How To Clean Fingerprints Off Stainless Steel & Leave a Lustrous Shine!

A few years back I decided it was time to do something about my pitiful tool storage situation. I had a small, red tool box that was overflowing with tools and it would take me forever to find a tool when I actually needed one.

I headed off to Home Depot and brought home a nice looking, standing tool chest. I shared the chest and the process of assembling it in this previous post: Getting Organized.

Storage for Household Tools


Over the years it’s gotten pretty finger-printy. There were smudges all over the front of the drawers and the door. Other than tools, I store suet and other birdie stuff in the right side of the chest behind the door.

Most of the time when I’m in the garage I don’t notice the smudges, but every single time I pull into the garage, the headlights on my car light up all the fingerprints like crazy. They are also very noticeable during the daytime when the garage door is up. What a mess!


It was hard to capture them in a photo since it was late in the day, so I turned on my car’s headlights for this photo below. Both the door and the drawers are covered in fingerprints and smudges. I don’t have a stainless steel sink or stainless steel appliances, so I’ve never purchased anything for cleaning stainless before.

How To Clean Fingerprints Off Stainless Steel Appliances


After doing a bit of research online for the best stainless steel cleaner, I found this product: Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish. It had outstanding reviews so I decided to buy some and give it a try. I just couldn’t bare to look at all those smudges and fingerprints another day. lol

Best Way to Clean Fingerprints Off Stainless Steel Appliances


It worked awesome–and it worked fast. It comes with the cloth you see in the photo above, so that’s what I used. Β The instructions said to shake it well before spraying. After shaking it, I sprayed it on the cloth to clean, but eventually I sprayed it directly on the chest. Then I just wiped it down.

It’s a plant-based product and it left a beautiful shine. It doesn’t contain a petroleum solvent like a lot of stainless steel cleaners do. Apparently, solvents can be hard on stainless steel finishes. The coconut oil that it contains is supposed to help it repel dirt, dust and fingerprints. That may be why the chest has such a lustrous shine.

I’m super pleased with the job it did and how easy it was to use. I also like that it’s made here in the USA. Just wanted to share this product with you in case you have stainless steel appliances or sinks and are looking for a really good stainless steel cleaner. You’ll find reviews and more information about it here: Stainless Steel Cleaner.

the Best Method To Clean Fingerprints Off Stainless Steel Appliances


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  1. Susan, I’m considering putting stainless steel in my kitchen but am so worried about the smudging. That would drive me CRAZY in the house! Let me know if you feel the cleaner you used helps repel future smudges or just cleans them off well. Thanks!

  2. I would love a follow up also. A few weeks back you bought something to prevent blisters. I looked on your site but could not locate it again. Do you remember (purple bottle I think) and do you still like it?

    • This is it:
      I haven’t used it, yet. I actually should have about a week or so ago. Like a dummy I wore some new sandals that ended up giving me several blisters. That would have been the perfect time to try it, I just forgot to put it on before I left the house. Next time I wear them, I’ll definitely use it. I’ll let you know how it works, Madonna. These shoes have given me blisters twice now, so if it works on them, it will work on anything. It has really good reviews so I’m cautiously optimistic.

  3. Nancy B. says

    Your tool chest looks beautiful and very proud to be so clean and shiny πŸ™‚ We have stainless appliances. We bought cleaner years ago but I always use a sponge with warm water and dish soap to clean followed by a dry soft cloth and the shine like new with no more finger prints or doggie nose marks. I try to use the simplest cleaners possible. Yours makes me wonder if there would be a difference using the cleaner! I may have to give it a try.

    • Aww, doggie nose marks sounds so cute! πŸ™‚
      I’m not sure since this is the first time I’ve used this product. I noticed in the ad it says that it “repels fingerprints, dirt and dust” so we’ll see. I love the shine it gave it.

  4. Even though it’s possible to keep stainless steel looking shiny and bright, I got really tired of keeping it that way so appliances are gone and only the sinks remain!

  5. Susan W. says

    Thanks for the info. Just ordered some

  6. For frequent cleaning our SS appliances, we use warm water and a microfiber cloth. I’d like shine them up occassionally, so will look for this. Thanks for all the pre-testing you do. (And if you have any thoughts on a natural, but good, granite cleaner, please share.)

    • A long time ago, a company sent me some granite cleaner/polish and it seems to work well. I can’t remember the name of it right this minute. I’ll go down and look and report back. πŸ™‚

  7. Susan, that looks promising. As you know, we updated our kitchen with black stainless, which definitely shows way, way fewer fingerprints than chrome stainless, but we also have brushed stainless cooktop and wall ovens. That said, there’s no denying sticky butterscotch and ice cream fingers on freezer, microwave and d/w handles (ahem…he likes his ice cream slightly melted). I bought a similarly based product, Howard’s (they also make products for wood furniture restoring). It took over a month to get it though, so I’ll keep Therapy in mind next time. One thing I tried and hated – the wipes! – I tried both Weiman and Tub O Towels brands. They smelled like cheap perfume, and they were too soapy! I had to clean after using them.

    • That’s good to know about those wipes. I’ll definitely stay away from those. I think I purchased some once for my glass cooktop, now that I think about it. I think they dried out and I threw them away.

    • I got a chuckle out of your reply because that happens here too. I like coffee over my ice cream and skip the microwave.

      Re stainless steel, all I have is my sink and don’t think I would buy stainless appliances after the harsh works I use on the sink.

  8. I use baby oil and it lasts quite a while with no fingerprints.

  9. Anne Pik says

    I’m anxious to try this product & ordered it. Thanks for the great tip!

  10. I do have all stainless appliances in our new home and I would much rather have ALL white, but this is what was offered so I have it and the smudges. Thanks for the tip, just ordered some to try!!

  11. Thank you Susan
    I just ordered a bottle.

  12. I use Olive Oil and it works great!

  13. Wondering how it may work on cleaning the outside of a stainless gas grill?

    • I noticed under the reviews, several folks asked how it worked on grills and all the answers said that it worked great. I have a stainless grill, too so I was wondering about that. Click on the “37 Answered Questions” link at this page:
      Then scroll down and you’ll see where folks asked about grills and other folks who have used it answered about that.

  14. Juanita in OH says

    The storage/tool chest looks fabulous. I will order this because I have a stainless steel double sink. I usually use baking soda and vinegar to clean it but, this sounds even easier. TFS

  15. Sandra D, Joliet says

    Many years ago we replaced our enamel cast iron kitchen sink with a brushed stainless steel one. It didn’t take long for me to regret it. I love vintage sinks anyway but it was pretty bad when we bought the house. Recently our microwave went out and the only one in the size we wanted was, you guessed it, stainless steel. I really dislike it so much but I think I’ll buy some of this and try it because your after photo is really beautiful

  16. I use Barkeepers Friend glass cooktop cleaner on my stainless. Then wipe off with a cloth. Spotless. Baby oil works and lasts a long time, but u have to polish and work at it. By the way, I have a dark silgranite sink and it is very, very easy to keep,clean and looks brand new after almost 4 years. I will never go back to a stainless sink.

  17. Thanks so much for the tip. I have used another spray for my stainless refrigerator, but it leaves an oily residue on the floor in front of the fridge. I’ll give this one a try! And I completely agree with the previous comment about the wipes…they are not very effective!

  18. Patricia says

    The one thing to absolutely never use is any product containing ammonia which will cause pitting. Many ‘multi-purpose’ cleaners including windex contain ammonia so be aware. I found this out the hard way when a cleaning service damaged my new dishwasher in my beach home. Years ago, the sales person in the kitchen design center told me their secret was furniture polish and that is what I have been using for years without any issues. It especially works well in sinks as it helps the water just bead off. I use BarKeepers friend on my gas grill.

  19. bobbi duncan says

    Hi! I have the Therapy polish but, one day, I decided to try alcohol because I wanted something that disinfects. Since I use alcohol on our granite, I thought I’d give it a try on the SS. It worked great and there’s no polishing involved–smudges come right off and it leaves a gleaming finish. I just take a paper towel that I wet and wring out and apply some alcohol. So easy and so cheap to use. I clean all our lighting switch plates and door knobs the same way–takes off any traces of grime and dries quick. Guests always ask how we get our SS so shiny and, after trying the alcohol method themselves, tell us they no longer hate their SS. It has saved me so much cleaning time. Always like reading what products other readers use in their own homes. It has led me to so many useful products. Hugs!

  20. Marian L says

    I appreciate your hard work in test driving products, however, my reason not to use this product is methylisothiazolinone. This ingredient is highly questionable for toxicity reasons. I use vinegar and olive oil. Vinegar to remove smudges, and hard water stains and then olive oil to polish. If you don’t use vinegar it’s fine, olive oil will also clean, you just need to use a bit more elbow grease. And it lasts. And it’s all natural and much less expensive. To me that’s worth the 5 minutes longer it might take to clean an appliance.

  21. sherry thompson says

    What great ideas! I used to use mineral oil when I had a stainless steel sink. Looked great! Noticed that oil doesn’t last long once you start using your sink.

  22. sherry thompson says

    What great ideas! I used mineral oil when I had a stainless steel sink. Looked great! Noticed that oil didn’t last long once I started using the sink.

  23. margaret says

    I tried Karol and Karen’s idea with the oil. It worked great.

  24. I like the idea of a plant based product very much. It is very nice of you to share all of your research with us. All of our appliances are stainless and I am curious about the comment on using alcohol. We had a dark granite sink, did not like it. Now we have a large fire clay sink which I like most of all. Have also had a stainless sink…that was the worst. Have never had any appliance or sink that did not need lots of cleaning…that would be a great invention, auto self clean everything! πŸ™‚

  25. Sheree Cloyd says

    Susan, WD-40 is the best. I was so tired of cleaning with Stainless cleaners. A professional outside kitchen designer told me to use WD-40, that is what they recommended. LOVE LOVE it. Love the smell too!!

  26. I have stainless steel appliances and they definetly are a lot of work to keep spot free. A simple solution for me has been baby oil. I dampen a cloth with the oil and clean off the smudges and then buff with a clean dry cloth.

  27. Charlotte L. says

    When I bought my stainless steel frig. I was told to use WEIMAN STAINLESS STEEL cleaner & polish. IT does not keep fingerprints off so I am anxious to try “THERAPY” πŸ™‚ your stainless steel brand. Love your site.

  28. Deborah Johnson says

    When I first read your post, I ordered the product in anticipation of the arrival of my new stainless appliances for our kitchen reno. I must say it has been great…even the appliance installer took a photo of the product to try some himself. He did suggest that if I stored the microfiber cloth in a ziplock bag I wouldn’t have to spray the product for quick wipes and so far so great!

    • That’s a brilliant idea, probably keep the product from drying out. I’ve been using mine for quick wipes and it was working even not stored in a bag, but I bet it would last even longer inside a bag. Thanks for that tip, Deborah!

  29. Thanks so much for the tip on this product–it’s the best I’ve found in a kitchen FULL of stainless!

  30. Elizabeth Speicher says

    Thanks for recommending this product. I just remodeled my kitchen and have all stainless appliances and a lovely great big stainless sink. Needless to say a lot of marks and smudges on all of them. Product arrived and I used it only on one of the doors of my two door, one drawer fridge as a test, 2 months later that door still looks great and the rest.. well a mess. Doing all of them today.

    I have 3 cats, thus lots of floating pet hairs. I was afraid that a product that was basically left on would be a hair magnet. Not so. And the scent of the product is very mild and pleasant, unlike a moistened wipe product that I tried prior to this.

    Again, thanks for your research and recommendation.
    Your blog is entertaining and informative, I check it everyday and will continue to do so.

    • So glad it’s working for you, too. So far, I’ve been really pleased, as well. That’s great to know about the pet hair, too! Thanks, Elizabeth!

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