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Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances, Cookware, and More

The Martha Stewart Show, April 2008

Martha demonstrates an easy and effective way to clean stainless steel. Plus, how to clean stainless steel pots and pans and tea kettles, and nest stainless steel skillets. Plus, all about the stainless chef's knife.


Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances are sleek, but they need to be cleaned often to show off their luster. The best product to use is good old-fashioned Windex. Windex gives your glass and mirrors a streak-free shine; it does the same for stainless steel appliances.

Just a few sprays is enough. To make sure there are no streaks, use plenty of paper towels. To help us make environmentally sound choices, Windex has been reformulated to be better for the environment.

Cleaning Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

Conventional wisdom holds that pots and pans should be given a good soak. But every metal has different properties and requires special care. Stainless steel is prone to stains from heat and hard water. To remove them, apply white vinegar with a soft cloth and rub. Always dry thoroughly after washing to prevent a film from forming. Never soak stainless steel cookware; this will result in pitted surfaces.


Cleaning a Stainless Steel Tea Kettle

Your kettle takes a beating when you keep it on or near the stove, where it’s exposed to constant splatter and grease. To remove stains, add enough white vinegar to three tablespoons of baking soda to form a thick paste. Apply it with a soft rag or sponge and scrub until the stains disappear, then wipe the kettle with a damp cloth—and store it out of harm’s way.


Nesting Stainless Steel Skillets

Nesting pots and pans saves space in a cupboard, but you should take steps to prevent them from damaging one another. Preserve stainless-steel interiors by inserting large coffee filters between pans. Nonstick surfaces are protected just as well by soft paper towels. For seasoned cast-iron skillets, use coated paper plates, which won't soak up oil.


All About the Stainless Steel Chef Knife

This is the most versatile tool in your kitchen. Kept sharp, it can be used for all kinds of jobs: slicing, mincing, chopping, and more.

Learn more about basic knife skills


What Is It?
A chef's knife is easily recognizable by the size of its curved blade, usually 8 to 10 inches long and 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide at the base. The curvature allows you to "rock" the knife downward in a smooth motion when you chop and slice.

What to Look For
Blades made of high-carbon stainless steel hold a sharp edge and resist corrosion.

How to Buy
Choose a knife that feels comfortable and well balanced, and isn't too heavy or too light. The heel (the part of the knife just above the handle) should be deep enough so that when you chop, your knuckles don't hit the work surface.


Special Thanks
Special thanks to SC Johnson for supplying our viewer mail participant and our entire studio audience with some of their great products, including Windex.

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