The Realtor-Approved Method for Wiping Fingerprints off Stainless Steel

published Jun 6, 2023
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Credit: Andrew Bui

Real estate agents know a thing or two about getting a house looking its best. They’re the ones paying attention to even the most insignificant-seeming details (who else remembers to make sure the tracks on sliding glass doors are spotless before a showing?), which is why they make sure they’re always armed with the tools they need. The tools in question are products they often need for last-minute touch-ups before any potential buyers walk through the door. So it makes sense that real estate agents know exactly what to use to banish any fingerprints or smudges that’ve been left behind on stainless steel appliances.

Jennifer Baptista, a licensed Realtor in Massachusetts, says there are few things worse than arriving at an open house 20 minutes before a showing to discover that the owners have gone through all of the work to get the house looking and smelling fantastic — except when it comes to removing fingerprints from stainless steel appliances

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Fortunately, she knows just what to do to quickly get them looking their best. “First, grab the stainless steel cleaner,” she says, adding that there are many different brands to choose from, so you should try a few out to find the one that you like best. (Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish is an Apartment Therapy favorite.) Next, use a kitchen towel or rag to wipe down the surface. Just remember you’ll need another towel to dry it completely when you’re done.

Stainless steel cleaners are so essential to keeping things running smoothly that Romi Jordan Mouillon, licensed real estate salesperson with Serhant and The Oppenheim Group, says they’re a major must when it comes to showing homes. “As real estate agents we always have at least one of these handy products in our tote bags.”

But if you’d prefer something more natural over a store-bought cleaner, Baptista recommends mixing dish soap and water, then wiping the appliance with a rag or paper towel.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

“We always want to be careful that we don’t damage stainless steel, but I’ve found dish soap is great because it cuts through the oils and is gentle enough to not damage the appliances,” she explains, adding that no matter what products you use it’s important to wipe with the direction of the grain to minimize the appearance of streaks. “I like to wipe down the appliances every so often with a dish soap and water mixture to keep them looking fresh and new.”

Of course, having fingerprints on your stainless steel appliances isn’t exactly the end of the world. “I know we all want open houses to run smoothly and look pristine, but walking through a home and seeing fingerprints simply means someone lives there and made that house a home — and that is priceless,” Baptista says.