how to remove water stains from stainless steel appliances

How to Remove Water Stains from Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances add a sleek and clean modern touch to your home. However, they often fall victim to unsightly water stains. These marks can mar their smooth finish and professional look. Fear not, there are several methods you can use to remove these water stains and restore the pristine look of your stainless steel appliances.

To remove water stains from stainless steel appliances, you can use common household items like vinegar and olive oil, baking soda and water, or rubbing alcohol. Each method requires careful application and thorough drying to ensure the stain is fully removed.

Let’s dive in and take a closer look at the main methods.

Method 1: Using Vinegar and Olive Oil

This method employs two common household items: vinegar and olive oil. Vinegar, being an acidic substance, acts as a natural cleaner that helps remove the water stains. Olive oil, on the other hand, is used to polish the surface and restore its shine.

  1. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. Ensure it’s enough to cover the stained area.
  2. Spray the vinegar onto the water-stained stainless steel surface.
  3. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to let the vinegar break down the stains.
  4. Using a soft cloth, wipe the area following the direction of the steel grain.
  5. Once the stains are removed, dab another soft cloth in olive oil.
  6. Wipe the olive oil over the cleaned area again following the direction of the grain.
  7. Finally, use a dry cloth to buff the area until it shines.

Tip: We often use baking soda and lemon juice for flat surfaces such as a sink. Sprinkle some baking soda on the water stains on your sink and then apply lemon juice. Gently scrub the surface and then rinse off with water.

Does It Wash Team

Method 2: Utilizing Baking Soda and Water

Baking soda is an excellent cleaning agent that works wonders on stainless steel appliances. It’s a non-abrasive substance, ensuring your appliances won’t get scratched during the cleaning process.

  1. In a bowl, mix equal parts of baking soda and water to create a paste.
  2. Apply the paste onto the water-stained area on the stainless steel surface.
  3. Let the paste sit on the stains for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Gently rub the paste into the stains with a soft cloth or sponge, going with the grain.
  5. Rinse the area with warm water and dry it immediately to avoid new water stains.

Method 3: Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a versatile cleaning solution that can effectively tackle water stains on stainless steel appliances. Its quick-drying nature prevents further water spots from forming.

  1. Firstly, soak a soft cloth with rubbing alcohol. Be sure not to drench the cloth; a moderate amount will suffice.
  2. Then, rub the cloth gently over the water-stained areas of your appliance, following the grain of the steel.
  3. Wipe the surface until the stain is gone. If necessary, repeat the process until the desired result is achieved.
  4. Finally, dry the area thoroughly with a clean, dry towel. This will prevent any new water spots from forming. Dry in the direction of the grain for the best results.

With rubbing alcohol it’s always best to test it on an inconspicuous spot first, to make sure it does not damage your appliance.

Method 4: Commercial Stainless Steel Cleaners

If the water stains on your appliance are stubborn and not easy to remove with household items, a commercial stainless steel cleaner can be the solution.

  1. Purchase a commercial stainless steel cleaner from a local store or online. Read the instructions thoroughly.
  2. Apply the cleaner to the water-stained area.
  3. Using a soft cloth, gently rub the cleaner into the stains following the direction of the grain.
  4. Leave it for a few minutes as per the product instructions.
  5. Wipe off the cleaner with a damp cloth and then dry the surface immediately to avoid further water stains.


How do I prevent water spots on stainless steel appliances?

Prevention is always the best strategy. After using any cleaning methods, make sure to dry the surface thoroughly. Leaving water droplets on the surface leads to water stains. Regularly clean your appliances with a damp cloth followed by a dry one to prevent water stains.

How do I remove hard water stains from stainless steel sinks?

The methods mentioned above for removing water stains from stainless steel appliances also work well for stainless steel sinks. Vinegar and baking soda, in particular, are very effective against hard water stains.

How often should stainless steel appliances be cleaned?

Cleaning frequency depends on usage and location. However, as a rule of thumb, it’s recommended to clean your stainless steel appliances at least once a week to maintain their shine and prevent the build-up of stains.

What are some natural cleaning solutions for stainless steel appliances?

Vinegar, baking soda, and olive oil are excellent natural cleaners for stainless steel. They’re non-abrasive and efficient in removing water stains and restoring the shine of your appliances.


Water stains on stainless steel appliances can be a nuisance. However, with common household items like vinegar, olive oil, and baking soda, rubbing alcohol or commercial stainless steel cleaners, you can effectively remove these stains.

Remember to prevent water stains by keeping the surface of your appliances dry and clean regularly. With proper care, your stainless steel appliances can maintain their sleek and professional look.