Why You Should Put Olive Oil on Your Stainless Steel Appliances

published Oct 21, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Pouring a bit of olive oil on a microfiber cloth
Credit: Joe Lingeman

For me, one of the joys of getting older has been gradually upgrading my appliances. There is truly nothing more life-changing than having a dishwasher after years of dealing with a closet-sized kitchen. Same goes for a normal-sized refrigerator after dealing with a tiny one for most of your adult life. But one thing no one ever really tells you about being an adult is how, exactly, how to clean your appliances.

Here’s a trick though: When it comes to stainless steel, olive oil is your friend. The humble pantry staple is key to preventing and removing stubborn fingerprints, smudges, and other frustrating marks, says Trisha Lake, CEO of TLC Cleaning.

How to Clean Your Appliances With Olive Oil

  1. First apply a dash of dish soap to a wet microfiber cloth, says Lake.
  2. Then, gently wipe down the entire appliance in the direction of the grain to scrub off any food.
  3. Dry it with a separate microfiber cloth.
  4. Once dry, apply a bit of olive oil to another microfiber cloth and buff it into the stainless steel.
  5. Repeat once a week, or as needed.

How—and why—does this work? “Stainless steel appliances tend to smudge up and show every fingerprint possible,” says Lake. But once clean, the olive oil acts as a protective coating to buy you some time between scrub-downs.

If you’re mesmerized by how this works, there are a few other kitchen items that can benefit from the magic of olive oil. To restore shine to stainless steel pots and pans, simply follow a similar process. First, remove any lingering grease with vinegar. Then, use a little bit of olive oil and use microfiber cloth to work it into your stainless steel cookware in a circular motion. You can also use olive oil to remove slow tarnish on silverware. Just give it a protective coating of olive oil by using a soft cloth to rub your cutlery with oil.