How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances with Baby Oil

Hey there! I’m Meredith from unOriginal Mom, and I am SUPER excited to be a contributor for Uncommon Designs (still pinching myself a little bit)! I’ll let you in on a little secret – I am not super creative, my house isn’t all that clean or organized, and I’m not a fantastic cook…but I LOVE to be inspired by the great ideas of others and then put my own spin on them! My blog is all about those inspired ideas – sharing where they came from, how I made it my own, and how it worked for me. I hope you’ll stop by and see some of the projects that I’ve shared in my Winner’s Circle! I’m looking forward to sharing a few tried and true Household and Organization Tips with you over the next few months.

In the meantime, I’m here to share a very simple and effective cleaning tip with you – how to clean stainless steel appliances until they sparkle!

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances with Baby Oil via

We recently moved to a house with a beautifully renovated kitchen, complete with FOUR stainless steel appliances (5 if you count the gas range!). I’d never had to clean stainless steel before in my life, let alone so much of it! I tried my darnedest to avoid smudging up the surfaces and put off the cleaning as long as I could, but of course, it wasn’t long after we moved in that the fridge looked like this:

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances with Baby Oil via

But when the culprit is so cute, there’s not much to be done about it!

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances with Baby Oil via

Then, a friend shared a tip with us that he’d heard from a salesman at an appliance store – use mineral oil to shine stainless steel. He swore by it, and said not only did it work to shine the surface, it actually helped to keep it shiny and repel fingerprints and smudges.

BUT, we didn’t have any mineral oil, and I wasn’t even sure exactly what it was or where to buy it…so I figured I’d try baby oil instead! A quick Google search led me to discover that this had indeed been done before with success, so I was excited to give it a try! (Don’t have any baby oil? You can try olive oil instead!)

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances with Baby Oil via

First, wipe down your appliances with a soft, wet rag. The baby oil will shine the surface, but won’t really clean any significant grime off of it. For really tough grime, try adding a little bit of vinegar to the wet rag. Don’t worry about any watermarks left behind by the rag, we’ll take care of those!

Then you need baby oil and a dry, soft cloth. A microfibre cloth is preferable, but I didn’t have any on hand so I used an old soft cotton t-shirt.

Put some baby oil on your cloth and then wipe it on in the direction of the grain of the stainless steel. (What? You didn’t know that stainless steel has a grain? Yeah, I didn’t either. Look closely and you’ll see that there are lots of tiny little lines all going in the same direction – can you see that mine go side to side? Wipe parallel to the the tiny lines and not perpendicular to them, otherwise you risk scratching the surface.) Then, using almost NO pressure at all, turn your cloth over to the dry side and softly buff the oil off. I ended up with a couple of streaks on my first pass, but I went over it again with some more oil and got that perfect sparkling shine I was looking for.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances with Baby Oil via

Now, step back and admire the sparkle! Ahhh, isn’t that nice?

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances with Baby Oil via

And the best part, I’ve found that this method actually does repel those little munchkin fingerprints! (And I love that it’s totally safe for her – yay for chemical-free cleaning!)

I easily shined my fridge, dishwasher, oven, and microwave in less than 30 minutes. Totally worth it. And it’s amazing how even despite the dirty dishes on the counter (just pretend you can’t see them in the reflection of the microwave) the whole kitchen looks so much cleaner!

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances with Baby Oil via

Do you have any tips for keeping your kitchen sparkling clean? I’m always looking for great ideas and tips to inspire me…especially when it comes to cleaning!

I’m looking forward to sharing another great Household and Organization Tip with you next month – until then, I’d love for you to visit me over on Facebook or Pinterest! And a big thanks to Bonnie and Trish for letting me come visit you today!

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Trish Flake

Hey y'all! I am Trish and the creative voice behind Uncommon Designs. I adore party planning, holiday celebrations, and all things crafty! I am so excited to share my creative adventures with you!

Latest posts by Trish Flake (see all)


  1. says

    What a great idea! I have never heard of shinning your stainless steel with baby oil! Amazing, thank you for sharing this wonderful tipped, just made it to my pin board 😉

  2. Jake's a Girl says

    I’ve used mineral oil but not baby oil. Thanks! Now I know I can use either one. Our salesman told us too that it’s the best
    stuff to use for cleaning SS. btw…You can purchase mineral oil in the pharmacy section of any Wal-Mart or grocery store.
    I use mineral oil to coat my cutting boards and wooden handled steak knives.

    Thanks again.
    Jake’s a Girl

  3. says

    Oh my goodness ~ this post gave me a total flashback! When I was growing up we had a stainless steel kitchen and my Mom was a clean freak ~ once a week I had to polish the stainless appliances with baby oil but I used a thick cloth diaper {new of course} to buff and shine. I had forgotten all about this. Such a great tip!

  4. Kim T says

    AWESOME … I loathe my stainless steel appliances and if I had to do it all over again, would go another route. Thanks so much for this, cannot wait to try!

  5. says

    What a great tip! The only appliance I have currently that is stainless steal is a toaster, but it’s a mess so I will definitely be trying this out! Thanks!

  6. Karen Tharp says

    I used to work in a grocery store bakery and this is how we cleaned and polished the stainless ovens and proofers.

  7. Tina says

    Good thing I kept putting off buying the expensive cleaners. This worked Great! Now all my friends have your post. thanks for the great tip.

  8. Laura O says

    I was so excited to try this and used olive oil since I had it on hand. As I was standing back admiring the beautiful shine – my stainless steel oven looked like new – the dog walked up and licked off all my hard work. I will have to get some mineral oil or baby oil and give it another go. The results were stunning!

  9. Sabine says

    Love this :) I tend to be lazy and use babywipes on stainless steal, specially on the exhaust hood, and then shine it with a microfibre cloth 😀

    Also.. I tend to use babywipes if kids get crayon or playdough on the table :)

  10. Jan says

    OMG thank you for sharing! Found you on Pinterest. I clean condos as a 2nd job & most of them have stainless steel appliances which are often a mess from water marks & finger prints. I can’t wait to get some baby oil & try this because the stainless steel cleaner is pricey & toxic smelling. This should save me money :)

  11. Janet Fazio says

    Great tip! I just redid the kitchen with all stainless steal appliances. I too would like to ditch the stainless steel cleaner in favor of something more earth friendly.

  12. Deb says

    So glad I found this tip! All my kitchen appliances are stainless steel plus my sink and I’ve tried (what I thought was) everything. In fact, one time my oven door was coming apart and the repair man came to fix it (still under warranty). I asked him how I could keep it looking that new, clean and shiny. He said, “Take a picture of it.” Argh! I haven’t tried your tip yet, but am super excited to do it. Keeping my fingers crossed in the meantime!

  13. cj says

    Yeah I learned this from they guy at my old laundry mart his machines always shine still using baby oil up to this day now I know mineral oil works to thanks

  14. Sonia Lee says

    That’s a great idea! I discovered recently that Windex along with few paper cloths works like a charm for stainless steel. And your idea about baby oil is so clever too. I’m definitely trying it and recommending it to my friends. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Jennifer Madigan says

    Thank you so much. I’ve been so frustrated with how our stainless steel looks. It’s finally clean and stain free.


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