Person cleaning stainless steel cooktop

Clean Your Stainless Steel Cooktop A Guide to a Streak-Free Shine

Stovetop grates and burners Stovetop grates and burners

Stainless Steel Cooktops: Sleek Style, Demanding Care

Stainless steel cooktops offer a sleek, modern look to your kitchen. Their beautiful shine can, however, be easily dulled by fingerprints, grease, and spills.  Learn the best way to clean a stainless steel stovetop so you can get it done quickly and spend more time with your family.

Important Tip: Always consult your owner's manual for specific cleaning instructions, as recommendations may vary depending on the model of your stainless steel cooktop.

The Essential Cleaning Toolkit

Before you start, these supplies will get the job done effectively:

  • affresh® Cooktop Cleaner: Formulated specifically for the unique needs of stainless steel.

  • Dish soap: A gentle cleaning staple in any home.

  • Baking soda: This pantry powerhouse comes in handy for cleaning.

  • Water: For mixing, rinsing, and creating solutions.

  • Vinegar (optional): Effective but use with caution and immediately wipe away afterwards.

  • Mineral oil (optional): Creates a subtle shine when combined with vinegar.

  • Microfiber cloths: Soft and non-abrasive, crucial for cleaning delicate surfaces.

Paper towels: An alternative to microfiber for certain tasks.

Step-by-Step Stainless Steel Cooktop Cleaning Guide

Food spill on stovetop

Step 1: Gather Supplies and Cool Down Cooktop

Assemble your chosen cleaning products and cloths. Make sure to cool down all the stovetop elements before getting started, and remember to remove anything that requires separate cleaning. This can include stove grates, burner caps and knobs if they’re removable.

Hand wiping down stovetop

Step 2: Take Out Any Removable Parts

Take off burner grates, knobs, burner caps, and any other detachable pieces. Wash these separately. Consult our guide to cleaning stove burners and grates for best practices.

affresh® stainless steel cooktop cleaner

Step 3: Clear Surface Debris

Wipe the cooktop with a damp microfiber cloth and warm water to remove loose crumbs, dust, or light food debris.

Closeup of stainless steel cooktop knobs, burners, and grates

Step 4: Identify the Grain for Wiping Direction

Stainless steel has a subtle, directional "grain" caused by the brushing process during manufacturing. Look carefully for thin lines; this tells you the best direction to wipe. For horizontal lines, wipe left to right. For vertical lines, wipe downwards (top to bottom). This will help minimize the appearance of scratches.

Hand lifting cooktop grate

Step 5: Choose Your Cleaning Approach

Now it's time to select the method that suits your task:

  • Routine Cleaning: Warm water and mild dish soap applied with a soft microfiber cloth are best for daily maintenance and basic smudges.

  • Deep Cleaning: For more built-up messes, there are a few options:

    • Baking Soda Paste: Mix a thick paste of baking soda and water for gentle stain removal.

    • Vinegar and Mineral Oil: Combine in a spray bottle, spritz on, and gently wipe for shine.

affresh® Cooktop Cleaner: This product tackles grime, stains and stuck-on residue

Step 6: Apply, Scrub, and Rinse

Apply your chosen cleaner carefully in the direction of the grain. Allow the mixture to sit for 2-3 minutes (or longer as the product directs). Rub gently, always going with the grain. Rinse thoroughly with water or a damp cloth to remove any cleaner residue.

Step 7: Dry for Spot-Free Beauty

To prevent watermarks and streaks, completely dry the surface with a fresh microfiber cloth. This is essential for the ultimate sparkly finish.

Step 8: Buff and Restore Shine

A final polish with a clean, dry microfiber cloth maximizes shine.

Shop affresh® stainless steel cooktop cleaners

Never Use on Stainless Steel: A Cleaning Caution

These common substances can damage stainless steel:

  • Harsh Chemicals: Cleaners with bleach, ammonia, or other abrasives can leave permanent marks.
  • Abrasive Cleaners & Tools: Steel wool, scrubbing pads, or anything harsh will visibly scratch the surface.

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Stains on Stainless Steel Cooktops

Sometimes, a regular clean isn't enough to lift deep discoloration or persistent stains. Here's how to address them:

  • Brown Discoloration and Heat Marks: These can fade with light scrubbing with baking soda paste. For tougher discoloration, affresh® Cooktop Cleaner provides deeper cleaning power.

Tackling Burnt-On Grease and Oil

These spills demand quick action as they harden fast! Opt for:

  • Baking Soda Paste: Apply and let it sit on the stain before gently scrubbing with the grain.

  • affresh® Cooktop Cleaner: Designed to cut through heavy-duty grease. Apply, let it work, then scrub and rinse.

Burner knobs Burner knobs

Stain Prevention: Best Practices for Your Stainless Steel Cooktop

Prevention is the easiest way to avoid stubborn stains:

  • Rapid Response: Wipe up spills as soon as they happen. The longer they sit, the harder they'll be to remove.

  • Regular Cleaning: Keeping your cooktop clean avoids messes from baking onto the surface and becoming problems.

  • Protective Habits: Consider using splatter guards and wiping after every cooking session.

Pro Tip: Always check your cooktop manual for the manufacturer's cleaning and care recommendations.

Upgrade Your Cooking: Explore Whirlpool® Cooktops

The right cooktop means easier clean-up and superior cooking results. Whirlpool® has options galore with various features and finishes:

  • Electric Cooktops: Versatile and sleek, consider this radiant glass model with dual cooktop elements: Learn More

  • Gas Cooktops: Reliable and fast for precision cooking: Learn More

  • Gas Cooktops with Griddle: Expand your cooking capabilities with this model Learn More

  • Induction Cooktops: Energy-efficient and lightning-fast: Learn More

Browse the full range of Whirlpool Cooktops.

Your Spotless Stainless Steel Cooktop Awaits

With some careful attention and the right cleaning tools, your stainless steel cooktop can add stunning glean to your kitchen for years to come. Consistent cleaning and a few good habits will keep it gleaming and ready for culinary adventures. And for a truly hassle-free experience, choose a Whirlpool® cooktop – the perfect blend of functionality and easy maintenance.

Learn more about cleaning kitchen appliances with Whirlpool brand

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1. affresh® brand products and the recommending brands’ products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.