How to keep smudges off stainless appliances

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - We spend a lot of money on appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators and ranges, and some people spend a premium for stainless steel. The last thing we expect is for them to rust. Consumer Reports revealed that the culprit could be the cleaner you’re using.

Certain cleaners, especially those that contain bleach, can strip away cadmium and other metals that are designed to protect stainless steel.

Here are a few dos and don’ts to keep your steel stainless:

  • Do clean your appliances with a mild soap on a soft cloth and always dry them off when you’re done.

  • Don’t use disinfectants, abrasives or cleaners that contain bleach, alcohol, ammonia or chlorides, all of which can harm stainless.

  • Do check the label on any cleaning products you use in your kitchen. Certain things like grout cleaner containing muriatic acid ... even the fumes can cause the finish on your stainless sleek to wear down prematurely.

  • Don’t use steel wool or scrub pads. They can scratch the surface.

  • Do wipe down your stainless-steel appliances occasionally with a stainless cleaner, but don’t use a dish rag because it can actually contain food oils, and if there’s acidic, they can wear away the protective finish.

  • Do know what you’re buying. Nonmagnetic stainless steel appliances, which contain nickel, tend to be more rust-resistant.

Consumer Reports says if you do have rust on your appliances, you can use equal parts baking soda and water to gently rub to try to remove.

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