Stainless Steel Care and Cleaning

Categories: Maintenance3.7 min read


All exposed stainless steel surfaces require special attention if you want to keep them looking clean and bright.

Following these simple instructions will help avoid scratching or damaging the finish and keep your stainless steel attractive.

Thoroughly clean stains, food, and grime using a sponge or damp cloth with warm water and mild dish soap. Use Fantastik or Formula 409 to remove heavier soil.

Thoroughly rinse all surfaces and dry them completely with a clean towel. Do not allow stainless steel to air dry.

We strongly recommend that you apply a surface protectant to all exposed stainless steel surfaces.

Spray a small amount of WD-40 or Sheila Shine on a piece of paper towel and rub with the grain over the surface of the appliance. Using a clean terry cloth or paper towel, polish the appliance by rubbing with the grain until excess liquid is removed and the surface shines. It should not be oily to the touch, however, some residue is acceptable.

Furniture polish, such as Old English, can be effective for polishing stainless steel and protecting the surface.

Do not use Instant Rust Out, WD-40, or Sheila Shine near food or on food preparation surfaces as it is a health hazard. This includes the interior of the grill, grill racks, stainless steel sinks, the inside of cabinets, warming drawers, and ovens.

NEVER spray WD-40 or Sheil Shine near an open flame! These products are extremely flammable while in their aerosol forms.

Rust Removal

It is a common misconception that stainless steel does not rust. It does not stain, corrode, or rust as easily as ordinary steel (it stains less), but it is not stain-proof. If not properly protected and maintained, it can corrode, pit, and discolor.

Because salt will accelerate rust and corrosion, grill or barbecue island owners who live near the beach need to be diligent in maintaining their stainless steel hardware. You need to clean and polish your stainless steel frequently, apply a protectant, and ensure water does not collect and puddle.

There are two methods of rust removal we recommend:

1. Rust removal with Instant Rust Out:
Spray exterior stainless steel surfaces with Instant Rust Out. Let it stand for about 30 seconds, then wipe with a clean cloth. Apply a second time if necessary.

Instant Rust Out will leave a white residue which can be rinsed off with water. Wipe the grill dry with a clean cloth and apply Sheila Shine or WD-40 as a surface protectant.

2. Rust removal with WD-40 or Sheila Shine:
Spray exterior stainless steel surfaces with WD-40 or Sheila Shine and wipe down with a dry cloth or paper towel until surface is free of rust. If there is significant rust or corrosion, use a Scotch-Brite scrubber.

Both of these products will act as a surface protectant and help resist smudges, stains, and rust.

Although nitric acid (also called aqua fortis) can be effective for rust removal, it is a highly corrosive chemical. Because of the potential for injury or damage to your stainless steel, we do not recommend using nitric acid.


DO NOT USE these common cleaning products and materials— they will damage the surface of your stainless steel.

  • CLR
  • Lime-Away
  • Oven cleaner
  • Cleansers such as Ajax or Comet
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Chlorine
  • Steel wool pads
  • Wire brushes
  • Scrapers
  • Pumice

We recommend this product for stains, rust & discoloration:

We recommend these products for cleaning your stainless steel:

  • Mild dish detergent such as Dawn
  • Formula 409
  • Fantastik
  • Instant Rust Out (exterior ONLY)
  • WD-40 (exterior ONLY)
  • Sheila Shine (exterior ONLY)

We have had the best success with Instant Rust Out, but WD-40 works very well too. Instant Rust Out is available in some hardware stores. WD-40 is widely available.

Baking soda, lemon oil, olive oil, vinegar, or club soda can also be effective for cleaning light soil on all stainless steel surfaces.

Do not use steel wool or wire brushes to scrub your grill.

For light soil, use a damp sponge or cloth.

For heavier stains, use a Scotch-Brite scrubber or similar product.

SCC Stainless Steel Cleaner

SCC Stainless Steel Cleaner

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