Stainless steel appliances such as fridges, toasters, and ovens can add a sleek and modern look to your kitchen. Unfortunately, stainless steel appliances and other stainless surfaces like sinks and counters can become scratched over time. These scratches not only ruin the sleek look but can also lead to damage over time.
However, you can remove scratches from stainless steel surfaces using a combination of stainless steel scratch remover and steel buffing. This will eliminate or reduce the appearance of shallow scratches and will reduce the severity of some deeper scratches. While this may not fully remove these marks, this method will reduce the noticeability as well as reduce the chances of the stainless steel scratch from becoming deeper and thus possible rusting or marring.
First you will need to figure out the “grain” of the surface. This “grain” is the small lines across the surface of stainless steel. This is very important because stainless steel buffing requires you go with the flow of the grain and not against the grain.
Credit: By Riverview Homes, Inc. (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia CommonsNext you’ll want to remove and magnets and items from the surface (such as magnets and pictures on your fridge). If this is an appliance you are buffing scratches out of you’ll want to turn off and unplug the appliance.
Carefully note the location of not stainless steel surfaces such as knobs, plastic trim, etc as buffing them could damage these surfaces. If desired, cover these items with plastic or cloth.
Use a soft sponge soaked in warm soap and water to clean off the scratched surfaces. Wipe dry lightly with a soft cloth. Inspect the surface and locate the scratches you want to remove.
Using a non-iron based scouring pad rub over the scratch multiple times. Make sure you go with the flow of the stainless steel surface grain. You may also use light grit sandpaper in place of a scouring pad. Do not use medium or heavy grit sandpaper. Do not use scouring pads that contain iron as this can quickly damage the stainless steel causing oxidation and rust.
Keep using a light buffing motion in the direction of the grain over the scratch until it is removed. In some cases your buff job might stand out too much. You can lightly buff around the scratch to give the area a blended look.
For tough scratches you may want to use stainless steel scratch remover cleaner although you should ensure the cleaner is safe for your particular type of steel. The safest bet is to use a non-iron scouring pad to manually lessen the scratches.
Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth when done to complete the buffing.