stainless steel cleaner comparison

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating, Organizing, Tips and Tricks66 Comments

Before we enter the exciting and somewhat nerdy world of cleaner comparisons, I wanted to let you know that the tie-up shades I designed for Decor Steals are being offered as their steal today!  Some of you have asked me about them, so I didn’t want you to miss it.  Click HERE for the details…

So, I did this comparison for my own sake because I was so frustrated with one stainless steel cleaner I bought.  Despite my cleaning and buffing, my appliances were streaky and it was driving me crazy!  I ordered two different stainless steel cleaners to see which one worked best.  Since I was making this comparison already, I thought I would share the results here.

These are the products that are going head-to-head in this very unscientific, completely preference-based, nerdy test…

The first one is Magic Stainless Steel cleaner.  This is the one that I want to hurl out the window because it leaves streaks.  I have tried microfiber cloths, cotton cloths, paper towels, etc. to see if it was just the applicator.  It cleans well, but it always left streaks.

It’s hard to capture streaky stainless steel in a photo, but here is my best go of it…

You can really see the streaks on the freezer drawer…

So, that one is a no go.

In fairness, I had used the Magic Cleaner in the spray bottle in the past, but I was only able to find that product in the can.  It’s now available on Amazon in the spray bottle, but it wasn’t at the time I was buying it a few months ago.  I’m guessing it is a different formulation in the spray bottle, because that cleaned without leaving streaks.

The other two I ordered to test out were Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish

And Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Kit.

The Therapy cleaner came with a microfiber cloth in addition to the cleaner.

I tested out Therapy on the right side of the fridge first.  The sprayer worked well and the cleaning formula is relatively thick, so it isn’t a race to wipe it before it drips down the fridge and onto the floor.

The cleaner was easy to move around the surface of the fridge door and it cleaned and polished the stainless steel beautifully.

I then tried the Weiman on the left door.  The cleaning formula is a little thinner, but it still wasn’t overly drippy.  It also cleaned and polished the stainless steel nicely, but it wasn’t quite as easy to apply.  (I used the same microfiber cloth to make it fair.)  It was only slightly more resistant when I was rubbing the cloth in circles.

You can see that both cleaned and polished the fridge nicely and left no streaks.

So, for me, the Therapy Cleaner nudged into first place, simply because it was a little easier to apply.  The Weiman is a close second, because it cleaned and polished well, but was a little bit harder to move around and buff.  The Therapy brand runs about $10/bottle and the Weiman is at $7, so my second-place pick is the more cost-effective option.  I only have to buy stainless cleaner about once a year, though, so a $3 difference isn’t too substantial.  The Magic Cleaner in the can comes in a distant last because it leaves streaks.

Now, all of the appliances are clean, shiny, and streak-free.  For now, anyway.

Just let me enjoy it…

Do you have a favorite stainless steel cleaner that I didn’t try?  Does anyone prefer the wipes?   Or perhaps a natural method?

stainless steel cleaner comparison

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66 Comments on “stainless steel cleaner comparison”

  1. Hi Marian

    If you haven’t been introduced to Norwex, I highly recommend you check out their products. They carry a microfiber cloth specifically for stainless steel appliances, and it works like a charm, totally chemical free.

    You can use it dry to polish streak free or damp with just water for any sticky spots.

    Here’s a video: https://youtu.be/plnsxw4Ktjs

    I absolutely love Norwex because it works better than anything else I have used.

    1. Ellen..I use the Noreen window cleaning cloth. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. No chemicals and totally streak free. My windows look so good after I’m finished. Highly recommend. I’ll have to look for the appliance cleaning cloth. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I’ve used lemon pledge for years, not natural, but cheap and works well. Love your blog, Marian. 🙂

    1. I use a micro fiber cloth specifically formulated for stainless steel. I wash with dish soap to clean and disinfect, then I polish with the microfiber cloth. Works well. I found the cloth at my local supermarket in the cleaning aisle..norwex makes a great one too but mine was $3 and performs well. It’s silver colored to remind you that it’s for stainless steel

  3. Thanks! I have the same problem with streaking. I will try Therapy. Also, what do you use to clean your counters? Thanks, Peggy

    1. I’m in the Wieman camp but I use the can foam spray it doesn’t run light scent seems to protect the appliances from fingerprints a bit longer than anything else I use. I also use half vinegar water in spray bottle with microfiber cloth. I only buy it once a year too at Kroger’s approximately $5 Wieman’s that is. I’m going to look into the microfiber for stainless steel. Love the pitchers on the tray with utensils beautiful kitchen.

  4. I’m a Norwex fan too. One damp cloth to clean, followed by the dry one to buff. No chemicals, just water.

    They also work great for mirrors, windows, bathroom fixtures, counter tops, etc.

  5. Plus one for a damp Norwex, especially if you can keep your rags separated for their specific uses (stainless, glass etc). Cream polishes seem to make my fingerprint problem worse over time. I will say my appliances might be a bit shinier when first done with polish but not much. and it doesn’t last.

  6. I use hydrogen peroxide — one part to 3 parts water in a spray bottle. Works great — costs pennies.

  7. I use a Norwex cloth and water for stainless, windows and mirrors. I’ve never used anything that’s so easy to use and works so well!!

  8. I use white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and it works like a charm! Inexpensive and no harsh odors.

  9. I have a kitchen full of stainless steel appliances and I tried everything. I had heard about Norwex but couldn’t justify the cost so I went for eCloth on Amazon. I bought their bigger starter kit and it is AMAZING!!! No more cleaners just really wonderful results. Things seems to actually sparkle. I love those cloths so much! Now I am super interested in Norwex because people say they are better than eCloth. Anyway, I have no association with any company but just really love my eCloth microfibers cloths. SO much better than any cleaner.

  10. I tried so many and hated all of them. I now use a mix of baking soda and vinegar and then rinse and dry well. It even gets the nasty grease off of the range hood.

  11. Norwex, norwex, norwex! Window cloths… one wipe on window with water dampened, dry with 2nd cloth… no product no streaks! Amazing.. windows so clean and no product to buy. Cloths reusable for years!!! Must try their stainless cloths after reading this!! Love getting rid of all these products… clean my sink with barkeeper’s friend in silver bottle and polish with weiman.

  12. The Weiman went in the trash. I tried and tried….streaks everywhere. I did it, my husband did it. awful streaks. Thanks for the test results.

  13. Weisman’s. Sorry but I don’t see the point of a new microfiber cloth with every bottle. Micro fibers are pollutants should play into decision making.

    1. Oh, you can buy the cleaner without the cloth, too. That’s just one of the ways to purchase it.

  14. I use Parker & Bailey, Orange Oil Polish. To be honest, I ran out of the Weiman cleaner and had some of the Orange Oil on hand that I use to clean the shower walls (works amazing and smells great). I was happy that the orange oil worked beautifully on the stainless steel range too.

  15. For our silver anniversary, my husband upgraded our appliances to subzero and wolf. He knows I’ve dreamed of those forever!!! The polish that came with them is called signature polish. It’s expensive, but a bottle will last years!!! Cleans water stains, fingerprints, etc. and does not streak or leave a greasy residue. I love it and use it on dozens of things!!! Also made in USA and has been around since the 20s. 😃 web site is signaturepolish.com. It is the only one subzero recommends.

  16. I may have mentioned this in an earlier post, but for our silver anniversary, my husband upgraded our appliances to subzero and wolf. He knows I’ve dreamed of those forever!!! The polish that came with them is called signature polish. It’s expensive, but a bottle will last years!!! Cleans water stains, fingerprints, etc. and does not streak or leave a greasy residue. I love it and use it on dozens of things!!! Also made in USA and has been around since the 20s. It is the only one subzero recommends.

  17. I love and have been using Weiman’s for years. Love it!!! I was told to never spray directly on the appliance. You could permanently have a spray pattern etched on the surface. I spray it on the rag first. I use washcloths that I buy from Walmart (cheap)in colors that don’t match any of our bathrooms. I have tried the pre-moisten Weiman’s cloths also and I do like them….but I prefer the spray bottle…..not so wet.

    1. Good to know! I’ve applied it both ways, but I didn’t know that spraying it directly could leave marks. Always learning! 🙂

  18. I have recently been introduced to Norwex. They have a stainless cloth – uses nothing but water!!! It does a very nice job. They also have a window cleaning cloth that is out of this world. I will never buy windex again. You simply wet the rag, ring out and wipe windows. It is unbelievable how well it works with only water. I actually have their environcloth that I wet and wash the windows and then dry with the window cloth. No streaks!!! First time I used it, I was so impressed I went through the house washing all windows and mirrors.

    1. A few other people mentioned that, so I might have to give one a try! I like the idea of just using a cloth and water.

  19. I love Weiman but I use the wipes!! I love them so much that I bought them for my best friend as well and she is hooked! I have the spray for backup if I run out but I have definitely switched to the wipes! I have a stainless steel fridge, dishwasher and Wolf Range and it makes everything super shiny! 🤩

  20. I use the Weiman wipes and I love them. After I thoroughly wipe my appliances down I then use a soft cloth to buff. My appliances come out fantastic. I used the Weiman spary in the past but I found if it got on my hardwood floors after wiping it up my floors became really slippery.

  21. Barkeepers is great for rust marks. NORWEX cloths great for any surface or polish off cleaner Bu ORIGINAL BEE’s WAX is great for a shine that will resist fingerprints! All surface cleaner made in MemphisTN. Installers of our stainless hood introduced us to this product. Days good for stone, glass, laminate, painted cabinets but not floors. $13 for 13 oz. used a cotton towel perfect.

  22. I use olive oil to clean my stainless steel. A little on a clean microfiber cloth and you will be amazed! The olive oil doesn’t do the actual cleaning, the microfiber cloth does, and it leaves behind a light, protective film that repels water marks and fingerprints. Just go easy on the oil. A little goes a long way. And no chemicals!

      1. We’ve had SS appliances for a decade. Initially, I used olive oil and found it would leave a build-up which became very difficult to remove. After trying numerous cleaning products, I found using Windex with a micro-fibre cloth was the best and easiest way to keep our appliances shiny.

      2. We’ve had SS appliances for a decade. Initially, I used olive oil and found over time, it left a build-up which became very difficult to remove. After trying numerous cleaning products, I found using Windex with a micro-fibre cloth was the best and easiest way to keep our appliances shiny.

  23. I just use my dish water before I do dishes with 2 micro fiber cloths, 1 to wipe and one to dry. My appliances are the same as yours, except I have a full stainless steel backsplash behind my stove. My appliances still look brand new!

  24. I have Bosch appliances and they don’t show fingerprints and clean beautifully with water. Here it’s possible to void the warrantee if you use cleaners that are not recommended by the appliance company. (I don’t know if that’s the case in USA too?) Hope you’re feeling a bit better Marian. 🤗

  25. I use watered down vinegar. I found the cleaner I was using to be very effective, but left such a residue. It took some time and elbow grease to remove it! So now I use the vinegar spray and it works perfectly- and it’s cheap! I do want to try the Norwex cloth because my others work so well, though!

  26. I hated Weiman…it streaked for me and had a very nasty petroleum-based like odor. Despite having a degree in Family & Consumer Science (70’s lingo for Home Ec.), I have not been given the gift of cleaning. Based on a recommendation from another Blog, I tried Therapy, despite it being much pricier. I love it, and have recommended it to all my family and friends. I gave it to my daughter as a stocking stuffer. She is the mother of 2 year old twins whose handprints are on everything, and she loves it as I do. Not only does it not streak, it smells great, and it seems to actually repel hand and fingerprints. In between uses, I just wipe the surfaces with a paper towel, and all is good!

  27. Since I have asthma, I do not like to use sprays. Weinman wipes work very well for me. And I thought I read somewhere that you are to wipe in the direction of the grain. Which, to me, is from side to side.

  28. Thanks for the brand comparisons, Marian, and all the recommendations from commenters. It’s frustrating to buy a cleaner that just leaves streaks!

    I never know what to do with a cleaner that doesn’t work well—hate to pour it down the drain or toss in the garbage where the chemicals may cause harm. Now I am going to try the special cloth that just needs water!

    Have to say I’ve gotten a little turned off by my stainless appliances. They look great but at my house they need wiping several times a day (maybe I have a particularly sticky-fingered family). I have heard that there are stainless steel appliances that have a fingerprint resistant finish—but it will be many years before I’ll be buying new appliances again.

    Love your blog and this community!

    1. Lisa P, many cities counties have a recycling center where you can drop off used paint, cleaners, oil, anything liquid that shouldn’t go down the drain. I keep a box where I pile that stuff and make a trip once or twice a year, rather than making a trip for one item.

  29. Weiman wipes work best for me. I was told on my stainless subzero to never rub in circles, just up and down strokes.

  30. Any microfiber cloth and water….also am loving peroxide in the spray bottle for any cleaning….less chemicals. Love love your kitchen!

  31. I like to use all natural products. After remodeling everything but keeping the (expensive) dishwasher it was covered in water streaks and fingerprints, etc. I got it clean with baking soda and vinegar and then applied a light coat of olive oil as a protective polish. No more water streaks, everything wipes right off with water. It’s the best.

  32. I use the E-Cloths – love that there a no chemicals, just water and cloth. They work wonderful on windows, mirrors, even use on my eye glasses!

  33. I have tried a number of sprays and wipes and wasn’t happy. Sprays especially were a problem because they got over the floor, making it slippery. When my stainless appliances were delivered/installed in my last home, Kenmore stainless steel cleaner was recommended and that is what I have gone back to using. It is a liquid/gel formula, applied to cloth (I use paper towel) and buffed with a microfiber cloth. It seems to leave a light film that protects from future fingerprints, too, all I need to do is use a microfiber cloth to wipe them out. Will have to try e-cloth and Norwex.

  34. I love that this topic has so many comments on it! 🙂 I just use vinegar water and a good microfiber cloth and have no issues with my stainless steel. It even cleans grease of the cooktop like a charm. Buff Pro cloths from Amazon are my absolute favorites.

  35. After a LOT of trial and error – I use Cerama Bryte stainless steel wipes for an easy and streakless clean.

  36. I hate stainless steel appliances and avoid them as much as possible. It’s a personal preference, but I’ve never seen how a traditionally styled kitchen is suited to stainless steel.

  37. I’ve had great results using Scotchgard stainless steel cleaner. I found mind at Lowes. I shake the can really well and spray appliance all over from left to right. Using a micro fiber cloth, I rub in the cleaner going from left to right with the grain, so to speak, of the stainless. I follow up with a clean dry microfiber rag, and buff. I’ve not had any issues with streaking and it makes the appliances somewhat fingerprint proof….at least until the next time you need to clean them. 😉

  38. I was told by an appliance man who came to take out scratches from my newly installed stainless sink in my new kitchen…..to not use products because they only build up. He told me to use (inexpensive)rubbing alcohol. I use it and it works great! FYI

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