How to Clean Black Stainless Steel

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Black stainless steel has minor differences from traditional stainless steel. The finish, consisting of a protective black polymer, is the main difference. However, this means cleaning is different from what you would do when you are cleaning traditional stainless steel. The following guide will help you know how to clean black stainless steel.

How to Clean Black Stainless Steel

There are many ways you can clean black stainless steel using products in your home. Each method uses various materials and cleaning procedures. Go through each to find one that will best suit your needs.

Method 1: Using Lemon Oil Furniture Polish

Start by collecting the materials you will use. They are:

  • A clean cloth
  • Micro-cloth towel
  • Lemon oil furniture polish
Black stainless steel spoons

Make sure you have removed excess dirt from the black stainless steel item you plan on cleaning. For example, if it is a cooking pan or utensil, use a damp piece of cloth to wipe it. Do not add any detergent. Warm water is enough. 

Now, apply a little lemon oil furniture polish on a clean cloth. Use the cloth to rub your appliance. It is wise to use circular motions as this will ensure you clean the appliance thoroughly. Make sure to cover the entire surface of the black stainless steel appliance. 

After applying the lemon oil furniture polish, use the micro-cloth towel to wipe the item. If you notice the towel getting dirty, do not wash it or reuse it. Instead, get another clean and dry micro-cloth towel. The item will be clean when you complete this process.

Method 2: Using Mineral or Baby Oil and Dish Soap

For this method, you will need the following materials:

  • Mineral or baby oil
  • 2 non-abrasive cleaning rags
  • Plain dish soap
  • Non-abrasive cloth

This is one of the processes that is the most effective for cleaning black stainless steel. You need to start by inspecting the product you want to clean. Stainless steel has a grain similar to what you would see on some fabrics. 

Look for faint striations on the surface of the item. If you look closely, you will see something like lines going in a specific direction. Areas of the item such as the handles and knobs will have a different grain. Take note of the grain before you start cleaning. 

The good news is that cleaning without taking into account the grain will not damage your item. Unfortunately, it pushes some of the dirt deeper into the grain. This will result in a harder cleaning process in the future. Additionally, it will not give the item the best shine. To avoid this, try and clean with the grain. 

We recommend you use dish soap as it will not affect the chemical composition of black stainless steel. It also removes dirt and grime from the surface of any black stainless steel item. Start by dampening one of your non-abrasive cleaning rags. Use distilled water if you are not sure your tap water is not corroded. 

A couple cleaning black stainless steel appliances

Put a little dish soap on the dampened rage. Start cleaning by wiping along the grain of the product. In some cases, there will be areas that are dirtier than the rest. Do not use other cleaning products on such areas. Instead, go over such areas several times. 

Do not clean the entire item in one go. To get the best results, clean a specific area, and dry it immediately. If you clean the whole item once, some areas will dry earlier than others. The areas that dry earlier will have water streaks. Use a non-abrasive cloth to dry the areas you have finished cleaning. 

When you finish drying and are sure the item is clean, start the polishing process. This is where the baby or mineral oil comes in. Get the second rag and dab the oil onto it. Ideally, use several tiny drops. Just like in the cleaning process, follow the grain.

Method 3: Using a Sack of Flour

Not many people know it, yet you can use a sack of flours to clean your black stainless steel appliances. For this method use:

  • Sack of flour
  • Wax paper

Begin by cleaning the appliance using normal dish soap and water. Do not dry the appliance. Instead, cut a piece of the flour sack. Make sure this piece hasn’t been contaminated by anything. Use this piece of the sack of flour to dry the appliance. 

You will need to work quickly when you use this method. For the best results, dry small areas of the stainless steel appliance at a time. When you are done, you can use the wax paper. Rub the waxy area of the paper on the surface of the item. Make sure you cover all the areas you cleaned. 

Wax paper is a great cleaning product when it comes to black stainless steel. It is more of a preventive product than a cleaning product. Wax paper prevents fingerprints and smudges for a while. Additionally, it assists in the removal of stubborn stains. The good news is that wax paper does not leave streaks on black stainless steel.

Method 4: Using Flour

In the method above you used the sack of flour. If you happen to have thrown it out, do not despair. You can use the flour itself. You will need:

  • Flour
  • Soft cloth

This method is only reserved for black stainless steel utensils such as pots and pans. Don’t use it on other appliances as it is not practical. 

Jar of flour

Start by cleaning your sink thoroughly. Make sure it does not have any grime, grease, or dirt. Dry it thoroughly only when you are satisfied it is clean. 

Put your utensils in the sink. Do not fill the sink with the black stainless steel utensils. Cover the sink with flour. The more flour you use the better so do not hold back. 

Take one utensil at a time and buff it using a circular motion. Use the cloth for this part. Buff for several minutes and you will notice the utensils getting clean by the second. It’s that simple!

Method 5: Using a Glass Cleaner

If you have problems cleaning fingerprints on your black stainless steel appliances, this is the method to use. The issue is prevalent in homes with small children. Materials you need are:

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Ordinary glass cleaner

Take the microfiber cloth and spray the glass cleaner on it. Do not spray too little or too much. Spray enough to dampen the microfiber cloth. Use a circular motion to evenly rub the appliance. As you do this, you will notice the fingerprints will start to vanish. 

Repeat in areas where the fingerprints were not removed with the first sweep. Once you are done, rinse the appliance thoroughly. You can use warm water and a clean cloth. Dry the appliance and you will be good to go. 

Take note you should never apply the glass cleaner directly on your appliance. Spraying directly leads to the creation of splatter residue and drip marks. This means you will end up spending more time on the appliance than you had planned.

Method 6: Using Manufactured Cleaning Products

Sometimes you just want to buy a product and use it. You do not want to go through the process of trying home products. In such a case, you can find these in your local store. However, take note these will need you to spend some money. 

Black stainless steel kitchen

The good news is such products may be more effective than the five methods mentioned above. They are also designed to ensure there is minimal risk of scratching while ensuring maximum stain removal. To top it all off, some products are better at cleaning and polishing black stainless steel surfaces. 

Do not just pick the first product you see and start using it. You need to read the instructions on the label. Even when you are sure you have understood the instructions, do not start cleaning the entire item. Start by cleaning a small inconspicuous spot. If the results are satisfactory, you can continue cleaning the rest of the appliance. 

Things to Avoid When Cleaning Black Stainless Steel

The polymer coating mentioned above ensures your black stainless steel appliances and utensils have a protective layer. This coating does not react well with some cleaning products you may have. The following is a list of cleaning tools and products you should avoid.

Cleaning Products to Avoid

  • Flammable products
  • Oven cleaner
  • Lemon, vinegar, and other acids
  • Window cleaners
  • Ammonia
  • Abrasive liquid soaps
  • Baking soda
  • Powdered cleansers and soaps

Cleaning Tools to Avoid

  • Abrasive cloths
  • Newspaper
  • Paper towels
  • Scouring pads
  • Steel wool


Cleaning black stainless steel should be easy if you know what you need and what to do. When cleaning electrical appliances, make sure you unplug them before. As for utensils, pots, and pans, rinse with warm soapy water before you start. That said, we guarantee these methods will give you the best results.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.