Cleaning Stainless Steel

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?

#1: Post by k7qz »

OK, I searched the site a couple of different ways but didn't come up with much, so a penny for your thoughts:

The nice new shiny stainless on my machine is getting spotted and stained behind the grouphead despite diligence in wiping it clean after each use.

With the machine cool, I tried a little Windex on it. This helped some. Chris Coffee suggested trying vinegar (acidic) and this helped a bit more, but it's still not perfect (It just may be the way every machine gets with use).

I'm wondering if there is anything else you super baristas use to clean the spotting/staining from your stainless?



#2: Post by Grant »

Google is your friend.....

I use vinegar myself......I avoid chemicals in my house where possible....Some warm soapy water first to remove oils may help as well.


Edit: I just re-read your note and you mentioned Windex....I have noticed a few sites say it is OK to use products with ammonia...and others say to NOT use ammonia. You may want to use Windex with care....

k7qz (original poster)

#3: Post by k7qz (original poster) replying to Grant »

Interesting site Grant. I'd have never thought to use olive oil on the stainless.

The great part is you can make a nice salad dressing with the leftover oil and vinegar! :lol: :wink: :lol:


#4: Post by Woofy »

Soap and water to remove built-up gunk, followed by Wenol metal polish works wonders on chrome and stainless. Wenol is available at Williams Sonoma, online. It's used for cleaning stainless cookware, is gentle on fine metal finishes and is very effective.

For daily cleaning, put 80-100 proof vodka in a spray bottle. Unlike Windex or other ammonia-based cleaners, it's food grade, is naturally anti-bacterial, doesn't streak or stink and cleans stainless beautifully. The ethanol in vodka is a food-grade solvent that's so often overlooked it's almost comical. I use this in the kitchen instead of the toxic anti-bacterial cleaners marketed by Madison Avenue. Store it in a cool, dark place like the cabinet below your espresso machine, or in the fridge.

If you must use ammonia, use non-sudsing ammonia. It's usually tinted a light blue. It doesn't have the surficants that'll streak and leave behind all sorts of additional residue you want to avoid eating. Keep it in a spray bottle in a cold place. The colder the ammonia solution is, the less it'll streak whether you're cleaning stainless or windows. Mix in a ratio of about a tablespoon or two per quart of water.


#5: Post by Grant »

Woofy wrote:For daily cleaning, put 80-100 proof vodka in a spray bottle. just jogged my memory....I just saw that a little while ago on one of those cleaning shows on one of those home cable channels. Some finicky english lady was cleaning someone's disgustingly dirty house....and was spraying vodka all over.....intermittently into her mouth as well. :D

hmmm...I may get to like housework!

I'll have to try it.


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Compass Coffee

#6: Post by Compass Coffee »

A few years ago when we got our Viking range I asked the dealer what was a good product for cleaning stainless steel. Now they carried "big named appliance branded" cleaners but not what he recommended. Told me they used Zep Stainless Steel Cleaner for all their showroom SS appliances. So I got some at Home Depot and been using it ever since including for previously Miss Silvia and now Bricoletta. Great stuff for thorough periodic cleaning and polish. Click Here
Inbetween cleanings a snap, simply wipe with clean damp cotton cloth and dry with cotton cloth.
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)

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#7: Post by barry »

Grant wrote:I use vinegar myself......I avoid chemicals in my house where possible....Some warm soapy water first to remove oils may help as well.

nice to know vinegar isn't a chemical.

--barry "acetic acid, eh?"


#8: Post by Grant »

heh...yeah...guess you're right....but I think you know what I meant.

I feel a bit better about cleaning my espresso machine with the same stuff I put on my salad.


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#9: Post by barry »

Grant wrote:heh...yeah...guess you're right....but I think you know what I meant.
yeah, but it always touches a nerve of mine. i guess it's from my days in chem lab.

btw, i've actually had people argue with me over whether water was a chemical or not.

--barry "better living through chemicals"


#10: Post by Nick »

When cleaning stuff like stainless steel, windows, Malachi's bald head, etc.... there's one little "secret" that I'm always surprised more people don't know about...

Use newspaper instead of cloth or paper towels. Just take a big page, crumple it up, and use the wad until it's saturated and then go on to a new sheet.

The little bit of ink/dust reduces streaking big-time. You have to wash your hands afterwards, but it's a small price to pay. I prefer the New York Times myself.