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The stainless steel appliance debate

2015/8/3      view:

Many of the homes that the "Gertie Girls" clean have stainless steel appliances. Why do folks like them so much? How did they become the finish of choice for new kitchens? Here are the Pros and Cons, in my opinion, of stainless steel in the kitchen.


— The look. Stainless steel appliances give a sleek, modern look that some people like.

— They have become readily available. Every place that sells appliances, has them to offer. So unlike several years ago, you can easily find many brands and options.

— They may increase the selling value of your home. I think this is just due to popularity. The kitchen looks more modern, up-to-date and glamorous.

— The finish is rust resistant.


— The complaint most often heard about stainless steel in the kitchen is the constant cleaning of fingerprints. The finish looks lovely right after you polish it up but the minute the kids grab a snack, you need to polish it up again. Other finishes including white, bisque or black textured surfaces do not show fingerprints as much. This is also true of water splashes. Staining will occur if anything acidic like lemon or tomato juice or vinegar lands on it.

— I have a stainless steel sink. I have some dandy scratches in it. Your appliances will not get the kind of abuse that a sink does, but if they are not cleaned properly, something rubs against the finish, you may get scratches. It also will dent. The thickness of the stainless steel varies depending on the quality. Even though it is resistant to rust, it is rarely the exterior of an appliance that is the reason you must replace it.

— Stainless steel finish will cost more to purchase. The lowest price of a stainless steel refrigerator at Sears is around $600. Compare that same appliance in an enameled finish of $400. You'll pay $200 more for the look. The most expensive stainless refrigerator is more than $10,000. While the most expensive white finish was $3,400.

— Some people think stainless steel appliances look cold and industrial.

— Magnets will not work on a stainless steel.

Care of the exterior of your appliances:

To clean the exterior of your appliances regardless of the finish, dip a microfiber cloth in warm water with a few drops of detergent like Dawn Dish soap. Wipe down the front and sides first. Follow it with a soft polishing cloth. If you have stainless steel wipe in the direction of the grain. If it has been a while since the top of the fridge has been washed, spray a degreaser on it, let it soak for a few minutes and wash clean. Try Gertie's Magic Mist as a degreaser. Here is the recipe: Mix 2 oz. Dawn, 4 oz. lemon juice, 8 oz. white vinegar and 10 oz. of water. Place into a spray bottle. Uses an needed for degreasing in the kitchen or in the bathroom for the tub or shower to accelerate the cleaning process.

Stainless steel looks nice if you use a good polish occasionally. According to Better Homes and Gardens "Stainless steel Magic" gets a 5 star recommendation. Another product we have liked at Gertie's is call "Affresh". They both can be purchased as a spray on product which I prefer over a moist towelette. These products promise to clean and shine the finish. They claim to help resist fingerprints. Spray your cloth, then apply to the product to the finish rather than directly spraying it on the appliance. Be careful that the floor around the appliance does not get dangerously slippery.

Enameled finishes also look nice with an occasional polishing. You can use the same products on enamel as stainless steel. If all you have is furniture polish that is fine too. Using some protective coating will help prevent rusting. Although rusting of the exterior of your appliance, in a kitchen our part of the country, is not usually a problem.