You’re admiring the gorgeous sheen on your stainless steel fridge when you notice a scratch.
Stainless steel fridges are durable against rust but prone to scratching and collecting flaws on their surfaces. These scratches won’t affect the lifespan of your fridge, but they don’t look very nice. Especially since stainless steel appliances can be expensive, you want them to look their best for as long as possible.
Although getting scratches out of a stainless steel fridge is difficult, it is not impossible. Here is what you can do to return to your shiny, smooth surface.
How to Remove Scratches from a Stainless Steel Fridge
Before you begin, the first step is to check that your fridge is stainless steel and not a clear-coated finish. One of the easiest ways to check is to touch the fridge. If fingerprints are visible, it’s probably a stainless steel finish.
The next step is to clean the surface. Use a cleaner designed for stainless steel appliances or a solution of diluted white vinegar. Rinse with cold water afterward and buff out any fingerprints.
Finally, assess the size of the scratch, as there are different methods for removing fine and deep scratches.
Removing Fine Scratches
If your fridge has a fine scratch, you’re in luck because removing those scratches takes a little bit of buffing with tools you can easily find at home.
First, grab a non-abrasive cleaner such as Comet or Revere Stainless Steel because you want to avoid scratching up any more of the stainless steel surface. Create a paste or prepare the liquid cleanser. Then, put a small amount of cleanser on a clean, soft cloth and rub along the scratch.
If using the cleaner doesn’t work, try using whitening toothpaste. This type of toothpaste is mildly abrasive, so it’s more likely to get the scratch out, but it’s not so abrasive that it will damage the rest of the fridge. Apply the toothpaste to a soft-bristled toothbrush and rub with the grain.
When applying any cleaning solution to your stainless steel fridge, it’s essential to buff following the grain of the metal. The grain on your stainless steel fridge is in the direction of the fine lines on the appliance. Going against the grain could make scratches worse.
After going over the scratch with your cleanser or toothpaste, wipe away any residue with a clean, slightly moist cloth. If there is still faint scratching, repeat the process. Then, finish by coating with stainless steel polish or olive oil.
Removing Deep Scratches
If the scratches are deeper, you must bring in heavier equipment. The best way to manage deep scratches yourself is with sandpaper. Although it seems like sandpaper would damage your fridge more, you can get by with the right precautions.
First, wet the sandpaper and the surface of the fridge (if the sandpaper or the fridge is dry, you will cause damage). Then, buff in the direction of the grain, switching to coarser sandpaper if necessary. Once you’ve removed the scratch, switch to finer-grained sandpaper to finish buffing out the surface.
Finally, wipe the fridge with a clean, damp cloth to eliminate dust particles. Finish wiping with a dry towel and polish the area with stainless steel polish or olive oil.
Nobody wants to see a scratch on their fridge, but a scratch doesn’t have to mean the end of the world. You can get rid of fine scratches with a non-abrasive cleanser or even toothpaste, while even deep scratches will budge with some wet sandpaper and elbow grease.