, that did the install, said that he uses the Pledge Multi-surface Antibacterial to clean his.

  • nnjwilkerson
    5 years ago

    Ive been in my remodeled kitchen for about 6 weeks now. I have all ss appliances, a DCS gas range and vent hood, Electrolux all refrigerator and freezer, Bosch dishwasher and Frigidaire microwave. I can definitely tell that the stainless steel on the microwave and dishwasher have a different look and feel to them. I have been reluctant to use any kind of cleaner that is going to slowly start to build up on the stainless steel. I had remembered forum members here were making their own SS cleaner from a mixture of water, alcohol and lavender oil. They were having very good results using it and there was no cleaner build up on the appliances. I have cleaned my range and vent hood twice with a MR Clean Magic Eraser with ok results but Im going to mix up and try this water, alcohol Lavender oil combo and give it a try. This is my first time to own SS appliances and Ive heard so many negative comments about keeping them clean. Im going to use 50% water and 50% alcohol with a few drops of lavender oil. If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate it.

  • cat_mom
    5 years ago

    I had to go over my KA built-in fridge and to a lesser extent, our Wolf range, with BKF (Bar Keeper's Friend) and a blue scrub sponge a few times to remove all of the oily residue (had been using 3M's cleaner polish spray on them prior). I still occasionally find small "patches" of residue (around the water/ice dispenser opening, under the handles), but those are easily cleaned away.

    Once I eliminated the residue, I found that the alcohol-water-lavender oil mixture worked great at cleaning and spot cleaning those appliances.

    I also use my alc-water-oil spray to clean our granite countertops. Because they are a shiny black-type granite, I found it helpful to increase the alcohol-water ratio from my original "formula" to help prevent visible streaks and smears. I now use closer to a 60-40% or 75-25% alcohol-water mix (with about 20 drops of lavender oil. I gauge that it's "right" by smell, and spray dispersal/wipe-ability on my counters.

    There's a lot of leeway with amounts, people here on GW seem to use as little as 10% alcohol to 90% alcohol (I've found that too too much alcohol can make me "choke" so I try to avoid that! LOL). Use amounts/ratio that works for your appliances and for you.

  • lascatx
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    You need to remove the film from any cleaners or lotions/oils, etc. that have been applied to the appliances with a good cleaning. Otherwise, any cleaner you use on top of that will cause streaking -- one film on top of another. If the two are different brands, the streaking will be worse. Once you have the surface good and clean, all I would use is water (water with alcohol will dry faster and alcohol should evaporate without leaving a residue -- so you can use it, but you don't need to) and a microfiber cleanning cloth.

    Microfiber cleanning cloths vary a great deal -- that's a bit like saying paper and then considering the wide range of paper types. I have been using these cloths since I got them from someone who was doing a team fundraiser.

    http://www.kleanzee.com/

    The mom was a friend so I said I'd try one. Then I ordered more. I have all stainless appliances (other than paneled DW) and they all get cleaned with these cloths -- and windows, mirrors, even my car. Using them and water only has been the only way I have been able to spot clean my fridge and not have to clean the entire thing for any spot. Simple, effective and save a lot of money.

  • misforminkGW
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I know this is old. If you have build up from cleaning products that would need to come off first. I've only ever used water and a microfiber cloth on ours. I can also spot clean with no issues. Our appliances our GE Cafe.

  • phylliswilson10
    5 years ago

    I have a cherry kitchen, warm tones like the writer's, and I really like the black with it. Possibly you could buy a new door for the dishwasher or sometimes they have slide in panels. Maybe with the fridge you could sell and replace it eventually. I still don't see why everyone like stainless. To me it is cold looking. White is also blah. Why is it so hard to make appliances in colors like they do with vehicles?


  • Katharine Hall
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I decided to go with some stainless appliances, but not enough of them to dominate the kitchen. I also chose stainless for the dry or heat-producing appliances and black for the appliances that I would often touch with wet or goopy hands. I am happy that it was a good choice. The thing is, any stainless surface that you touch with soiled/wet hands will end up with fingerprints and water deposit streaks. As others here have said, if not tended to immediately, they could result in calcium marks or dull patches which are very hard to eliminate, and which may become permanent. Constantly having to micro-maintain an appliance makes its allure disappear quickly! have a u-shaped cherry kitchen. Two walls have black appliances (a black dishwasher and 'fridge) but the third wall has only stainless steel appliances (a wall oven and a range & hood). The black appliances are very easy to clean up; a spritz of 409 and a swipe with a sponge, and they look as good as new. I find the kitchen aesthetically pleasing in that the stainless breaks up the heaviness of the black. Works well for me!

  • jill302
    5 years ago

    We have stainless, they came with the house. I miss my black appliances from my old kitchen, they were so much easier to keep clean.

  • Jill Spriggs
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Oh, there are lots of ways to clean that stainless steel, none very satisfactory that I've found. What I do is spray WD40 on a cloth every morning and run it around my fridge, dishwasher, and microwave. The range is my husband's job! I was surprised to find that WD40 didn't leave things greasy feeling. It does smell a bit weird, but that quickly dissipates.

  • JoLaine Jones-Pokorney
    last year

    I just bought a house with all ss appliances. I hate them. It's the first time I've ever had ss and I'll never again. I can't wait until they die so I can replace them, but unfortunately, they are fairly new and not the cheap ones. I assume they are the new type that is "resistant" to fingerprints. If so, I'd certainly hate to see the old kind. Why is it supposed to be a big deal to have ss appliances? I can't believe this look lasted even one year. I also had some streaks and spots on my dishwasher that nothing would clean. I took Softscrub cleanser and a soft scrubby pad and that got most of it off.


  • Anna
    last year

    If you’re going to use vinegar, soap and water, Windex, etc. rinse with distilled water and buff dry for a brilliant streak free shine. Distilled water lacks the impurities and minerals tap water has that can cause streaking. Sometimes I use old English oil for stubborn spots, wash the oil off completely with soap and water then rinse with distilled water.

  • puternut09
    last year

    Better yet, put Alcohol in a spray bottle, (yes rubbing alcohol) spray all your stainless & more even glass, mirrors wipe with a white paper towel and see them shine! it's all I use.

  • Anna
    last year

    Whatever you do, do not use specialty cieansers intended for other surfaces on your stainless steel appliances. You will ruin the finish. Read labels. Soap and water, dishwashing liquid, Windex, alcohol, Old English oil, vinegar are all safe and can get out the toughest stains.

  • puternut09
    last year

    I use alcohol on everything, however I must admit the only stainless I have is a toaster oven, but love it on chrome, glass/windows, counter tops, mirrors etc. I did use it on the brushed stainless toaster oven it worked fine.

  • phyllis_tollett
    7 months ago

    I hate my stainless steel appliances! worst purchase ive ever made

  • detailaddict
    last month

    You GO, @Kathy Linn! I resolved early-on in our kitchen design to adopt a "no-stainless" policy (more for the looks than the upkeep), and so set out to find an antique, enameled stove (for cleanability in addition to looks) and even went with copper sinks to avoid SS. My first kitchen was all-white when we bought the house, and not really in a good way - laminate countertops and mdf cabinets in addition to white appliances. It was more work keeping the countertops white than the fridge (although the door handle did yellow with time) but I was done with white by the time we moved. For our build I settled on a 1929 Glenwood, restored at a shop outside Boston. It was a splurge but like yours (which is also very handsome) one we'll never need to replace. I'd like to think if consumers start throwing the SS junk back in appliance companies' (and designers') faces and going with restored antiques or otherwise reliable, easy-to-clean appliances with actual color options that we don't have to replace after 5-10 years, maybe they'll stop telling us what we should want and start producing quality again.