Usually stainless steel cleaning products are quite aggressive and contain a bunch of nasty chemicals and solvents. Indeed stainless steel requires sufficient cleaning power in order to keep it blemish-free, but there are less toxic ways to care for your stainless steel cookware and appliances. One of these ways is to prepare your own stainless steel cleaner, it is very easy and the mixture works like a charm.
The necessary ingredients and materials:
–mix one part vegetable oil, to one part water, to two parts white vinegar; stir and shake the mixture vigorously; you will have to shake well the solution before each use.
–whitevinegar does not have the most pleasant scent out there, and this is the reason why you will use the fragrance extracts; put ten or fifteen (pipette) drops of vanilla, orange or lemon extract in the solution and stir it once again.
–when washing brushed stainless steel, go with the grain, use warm soapy water and wash out the water;
-spray the solution you prepared directly onto the stainless steel surface and polish with the grain using a dry, soft cloth;
-removal of greasy build ups on stainless steel requires more power, this is why you should treat the grease with undiluted white vinegar and then spray the stainless steel cleaning solution.
Note: if using the cleaning solution on stainless steel appliances (not cookware), use a soft rag and do not apply too much pressure as the steel used for appliances is not as resistant as the steel which cookware is made of, although they might appear the same.
Another Note: abrasives and scours should not be used on stainless steel as such cleaners will scratch and cloud the surface. In extreme cases of heavy staining, where nothing else works, you may apply some baking soda, to the inside of cookware only.
Stainless steel is meant to be rust resistant, and to remain unaffected by most chemicals it gets exposed to. This however does not mean that stainless steel is not affected by mechanical damage such as scratching. Using aggressive abrasives or scouring cleaning products may not have an immediate effect but scratches will show after a couple of erroneous cleaning treatments. Stainless steel finished appliances are even more susceptible to scratching so be extra careful when cleaning and polishing those.